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December 7, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - While much of the country is gearing up for the holidays, political forces in Sacramento are girding for battle. Already, special interests are lined up with plans that could shape next year's general election ballot. They are considering propositions to increase medical malpractice awards, hike tobacco taxes and give local governments the right to scale back public employee pensions, among other ideas. Each of the proposals could spawn campaigns costing tens of millions of dollars.
December 6, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Duane Dauner, president of the California Hospital Assn., emailed the group's board in September with a warning: The leader of the state's largest healthcare workers' union had told him that if hospitals did not pave the way for the organizing of 20,000 workers, the union would launch ballot measures taking aim at hospital pricing and executive pay. But negotiations on organizing agreements between the two sides stalled. In November, the union, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, filed two initiatives for the 2014 ballot that would limit hospital prices and cap executive compensation at nonprofit hospitals.
December 4, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
President Obama's popularity is falling even in California, a deep-blue state he has won twice by landslides. It means Democratic politicians should worry about suffering fatal falls in the polling booths next November. That's not necessarily because voters turned off by the president will take it out on Democratic congressional and legislative candidates, although some of that could happen. More important, Democratic voters may be so disenchanted with Washington and politics generally that they don't turn out to cast ballots at all. And there's little on the horizon in California to excite them about voting.
December 1, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A former head of Caltrans wants to save drivers more than the average of $600 a year he says they now spend fixing flat tires, aligning wheels and repairing other damage caused by potholes and bad pavement. Will Kempton, who ran the state Department of Transportation from 2004 to 2009, has submitted a proposed voter initiative for the 2014 ballot that would raise money to rebuild roads and bridges and boost mass transit. If it qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters, such an initiative would more than double the state vehicle license fee - known as the car tax - to 1.65% from 0.65% of the value of an auto or truck.
November 26, 2013 | Wire reports
Four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, two-time winner Tom Glavine and two-time AL most valuable player Frank Thomas are among 19 newcomers on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining steroid-tainted holdovers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Mike Mussina, Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Kent, Moises Alou and Luis Gonzalez also are among the players eligible to be voted on for the first time by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America. The 36-player ballot will include Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow and Mike Timlin, the Hall said Tuesday.
November 18, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
and its more successful California start -- may be dominating the news now. But wait till next year. An election year ballot full of health issues awaits California voters next November. And the lineup could spur a campaign free-for-all that may prompt hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign spending. "The more the merrier," said Jamie Court, president of Santa Monica advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. Next year "could be the year of health reform. The more we can do to fix the federal health reform and make it cheaper and safer for consumers, the better.
November 17, 2013 | By Fabiola Gutierrez and Chris Kraul
SANTIAGO, Chile - Buoyed by personal popularity and her promise to rewrite Chile's Constitution, Michelle Bachelet surged to the top in Sunday's first round of voting to elect a new president, but fell short of enough votes to avoid a runoff. With nearly all ballots counted, Bachelet, a pediatrician and former president, was far ahead of eight other candidates, but, at 47%, was below the simple majority needed for an outright victory. In a distant second place was economist Evelyn Matthei, a former labor minister in President Sebastian Pinera's government.
November 16, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Now that voters have rejected a plan to save the Houston Astrodome, a marvel of engineering muscle and space-age glamour and easily the city's most important building, it would be easy to conclude that modern architecture has a major image problem in this country. That idea is underscored by the sad fate of Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, a striking clover-shaped concrete tower designed by Bertrand Goldberg that Northwestern University has begun demolishing to make room for a $370-million biomedical research center.
November 16, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
ALBUQUERQUE - A high-desert city in one of the poorest states in the nation has become the abortion debate's latest battlefield and a testing ground for whether abortion limits can be imposed on the local level. Early voting is underway in Albuquerque for an election Tuesday, which will decide whether to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although similar bans have been passed by state legislatures, New Mexico's largest city is believed to be the first municipality in the country to place such an initiative on a ballot.
November 15, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
The Clippers had five players on the NBA's Western Conference All-Star ballot when it was released Friday. The Clippers had guards Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and sixth-man Jamal Crawford on the ballot. They also had forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan on the ballot as well. Paul is a six-time All-Star and was the game's most valuable player in 2013. Griffin is a three-time All-Star. Fans can vote for their favorite All Star on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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