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October 20, 2012
Re "Prop. 32's real purpose," Column, Oct. 18 George Skelton calls Proposition 32, which would prohibit unions from making payroll deductions to raise money for political spending, a "self-serving sham. " So should we continue to allow teachers unions to force their members to donate to their leaders' favorite political causes? Why must my wife, a first-grade teacher, contribute to political causes she doesn't like? How would Skelton feel if The Times effectively forced him to support Mitt Romney via a paycheck deduction?
October 19, 2012 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Time
Washington's election-year power struggle has spilled into two hotly contested congressional races in the Inland Empire region, where results were once as predictable as a hot summer day in Hemet. Rejiggered political districts and the GOP's declining membership have given Democrats a shot in both races next month - victories the party is counting on in its effort to pick up 25 additional seats and recapture control of the House. The high stakes have triggered millions of dollars in spending by the parties and independent groups trying to nationalize the races into a referendum on such hyper-charged Washington issues as President Obama's healthcare overhaul and the steep tax cuts proposed by GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.
October 6, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - The last time one party held a two-thirds majority in the California Senate, President Johnson was sending troops to Vietnam, Los Angeles was recovering from the Watts riots and the state's governor was named Brown - Pat Brown. That was 1965. Nearly half a century later, Democrats hope they are on the verge of again winning a supermajority in the upper house when voters go to the polls next month to fill 100 seats in the Legislature. With a gain of two seats, the Democrats would have it, putting them halfway to their goal of nearly absolute power over California's policies and finances.
September 29, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Aggressive recruitment efforts in one of California's most hotly contested voting districts has created a surge of newly minted Republicans like Marleny Reyes. Except she had no intention of joining the GOP. The Moreno Valley College student is among scores of voters in Riverside County who say they were duped. Formal complaints filed with the state by at least 133 residents of a state Senate district there say they were added to GOP rolls without their knowledge, calling into question the party's boast that Republican membership has rocketed 23% in the battleground area.
September 24, 2012 | By Doyle McManus
In my Sunday column , I briefly mentioned a counterintuitive idea: When unemployment is high, Democratic candidates may benefit, even when the Democrat is an incumbent. How can that be? Don't voters punish the party in power when unemployment goes up? Won't voters desert President Obama because unemployment appears stuck at 8.1%? After all, since 1936, no president has been reelected when unemployment exceeded 7.2%. Evidence suggests that it's not so simple; unemployment affects voters in a more complicated way than a simple reward-and-punishment model.
September 24, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW — The long months of political protest in Russia last winter and spring against the rule of Vladimir Putin were followed by a summer of relative quiet from the opposition. Even the recent return of demonstrators to the streets during a Sept. 15 rally left many wondering if the movement to oust Putin that looked potent early this year is in crisis. Among those with doubts about the street protests is Vladimir Milov, 40, chairman of the opposition party Democratic Choice. From 1997 to 2002 he worked in the government, ending up as deputy energy minister.
September 11, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg
"Forward" is a perfectly appropriate slogan for progressives. Progress suggests forward or upward motion. That's why revolutionaries and radicals as well as liberal incrementalists have always embraced some derivation of the forward trope. So ingrained are these directional concepts in our political language, we often forget they are mere geographic metaphors applied - and often misapplied - to policy disputes. For instance, some on the left might see enrolling more people on food stamps as a step in the right direction, moving us "forward" to a more generous and all-encompassing welfare state.
September 7, 2012 | By Maeve Reston
ABOARD THE ROMNEY PLANE -- Mitt Romney placed the blame for Friday's weak jobs report squarely on President Obama, charging that his Democratic rival for the White House "hasn't lived up to his promises and his policies haven't worked. " "If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover," Romney said in a statement that was released as the candidate flew from New Hampshire to Iowa for a rally on Friday morning. "For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely.
September 7, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg
In the end, there was Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York whose benedictions closed out both the Republican and Democratic national conventions . His words to the two parties mostly covered the same ground, sometimes in identical language. But there were some rather striking differences, underlining the church's sharp disagreements with the Democratic Party over abortion and same-sex marriage, among other issues. Dolan, who has not been shy about expressing his unhappiness with the Obama administration, seemed to be chiding the Democrats over their support of same-sex marriage when he said: "Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature's God.  Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community.
September 6, 2012 | By Rick Cole
I'm a Catholic and a Democrat, mostly in that order. When Jack Kennedy ran for president, the two overlapped as much as "Mormon and Republican" seem to today. Now, however, even though Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) are Catholic Democrats (and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is a Mormon Democrat), it's increasingly uncomfortable to be both. Angry voices in my church and in my party are squaring off against each other in an increasingly noisy and ugly confrontation.
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