FROM Michael Mishak
What's Behind the Fight over Proposition 32? Proposition 32 on next month's ballot is generating big money and deluge of campaign commercials. One supporting Prop 32 cautions, "Money and politics, corporations and unions give politicians millions in contributions. They get tax breaks and big pensions and we get higher spending. There's a better way: Prop 32 prohibits deductions from employee's paychecks without permission… No loopholes, no exceptions." In another, the League of Women Voters' Helen Hutchison expresses the League's opposition . [It's] deliberatively written to look like campaign reform, but it's not. It actually gives more power to Wall Street, Big Oil, and those secret campaign Super PACs. And Prop 32 let's those same special interests spend that same unlimited and unregulated funds… Learn more about Prop 32 because it's not what it seems."
Front-Loading the Primaries To give the western states a louder voice, the Democrats will hold nominating caucuses in Nevada in January, before the New Hampshire primary. Meantime, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants next year's primary on February 5, to give California a voice in selecting presidential nominees. Increased political clout may motivate Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature to go along. Elected officials may hope that voters asked to change the primary date, will also respond favorably to extending term limits of Senators and Assembly members. There's also the argument that an early California primary means discussion of California issues. (An extended version of this discussion was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point .)
Will Voters Be Singing Christmas Carols in New Hampshire? Next year's presidential primary process may be over exactly one year from today as big states and little states compete to become more important. Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, echoing the familiar complaint that California has become a sort of ATM for candidates looking for big money, has encouraged the Democrats who control the State Legislature to move next year's primary up to February 5. Other big states, including Texas, Florida, Illinois and New Jersey are threatening to do the same thing. Moves by Nevada and Iowa may push New Hampshire up to December of this year, with 11 months still to go before the general election. What would that mean for discussion of issues or the chances of dark horse candidates who don't have massive war chests? Would they still have to shake hands with voters, or would it all be about TV?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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?
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.