CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2013 |
Prospects that the emotional debate over medical marijuana dispensaries will bleed into the Los Angeles' mayoral race increased sharply this week when an initiative to keep some pot shops open qualified for the ballot. The measure was certified as eligible to appear on the ballot late Wednesday after officials determined that its supporters had collected the required 41,138 valid signatures. The City Council has until the end of the month to enact the proposed ordinance, call a special election or place it before voters in the May 21 election.
December 16, 2012
Think of last month's election - with its presidential contest, its 11 statewide ballot measures, its additional three countywide questions, the district attorney's race and voters' first full-scale workout with the new district lines and the top-two primary - as kind of a walk-through. For Los Angeles, the big election comes March 5, with voting under way in less than two months. The city is about to undergo a sweeping turnover in municipal government, electing a new mayor, deciding whether to keep or replace the current city attorney, choosing a new controller and electing more than half - the controlling majority - of the City Council.
November 7, 2012 |
CLEVELAND - Maine and Maryland became the first states to back same-sex marriage at the ballot box Tuesday night, buoying gay rights advocates and breaking a years-long losing streak. The controversial issue had been before voters 32 times and had been rejected every time. But activists said public opinion had shifted since 2008, when California passed a constitutional amendment reserving marriage for heterosexual couples. A 2010 poll showed that, for the first time, more Americans supported gay marriage than opposed it, and in May, President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage.
November 1, 2012
Proposition 35, the human trafficking measure on the Nov. 6 ballot, is a near-perfect example of how far the initiative process has strayed from its original role as the people's essential check on the Legislature and how it is now helping to run the state off the rails. On the same ballot, though, Proposition 39, designed to undo a sweetheart deal that lawmakers gave to out-of-state corporations, does just what ballot measures are supposed to do and demonstrates that with all its flaws, California's initiative system can still serve the people -- if only they remember to vote with their heads as well as their hearts and their hands.
October 31, 2012 |
CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. - Maryland, which just a month ago appeared poised to become the first state in the country to back gay marriage by popular vote, is now reported to be deadlocked on the issue, in part because of a drop in support from religious blacks. Only a few weeks ago, polls were suggesting that Marylanders were leaning toward supporting gay marriage, but as November approached, the numbers tightened. The change appears to be partly driven by black pastors in Maryland urging their congregations to vote against the measure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - It's time to stop vacillating. Election day is almost here. There are still a few loose ends to straighten out on the California ballot. Things such as auto insurance, sex slavery and food labeling. Also an obscure legislative redistricting measure. Here are some thoughts - mostly negative - on four measures, in numerical order: •Proposition 33: It's sponsored by one very narrow interest. Mercury Insurance founder George Joseph is bankrolling this initiative - with $16.4 million at last count - in an effort to steal customers from other insurers.