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September 28, 2012
Re "Why don't they just answer the question?," Opinion, Sept. 23 I was about 12 years old when I heard a debate on the radio that prompted me to ask my parents why the debaters didn't answer the questions. Fast-forward 61 years and the names and faces have changed, but a politician's refusal to respond to a question with a related and meaningful answer remains unchallenged. As long as moderators remain fearful of appearing overly aggressive or mindful that a candidate may start refusing interview requests, a dumbed-down society that is more enamored of sound bites and reality shows will continue to be satisfied with evasion and subterfuge.
April 27, 2014 | By Catherine Saillant
Candidates seeking to replace Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky offered competing views on how to cut carbon emissions, clean storm water, replenish local water sources and lure more Angelenos out of their cars during a wide-ranging debate on environmental issues. The four competitors invited to Saturday night's debate sponsored by the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters agreed that whoever replaces Yaroslavsky on the Board of Supervisors should be a strong regional guardian of the environment.
October 23, 2012 | By Maeve Reston
HENDERSON, Nev. - With the last of the presidential debates behind him, Mitt Romney barnstormed across the West on Tuesday, telling a crowd in Nevada that the debates had “supercharged” his campaign and dismissing the president as a “status quo” candidate who had yet to reveal his agenda for the next four years. More than 6,000 people crowded into an outdoor amphitheater in Henderson to see Romney and  his running mate, Paul D. Ryan, who had just flown in from Grand Junction, Colo.
April 26, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
You're the mayor. A guy walks into City Hall and offers to spend half a billion bucks to revitalize property owned by the city, at no cost to the city. What do you say? If you're Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, you call it a taxpayer giveaway. This is not a knock at Tait. This is a tip of the cap toward a mayor who has been so incredibly successful in framing the debate surrounding the Angels' stadium lease negotiations that the process has ground to a dead halt. It has been six months since the Anaheim City Council voted to approve the framework of a deal designed to keep the Angels in town for the long term, and to determine how to cover the estimated $150 million needed to keep Angel Stadium up and running for the long term.
September 1, 2012 | By Maeve Reston
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - While President Obama rallies his supporters at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Mitt Romney plans to spend much of next week preparing for the fall debates. After his rallies in Cincinnati and Jacksonville on Saturday, Romney is headed to his lakeside vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H., for Labor Day weekend. He has no public events planned Sunday or Monday. The Democratic convention will hold televised proceedings Tuesday through Thursday, with unofficial gatherings on Labor Day. Romney may hold events later in the week; his aides previously said the Republican nominee would likely campaign in swing states during the convention.
February 13, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
So, I asked the candidates Tuesday night: How many mayoral debates does this one make? Forty-two and a half, Eric Garcetti said, in a bemused tone. A half debate? Maybe that was one where some of the principal candidates weren't there. Or a debate so stricken with debate fatigue that it seemed like only half a debate. ENDORSEMENTS: Los Angeles City Elections 2013 Never mind. The actual number is "more than 30,” and I added one Tuesday night, moderating a debate sponsored by civic and residents' groups in Northeast L.A. Four of the five principle candidates were there; Wendy Greuel was out of town.
February 25, 2012 | By Mark Z. Barabak and Maeve Reston
A hue and cry is growing across the land ... for an end to the Republican presidential debates. The field of GOP hopefuls, in its various permutations, has participated in 20 candidate forums, starting in May 2011 and continuing, for a time, at a pace of two a week. The most recent was Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz. From the Romney perspective that's more than plenty. Introducing her husband Saturday at a campaign stop in Troy, Mich., Ann Romney joked that she "should do all the talking and let him just stand here and watch me. "  "I've also decided, no more debates," she continued.
September 7, 2012 | By Jon Healey
The recently concluded Republican and Democratic conventions accomplished something important, even if they were long on vague goals and short on detailed plans to get there: They sharply defined the differences between President Obama and his Republican rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Anyone tuning in for even an hour would come away understanding how the two tickets' approaches to government clash. For Republicans, federal spending and regulation are a millstone around the neck of the economy; for Democrats, they're an essential part of the effort to promote growth and an expanding middle class.
July 22, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - President Obama said he'll launch an effort this week to “refocus” the attention of lawmakers on the concerns of middle class families, dismissing what he called “phony distractions” that have left his agenda stalled in Congress. Obama will travel Wednesday to Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., a symbolic venue where as a young senator he once spoke about his economic vision, for a speech that he said would serve as the “kickoff” for a series of events in the coming months aimed at “changing the nature of the conversation” in the nation's capital.
January 7, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
Most of the Republican presidential hopefuls had a light schedule Saturday, preparing for two nationally televised debates in a 14-hour span. Not Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator had six stops on his schedule before Saturday's 9 p.m. debate at St. Anselm College, including one inside a barn in the southern New Hampshire town of Hollis. "I'm doing debate prep with the people of New Hampshire," Santorum said. It was another overflow venue for the suddenly surging candidate, who is riding the momentum of a neck-and-neck finish with Mitt Romney in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses.
April 25, 2014 | By Shan Li and Lalita Clozel
A new federal proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes has Patrick Sanchez pondering the future of the fledgling industry. Sanchez is the owner of Vapegoat, a Highland Park e-cigarette shop that doubles as an art gallery. On a normal night, customers kick back on his comfy couches, surrounded by brick walls hung with Salvador Dali-esque paintings, and try out new e-cig flavors. Since opening in September, Sanchez said, business has boomed as more smokers discovered the battery-operated devices, which heat liquids that usually contain nicotine to create a vapor that can be inhaled.
April 23, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - It has come to this: California politics have become so one-sided that the only half-way intriguing statewide races this spring are for two largely ministerial jobs. One is secretary of state. The other is state controller. Both are pretty mundane. The secretary of state oversees elections and maintains public databases on campaign contributions and lobbyists' spending. The office also processes a lot of business-related stuff. Sounds simple. But under termed-out Democrat Debra Bowen, few things seemingly have been simple.
April 22, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
  SACRAMENTO -- The decision by the Sacramento Press Club to exclude from a debate three of the seven candidates for secretary of state led Tuesday to a call by one watchdog group for all contenders to boycott the event. The protest action was proposed by the nonpartisan Independent Voter Project, headed by former state Sen. Steve Peace and former Assemblyman Jeff Marston. The debate scheduled for Wednesday features state Sen. Alex Padilla and former Common Cause director Derek Cressman, both Democrats, as well as former Fair Political Practices Commission Chairman Dan Schnur, running as a “no party preference" candidate, and Republican Pete Peterson, executive director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University.
April 16, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called a legislative special session to prod lawmakers to approve his proposal for creating a new reserve fund, which the governor says will insulate the state from the economic turbulence it's suffered in the past. The special session is scheduled to begin on April 24. California has had a rainy day fund since 2004, but it's mostly been left empty amid the state's budget crises and there are weak rules for funding the account. Brown wants a new plan that would require the state to save some tax revenue from capital gains.
April 14, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It's nice to know that tens of millions of extra dollars will go to 37 low-income schools after the Los Angeles Unified School District settled a class-action suit on behalf of students. But the lawsuit, undertaken by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, was never about money; it was about policies that require teachers with the least seniority to be laid off first when there are staff reductions. So although the added funding will help attract and retain teachers for a few years, the lawsuit fell short of its original aim of doing away with the "last-in-first-out" policy.
April 14, 2014 | Kate Linthicum
JERUSALEM - The crowd that gathered at the recent grand opening of Cinema City hadn't come for the movies. They were there in droves to protest a government regulation that keeps the 19-screen cineplex closed each week from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. "Jerusalem, wake up!" the protesters chanted as security guards blocked them from entering the lobby. "Nonreligious people are equal too!" The demonstration was the latest skirmish in Jerusalem's long-running "Sabbath wars," which for decades have pitted the city's secular Jewish population against its ultra-Orthodox community over whether shops, theaters and other public spaces can remain open on the Jewish day of rest.
October 3, 2012 | By Jon Healey
If history is any guide, Wednesday's debate between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney will attract a huge number of viewers -- maybe more than the 52 million who tuned into the first debate in 2008 between Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). How those viewers ultimately judge the results, however, depends on whether they're relying on their eyes, their ears or pundits and the polls. Debates give voters their only opportunity to make a side-by-side comparison of the candidates, so the difference in how they comport themselves can make a big difference.
September 29, 1996
By a 3-to-1 ratio, readers responding to a Times Orange County poll called, faxed and e-mailed their overwhelming support for including Ross Perot in the presidential debates. Here's a sampling of responses: Want Perot in Debate "Yes! Let him debate. As least he won't call the Dodgers the Brooklyn Dodgers."
April 11, 2014 | By David Horsey
The novelty of Wednesday's knife attack on students at a suburban Pittsburgh high school provides a new debating point in America's endless argument about guns.  Proponents of an unrestricted right to own and carry all types of firearms will point to this incident and say it proves that any weapon is dangerous and that gun owners should not be singled out and shackled by government regulation. They will also insist that if there had been guns available to teachers and administrators at Franklin Regional Senior High School, where the stabbings took place, someone could have stopped the 16-year-old perpetrator as soon as he initiated his attacks.
April 10, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- With little drama Thursday, House Republicans easily approved a largely symbolic budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), closing out a floor debate over spending priorities and opening a new front on the midterm campaign trail. As expected, no Democrats voted for the blueprint from Ryan. The former Republican vice presidential nominee's plan returns to ideas that have come to define the GOP, including ending federal deficits by cutting taxes on the rich, revamping Medicare and slashing almost every other aspect of government.
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