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OPINION
February 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
As an adult, Shirley Temple Black shed her signature ringlets, became a Republican fundraiser and went on to a career as a respected diplomat in the Nixon, Ford and George H.W. Bush administrations. Even her boss, Henry Kissinger, was impressed, calling her "very intelligent, very tough-minded, very disciplined. " But not all fundraisers are as able as Black, who died Monday. Consider George James Tsunis, who has been nominated by President Obama as ambassador to Norway, and Colleen Bell, Obama's pick to be ambassador to Hungary.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Anthony York
TULARE, Calif. - Signs reading "No Water = No Jobs" line the alfalfa fields and almond orchards along the highway that bisects this region. The weekly "Ag Alert" newsletter records worries about tomato and grape crops, and drought turning dairy pastures brown. Water, or the lack of it, is on everyone's minds here in the Central Valley, stretching from Bakersfield past Sacramento and home of the state's $45-billion-a-year agriculture industry. Republican candidates for governor are seizing on the subject as they seek to score political points against the popular Democratic incumbent, Gov. Jerry Brown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Tony Perry
Will the election of Republican Kevin Faulconer as mayor of San Diego help the sagging fortunes of the GOP statewide? Depends on who is talking. "This was a crucial step forward in our continuing efforts to rebuild the Republican Party from the ground up," said Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party. Republican banker Neel Kashkari, who would like to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown, said the Faulconer victory "confirms that Republicans can win in California by promoting positive economic ideas that unite people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - As Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer prepares to take power at City Hall, some are wondering what his easy victory over Democratic Councilman David Alvarez means for the statewide GOP. Faulconer beat Alvarez 55% to 45%. “Faulconer overnight goes from minority member of the City Council to the highest ranked and highest profile Republican in the state,” said Carl Luna, a political science professor at San Diego Mesa College. Allan Hoffenblum, a former GOP strategist who now publishes the nonpartisan California Target Book, said Faulconer's victory shows that Republicans can still win big races, “if they have the right candidate.” He noted Faulconer campaigned as a fiscal conservative who is moderate on social issues, including supporting gay marriage and abortion rights.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - As Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer prepares to take power at City Hall, voters here are well aware what the game plan of a Republican mayor looks like. It's the strategy used by former Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Faulconer supporter, as he struggled to pull the city out of a financial mess: Keep city spending low, maintain a tight rein on labor unions, support business interests to help create jobs. But less clear is what Faulconer's surprisingly easy victory Tuesday over Democratic Councilman David Alvarez - 55% to 45% - means for the statewide GOP, which now holds no statewide offices.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2014 | By Richard Simon and Jean Merl
WASHINGTON - Facing one of the toughest campaigns of any Republican congressman in the country, Rep. Gary Miller announced Wednesday that he would not seek reelection to his Inland Empire seat, increasing prospects for a Democratic pickup. "While there is still a lot of work to be done, it is now time for me to pass the baton. I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of this term," Miller said in a statement. His decision sets up a competitive race among at least four Democrats - including an attempted comeback by former Rep. Joe Baca - in a district President Obama won by a wide margin.
OPINION
February 12, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The House Republican leadership did the right thing Tuesday, allowing the chamber to approve a bill that would raise the debt ceiling for one year unconditionally. The move doesn't end the fight over federal budget deficits and the growing national debt. It just allows the debate to continue without causing needless damage to the economy. Congress committed itself in December to borrow more than the current $17-trillion limit when it adopted a bipartisan budget that included more than half a trillion in deficit spending.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Congress gave final approval Wednesday to legislation allowing more federal borrowing to pay the nation's bills, but not without a dramatic scene in the Senate as Republican leaders scrambled to find enough votes to head off a filibuster attempt led by one of their colleagues. The House had swiftly approved the bill this week, and smooth passage was expected in the Senate, ending three years of partisan brinkmanship over the debt limit. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
NEWS
February 12, 2014 | By Jon Healey
Organized labor has become a fixture in U.S. politics and elections, donating money and manpower mainly to Democratic candidates. So it shouldn't surprise anyone when Republican officeholders try to persuade workers not to join a union. That's happening now in Tennessee, where the United Auto Workers union is trying to persuade workers at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga to join its ranks. And while it seems perfectly fair for pols to urge workers to reject a union in this week's vote, some elected officials in Tennessee appear to be taking their advocacy a step too far. State Sen. Bo Watson, the Speaker pro tem, said Monday that if workers voted to unionize, it would jeopardize any future financial incentives the state might offer VW. That's no small threat; federal, state and local governments ponied up more than half a billion dollars' worth of aid for the initial 1,400-acre plant , which employs 3,200 workers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Three Republican state senators called Tuesday for an immediate vote on expelling state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) a week after he was found guilty of eight felony charges including perjury and voter fraud. Steve Knight of Palmdale, Joel Anderson of San Diego and Andy Vidak of Hanford said in a letter to the state Senate Democratic leader that action is required to show “respect to the public and reverence for the laws.” Prosecutors said Wright lied about living in his Senate district when he ran for office and a jury agreed, but Senate Democrats have delayed an expulsion vote to allow the judge in the case to rule on a Wright motion that the jury verdict is improper.
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