May 4, 2010 |
Campaigning in Britain's most unpredictable election in years entered the homestretch Tuesday even as the nation began girding itself for a period of political uncertainty stemming from a potential stalemate in Parliament. The opposition Conservatives remain in the lead in the polls as they try to smash the Labor Party's 13-year grip on power. But there are increasing signs that no party is likely to emerge from Thursday's vote with a majority in the House of Commons, which would throw this country into murky political waters not seen here in more than 30 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2010 |
If your dream — most likely fantasy — is to install public financing of California state political races, then Proposition 15 is worth voting for. Barely. It would create public financing — sort of — for only one office, the low-profile secretary of state. But it could pave the way for a much broader system later. I'm one of those who shares the pipe dream but doubts it ever will become a reality. I've always felt that if the public doesn't buy the politicians, the special interests will.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2010 |
After Orange County's sheriff was indicted on corruption charges on 2007, supervisors made a point of looking beyond the county limits to find a replacement who was free of the cronyism and scandal that had tainted the office. A retired Los Angeles Sheriff's Department division chief, Sandra Hutchens was lauded by one county supervisor for being "removed from the political machinations in the county" and was seen as a welcome breath of fresh air in a department that had been led for decades by politically connected lawmen.
February 14, 2010 |
A leading coalition supported by Sunnis and secularists suspended campaigning Saturday and hinted at a possible boycott of next month's elections to protest a decision to uphold a ban on candidates because of their alleged ties to the outlawed Baath Party. The Iraqi National Movement coalition headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi announced that it would temporarily suspend its campaign and demanded action to reverse the bans on those being linked to the party that ruled under Saddam Hussein.
January 28, 2010 |
Media coverage and commentary have vastly overstated the likely impact on federal election campaigns of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which ruled that corporations have the same right to free speech as individuals. It has also obscured the extent to which members of Congress from both parties had previously opened the door for corporate and union financing in federal campaigns. As associate director for policy of the Campaign Finance Institute from 2002-09, I wrote a number of studies showing the rise of corporate and union spending, via tax-exempt organizations, in federal elections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2009 |
Like an out-of-town gambler trying to elbow his way into the big game, Steve Poizner announced last week that he'd ante up $15 million of his own money for his campaign to become California's next governor. He's hoping that money changes everything. Or at least something. If the insurance commissioner makes good on his pledge by the end of the year, as promised, his total donations will hit $19 million, identical to what Meg Whitman has already given to her campaign. In the year before the 2010 Republican primary, in other words, two candidates will have put in almost $40 million, nearly what the sitting governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, raised and spent for his primary and general election campaigns combined in 2006.
September 7, 2009 |
Even if an election was not looming in Germany, the involvement of the nation's military in an airstrike in Afghanistan that left scores dead and wounded would have intensified political debate about the German role in the region. The fact that Friday's attack, which both U.S. and Afghan authorities say killed some civilians as well as militants, occurred three weeks before Germans go to the polls has magnified its effect -- one commentator likened it to a "political fragmentation bomb."
August 11, 2009 |
Presidential candidate Ramazan Bashardost was on a routine campaign stop in the eastern Afghan city of Khowst one day last month when he heard a thunderous explosion. Then another. And another. "It was very loud, and pretty close, and I of course understood right away what was happening," said Bashardost, one of nearly 40 contenders in the Aug. 20 presidential vote. On that day, insurgents had attacked Khowst's provincial police headquarters and several other sites, triggering hours of chaotic street fighting.
July 24, 2009 |
The cry went up loud and clear from the tens of thousands of people crammed together at the campaign rally. "Change! Change!" the crowd chanted. "With our hearts we vote for change!" Indeed, change has in many ways already come to Iraq's normally placid semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, the latest scene of a grass-roots movement demanding new leadership and political reforms.