FROM Jon Fleischman
California Considers More Tax Incentives for Filming In an effort to keep filmmakers shooting in LA, state legislators are considering boosting California's tax incentive program. But with other states and countries now offering lucrative tax breaks for movie and television productions, can Hollywood still compete?
Kashkari, Donnelly Battle for Heart and Soul of CA GOP Some powerful members of California's Republican Party are throwing their weight behind a relatively unknown candidate for governor, former Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari . They hope this pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Obama-supporting candidate can give them a fighting chance in a state where Republicans are increasingly seen as irrelevant. But the most recent polls put Tea Party candidate, firebrand Tim Donnelly ahead of Kashkari by double digits, and both of them lag far behind Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown .
President Obama and Immigration Reform In Las Vegas today, President Obama said it's good news that bipartisan groups in both houses of Congress are finally addressing immigration reform. The President endorsed the general principles laid down yesterday by a bipartisan group of US Senators, the most controversial aspect of which may be what's called the path to citizenship. Cautioning that the debate is sure to become emotional, he warned against letting it devolve into "us" versus "them." What's the likely impact of the immigration debate on the Republican Party, currently at an historic low point in California's political history?
Can California's Political Parties Survive Super PAC's? Steve Schmidt, a senior advisor to the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008, says, "The California Republican Party has collapsed." In "the Number One richest state for politics in America, the donor community has defunded" the state GOP, which is "an unworthy and unsafe investment," Schmidt says . Former Republican state finance chairman Jeff Miller and strategist Tony Russo have gone outside the party to form a "center-right" Super PAC to support candidates that favor business in the Assembly and Senate. Even moderate Democrats will do.
Tomorrow's Election Will Make History in California California voters will make history tomorrow with the first so-called "Top Two" primary election in state history. As a result, there won't necessarily be both a Republican and a Democrat in the November runoff. In many cases, two candidates from the same party will be running against each other. Recent WWLA discussions of election issues/candidates: Judgeships Carmen Trutanich and race for the District Attorney The other candidates in the DA's race June 5 election as a ' jungle primary ' Prop 28: Term limits Prop 29: Cigarette tax and cancer research
Proposition 28: Another Flap over Term Limits California became the first state to enact term limits for state legislators 22 years ago. Politicians can serve three two-year terms in the state Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate for a total of 14 years. Proposition 28 on next month's ballot would reduce the total to 12 years, but it could all be served in one house or the other.
An Unexpectedly Lively Race for Congress Tomorrow marks a political showdown in Southland beach towns from Venice to San Pedro. At stake is the Congressional seat of Democrat Jane Harman, who resigned after her re-election last year. Veteran LA Council member Janice Hahn is a Democrat running against Republican Craig Huey , who's a veteran of direct-mail marketing. Democrats have a registration advantage of 18 percent, but Huey came out of nowhere in the May primary campaign.
Innovation, Education and California's Future California's Master Plan for Higher Education says community colleges should be open to any high school graduate who can benefit from instruction. But some 400,000 students might be turned away from 112 campuses if billions of dollars in taxes are allowed to expire in June. Republicans have rejected Governor Brown's call for an election to give voters a chance to extend those taxes. We hear about efforts to maintain college budgets.
The Reagan Legacy Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan 's birth and, at a celebration in Santa Barbara this weekend, Sara Palin said it's time to get back to his principles of low taxes and small government. It's true that Reagan did say, "The most terrifying nine words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." But as Governor — and as President — Reagan both raised taxes and increased government.
Jerry Brown Delivers His State of the State Tonight, Governor Brown made the first State of the State speech since he was elected last year, his eighth in all, he reminded the legislature, if you count his first two terms. He lost no time in demanding that, when his proposed budget has been enacted, voters will get the chance to decide if taxes that are about to expire be extended to save public services. Cities and counties have been up in arms over Brown's proposal to shut down redevelopment agencies and use the money for other purposes. In contrast to former Governor Schwarzenegger, Brown read from notes and ad libbed after applause lines. Before tonight's speech was written, Brown told reporters it wouldn't all be bad news, and tonight he talked about the state's vast resources.
California GOP Eat Their Own as Party's Base Crumbles "On behalf of the taxpayers of the 59th District, let the games begin." That's what former Republican Party chair Mike Schroeder claims he said to Assemblyman Anthony Adams when he served Adams with recall papers yesterday, just prior to a fundraiser for Adams featuring Governor Schwarzenegger. Adams earned the wrath of party leaders as one of three Republicans who caused the Governor's budget to pass.
California's Budget Madness Comes to a Close...Sorta Twelve billion dollars in tax increases, $15 billion in spending cuts, $11 billion in borrowing? In the wee hours of this morning, despite the knowledge that as a Republican he would face “dire political ramifications,” State Senator Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria finally said, yes, acknowledging that “the ramifications for the people of California are far much greater.” So, you might think it’s all over. After all the wrangling, it’s still possible the state could run out of money. Crucial parts of the $42 billion deal will have to be approved by the voters.
Tentative Budget Deal Reached With California facing a $42 billion shortfall in the next 18 months, just five people are negotiating a state budget with consequences that could last for a decade. Today, reports leaked from the “cone of silence” surrounding Governor Schwarzenegger, two Republicans and two Democrats who lead their parties in the Assembly and Senate. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told reporters they've agreed on a “common framework.” Meantime, labor and environmental groups have asked Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate charges that Republicans have demanded a weakening of protections and standards as a price for their votes for the budget. Brown, who may run for Governor again, says there's a “serious question” of illegal vote trading. We get the details and hear about charges that Republicans are breaking anti-bribery laws.
The Winners and the Losers After the Budget Battle The battle over this year’s budget was all about the role of government and the services Californians both deserve and are willing to pay for. The total package is actually bigger than last year’s, but one side says it contains draconian cuts that will work hardships on many people.
The Off-Again On-Again Dean at UC Irvine UC Irvine’s “new law school will be founded on the bedrock principle of academic freedom.” That’s according to Chancellor Michael Drake and Erwin Chemerinsky - who was hired as the founding dean of the law school on Labor Day, then let go last week. A UCI professor gathered 633 signatures protesting the action, and the national outcry included an editorial in the New York Times. Today, Chemerinksy was hired again and he accepted.
Schwarzenegger and Limbaugh, Together Again? Governor Schwarzenegger got 90% of the Republican vote last year in California and Rush Limbaugh has 10 million listeners nationwide. Lately, they've been calling each other names. After Limbaugh said Schwarzenegger had betrayed conservative principles, the Governor called the radio host "irrelevant." Limbaugh then called Schwarzenegger a "sell-out." Today, they went head to head on Limbaugh's program. We find out what happened and whether it's "relevant" for politics in California.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?