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OPINION
October 27, 2012
Re "Keeping the secret money out," Column, Oct. 25 George Skelton is outraged that the public doesn't know the funders of an Arizona group that contributed to ads about Propositions 30 and 32. But the notion that Californians will be incapable of deciding how to vote unless they know the funders behind Americans for Responsible Leadership is absurd. Dozens of organizations, including The Times itself, have publicly endorsed or opposed Propositions 30 and 32, which means that voters face no shortage of advice when figuring out how to cast their ballots.
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OPINION
March 25, 2014
Re "Losing an edge in the Capitol," March 18 The bill to expand disclosure of the sources of campaign cash failed in the state Senate because not one Republican would vote for it. This is basically a nonpartisan bill that would force out-of-state big-money donors to tell California voters who they are. Shouldn't we as Californians know who is pumping millions into our state trying to influence our election process? A no-brainer, you say? Obviously not to the Republicans in our state Senate.
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BUSINESS
November 7, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
California voters roundly defeated Proposition 37, the genetically engineered foods labeling initiative, after being subjected to a prolonged barrage of negative television advertisements and criticism from newspaper editorial boards. With 100% of California precincts reporting, the ballot measure, backed by the organic foods industry and consumer groups, went down, opposed by 53.1% of voters and supported by 46.9%. "California voters clearly saw through Proposition 37 and rejected higher food costs, more lawsuits and more bureaucracy," said Henry I. Miller, a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution think tank and a key spokesman for the No campaign on its television spots.
OPINION
March 9, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Monday is opening day, of sorts, in the 2014 election season. In the races for governor and seven other statewide offices, for Congress and the Legislature, and for four key Los Angeles County offices, everything up until now has been a kind of political spring training, with potential candidates testing their messages and building their war chests. But filing closed Friday, and now we're underway. Although election day is officially June 3, voting begins the first week of May, less than 60 days from now. The exhibition season is over.
OPINION
February 13, 2014 | By Tom Zoellner
Who doesn't love a train? Who cannot fail to be seduced by the most appealing vehicle in human history - the rail-induced sensuality of "Brief Encounter," the desperate heroism of engineer Casey Jones, the creative muscle of the Big Four railroad barons, the plucky fortitude of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Little Engine That Could, all wrapped up in gleaming, rocking steel, punctuated by a high, lonesome whistle? And yet California voters have been expressing morning-after regrets since they voted for Proposition 1A, which promised them a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Mary MacVean, This post has been updated. See note below.
Nearly 70% of California voters say taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is a good idea if the money goes to school nutrition and physical activity programs, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. That figure declines if the question is just whether they favor such a tax, with 53% opposed and 40% in favor.  The results were released a day after the Washington-based nutrition advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, asking it to set limits for sweeteners in non-alcoholic beverages.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - The Capitol's three most powerful politicians danced a victory jig Tuesday to celebrate the pending passage of an on-time, balanced state budget. And they did deserve to enjoy the moment. Spiffed up in dark suits, buttoned jackets and ties, Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) proudly performed for nine TV cameras in a news conference room packed with reporters. "Ho-hum," Steinberg joked.
OPINION
February 7, 2014 | By Jennifer Gratz
Much progress has been made in the fight for equal treatment under the law for all people. Unfortunately, California politicians are actively working to ensure that the state reverts to policies that treat people differently based on skin color or ethnic identity - policies that were rejected by voters more than 17 years ago. In 1996, California voters outlawed the use of racial preferences in state institutions by overwhelmingly passing Proposition 209....
OPINION
February 16, 2010
Fifteen months ago, it seemed possible that Californians might finally be able to loosen the death grip in which the political establishment held their state. That was when voters narrowly adopted a measure that allows citizen commissioners, rather than the Legislature, to draw legislative district lines every 10 years. Redistricting reform was a victory for those who believe that politicians ought to serve the people rather than the two major parties and their web of political lawyers, campaign consultants, fundraisers and advisors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy and Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - The number of Californians who can now vote has surged to record levels - passing 18 million for the first time - a leap that could affect the outcome of contests across the ballot next week. More than 1.4 million new voters have signed up, nearly 50% of them online under a new law that kicked in six weeks ago allowing electronic registration. They tend to be younger and more left-leaning than the state's general voting population, according to Political Data Inc., a bipartisan firm that analyzed county reports.
OPINION
February 13, 2014 | By Tom Zoellner
Who doesn't love a train? Who cannot fail to be seduced by the most appealing vehicle in human history - the rail-induced sensuality of "Brief Encounter," the desperate heroism of engineer Casey Jones, the creative muscle of the Big Four railroad barons, the plucky fortitude of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Little Engine That Could, all wrapped up in gleaming, rocking steel, punctuated by a high, lonesome whistle? And yet California voters have been expressing morning-after regrets since they voted for Proposition 1A, which promised them a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
WATSONVILLE, Calif. - Tim Donnelly aimed a Glock 19 at a paper target, the image of a zombie dressed as a British Redcoat, and fired. All but one of 15 rounds hit their mark. The Republican gubernatorial candidate, taking practice with a handful of gun aficionados as he campaigned in Northern California, was pleased. "That was fun," said Donnelly, an assemblyman from the Inland Empire. "He is one dead Redcoat. " The pierced target was a fitting symbol for the gun rights advocate and tea party favorite, who says his first run for office was inspired by the same fears of tyranny that stirred the colonists to rise up against the British.
OPINION
February 7, 2014 | By Jennifer Gratz
Much progress has been made in the fight for equal treatment under the law for all people. Unfortunately, California politicians are actively working to ensure that the state reverts to policies that treat people differently based on skin color or ethnic identity - policies that were rejected by voters more than 17 years ago. In 1996, California voters outlawed the use of racial preferences in state institutions by overwhelmingly passing Proposition 209....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown is more popular than he has been among California voters than at any time since retaking the governor's office in 2011, a new survey has found. The Public Policy Institute of California poll shows Brown's approval on the rise, even as state voters appear to be souring on President Barack Obama. The survey found 60% of the state's likely voters give Brown positive marks more than three years into his third term as governor. Brown has not yet said whether he will seek an unprecedented fourth term later this year, but he is widely expected to run. Brown holds large leads over one of his announced Republican candidates for the job. In a head-to-head match-up, he holds a 53-17% lead over Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Are California voters ready yet to change Proposition 13 so that all corporations pay their fair share of property taxes? A new nonpartisan poll indicates they might be. But a better, more relevant question is whether any state political leader - namely a governor - is courageous enough to lead the charge. Answer: Of course not. Gov. Jerry Brown told me five years ago, before he was elected to a third term as governor, that "messing with 13 is a big fat loser. " Clearly he hasn't changed his mind.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2014 | By Anthony York and Seema Mehta
BAKERSFIELD -- Ricocheting across the state in recent days, Gov. Jerry Brown laid out a case for his reelection in a tour that had all the hallmarks of a campaign rollout. Brown visited the inland heart of California, stopping in Fresno, Kern and Riverside counties to talk about his controversial plans for a costly high-speed train network and massive water tunnels that would move billions of gallons from the northern half of the state to the south. Last week, the Democratic governor unveiled his proposed budget in Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles, touting a projected surplus, a push for a rainy-day fund and more money for schools after years of cuts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2012 | By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California voters appear poised to reject a November ballot measure that would ban political contributions by payroll deduction, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they opposed Proposition 32, which would eliminate the main fundraising tool of unions. Just 36% said they supported the measure, which would also bar corporations and unions from contributing directly to candidates. Proponents of the measure, having focused squarely on unions in two past attempts to end paycheck deductions for political purposes, adopted the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement this time around and rebranded their campaign as an effort to curb the power of special interests.
OPINION
June 10, 2010
Props to California voters. They are smarter than most pundits and political consultants (and sometimes editorial pages) give them credit for being, as evidenced by two failed attempts to buy their votes in Tuesday's election. The conventional political wisdom suggested that Propositions 16 and 17 would be tough to beat, given that their corporate backers — Northern California utility Pacific Gas & Electric and Mercury Insurance, respectively — poured buckets of money into deeply misleading ad campaigns.
OPINION
January 5, 2014 | By Ron Unz
California is home to both Silicon Valley and Hollywood, two of the world's greatest wealth-producing engines, and much of the state enjoys tremendous affluence. By some estimates, my own town of Palo Alto has the world's highest per capita concentration of billionaires. But California also has pockets of enormous poverty. The U.S. Census recently estimated that when both income and living costs are taken into account, 24% of Californians live in poverty, the highest poverty rate of any state.
OPINION
December 26, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Californians could be faced in November with a proposal to dramatically alter the pension and benefit system for public employees. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has submitted a statewide ballot initiative that would allow government agencies to negotiate changes to current employees' future retirement benefits, reversing the long-standing principle that once a public employee is hired, his or her retirement benefits cannot be reduced. Public employee unions are already gearing up for a major fight over Reed's initiative, which he could put on the ballot as soon as 2014 (or as late as 2016)
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