January 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers took to the airwaves Sunday to argue about extending long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans who were cut off last month, a politically sensitive issue in an election year. Democrats urged their Republican counterparts to join in granting emergency unemployment benefits. Republicans countered that they want to explore other options, including new job training initiatives. Both sides intend to highlight the dispute during this year's midterm election campaigns.
January 1, 2014 |
After a highly contentious, hugely unproductive session, members of the most unpopular Congress in history will face voters this year and, very likely, win reelection in overwhelming numbers. It is a paradox of these discontented times. Participants in a Cincinnati focus group led by Democratic pollster Peter Hart expressed their feelings toward lawmakers by drawing tombstones and broken hearts. Public opinion surveys show contempt for Congress reaching unprecedented levels. But as much as they dislike their own representatives, Democrats and Republicans hold members of the opposite party in even lower regard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2013 |
An Orange County Superior Court judge this month refused to hold Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger in contempt of court for revealing evidence that someone put him under surveillance, court records show. On Dec. 13, Judge David Hoffer denied the contempt motion by the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn. asserting that Mensinger and his attorneys violated a court order by publicizing confidential allegations that a GPS tracking device had been placed on Mensinger's truck during the 2012 election season.
December 24, 2013 |
The daughter of incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that she had suffered from clinical depression for years and, until recent therapy, abused alcohol and marijuana. Chiara de Blasio, 19, said that she was going public with the personal information in hopes of supporting others who were struggling. “Removing substances from my life, it's opened so many doors for me,” she said in a video posted on YouTube . “I was actually able to participate in my dad's campaign and that was like the greatest thing ever and now I'm doing well in school and actually getting to explore things that aren't just partying.
December 21, 2013 |
Tom Steyer is standing upright near the corner of a small, beige meeting room at Georgetown University, arms at his sides, eyes shut intently. Half a dozen ministers and priests surround him, laying hands on his torso. Together, the pastors begin to pray, asking for divine help in shaping public opinion: "Soften them.... Open them to you … for your purpose.... Claim the promise made to Moses. " It is a curious warmup for a technical conference about an oil pipeline. But like many other environmentalists concerned that America is dawdling as the world burns, these ministers, each a leader in efforts to mobilize churchgoers against climate change, see Steyer as, quite literally, a godsend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2013 |
The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to tighten the rules for who can vote in neighborhood council elections after complaints that an overly broad definition of community stakeholder had allowed outsiders to manipulate results. The new rules mark an ongoing attempt to refine the neighborhood governance system, struck in the late 1990s after the San Fernando Valley secession movement to give residents a stronger voice in city politics. Previously, anyone could vote in a neighborhood council race just by displaying a receipt for a latte from around the corner, as proof of having a vested interest in a community - a "Starbucks stakeholder.
December 16, 2013 |
There has been great consternation in recent days over the best way to select an interim school board member to complete the term of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died this month. The two of us, both former school board members, believe that LaMotte's former constituents would be best served if the board appointed a replacement for the remaining 18 months of her term rather than holding a special election. One reason is the substantial length of time that LaMotte's district would be without representation while waiting for an election to take place.
December 16, 2013 |
KIEV, Ukraine -- Amid weeks of anti-government street protests, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich's ruling party won four of five seats in parliament during a byelection, a defeat for opposition forces seeking his ouster. The opposition quickly blamed the results of Sunday's balloting on fraud, while some analysts said the movement's dependence on protest over political organizing had showed. “The authorities are offering us a dialogue with one hand and with the other they are arrogantly cheating in elections,” Vitali Klitschko, a world heavyweight boxing champion and lawmaker told the Times Monday.
December 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After a year that produced limited results, at best, for their cause, advocates of new gun-safety laws are recalibrating strategy, hoping to find more success at the ballot box and upset the conventional wisdom that opponents of gun control have an iron grip on Washington. Political groups seeking to counter the influence of the National Rifle Assn. and others in the gun lobby hope to score some victories in next year's midterm election. But they are setting modest goals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 |
Three of six Los Angeles school board members said they favor a special election to replace Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died last week. The Board of Education is scheduled to decide Tuesday how they will fill a vacancy created by the passing of LaMotte, 80, who was found unresponsive in her hotel room while representing the school system at a conference in San Diego. The board has two choices, according to the L.A. city charter, under which the school system operates. It can appoint a replacement or call a special election.