CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2013 |
A Los Angeles sales tax hike being promoted as vital to preserving public safety and helping end years of budget deficits is drawing support from a narrow majority of likely voters, according to a new USC Price/L.A. Times poll. Fifty-three percent of surveyed voters said they definitely or probably would vote for Proposition A, which is on Tuesday's ballot and would raise $200 million a year by boosting the city's sales tax rate by half a cent to 9.5%, one of the highest in the state.
March 1, 2013 |
Is it just my imagination, or is California (and possibly a good part of the nation) turning a corner on same-sex marriage? Certainly, the winds have been shifting for a while. Polls have shown increasing acceptance for years. That fits with findings that younger people are far more likely to be comfortable with gay rights than older people. President Obama, who during the campaign for his first term said he did not favor same-sex marriage - the same election in which Proposition 8 passed -- had changed his mind by his second campaign.
March 1, 2013 |
Supporters of same-sex marriage are both pleased and perplexed by the friend-of-the-court brief the Obama administration has filed with the Supreme Court in the Proposition 8 case. They're pleased because Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argues that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and that the court should examine it with “heightened scrutiny” because (among other reasons) gays and lesbians have suffered discrimination. They're perplexed because, having massed this heavy constitutional artillery, the brief doesn't insist that same-sex couples everywhere in the country have a constitutional right to marry.
February 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The lawyers challenging California's Proposition 8 urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to rule that gays and lesbians across the nation deserve an equal right to marry, ratcheting up the pressure on the Obama administration and the justices. Rather than seek a narrow win based on the special situation in California, the legal brief argues that marriage should be available as a constitutional right to all loving and committed couples. "We believe this is a matter of fundamental rights," said Washington attorney Ted Olson shortly after filing his legal brief with the high court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2013 |
The top budget official at Los Angeles City Hall warned Thursday that a defeat of a sales tax hike on the March 5 ballot could lead to a wide array of budget cuts, including closures of city swimming pools, elimination of crossing guards, reductions in graffiti cleanup and 500 fewer police officers. In a 48-page report titled "City at a Crossroads," City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana described cuts to public safety as "unavoidable" if Proposition A is rejected. The city is facing a budget shortfall of nearly $220 million and Proposition A, if passed, would erase the vast majority of it. Santana repeated a warning from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck that staffing could be rolled back to roughly 9,500 officers if Proposition A is rejected.
January 28, 2013 |
The arguments made by Proposition 8's defenders in the federal court trial fell apart when even their own experts were unable to articulate how, for example, same-sex marriage would in any way harm opposite-sex marriage. Apparently feeling a little low on reasonable explanations for why gay and lesbian couples should be prohibited from marrying, lawyers added a new twist into their argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, and this one might be the strangest yet -- and the most easily attacked.
December 23, 2012 |
My soldier son called last month to wish his mother and me a happy Thanksgiving. My iPhone buzzed and there he was, sitting in a gun tower, his smiling face bathed in gauzy infrared light, an M249 machine gun propped at the ready behind him. For security reasons, we didn't talk about his location. It could've been Afghanistan, Iraq or Kuwait. He's spent the better part of this year serving in all three. His infantry company will soon be rotated back to the United States after a one-year deployment.
December 17, 2012 |
My colleague Chris Megerian reported Monday about an array of budget cuts that lobbyists in Sacramento are eager to undo in these post-Proposition 30 times. It's worth reading just to get a reminder of how much lawmakers cut in recent years before persuading voters to raise taxes. But it's also an indication of just how hard it will be for Gov. Jerry Brown to finish the budget repair job he started after taking office two years ago. Proposition 30 is expected to bring in roughly $6 billion for five years, and lesser sums for two years after that, by raising income taxes on the state's highest earners for seven years and the sales tax for four years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2012 |
Ray Briem , the longtime KABC-AM talk show host who ruled all-night radio for nearly three decades with his phone calls to the famous and the quirky and his opinionated banter slamming liberals, championing conservative causes and extolling the big-band music he loved, died Wednesday at his Malibu home. He was 82. The cause was cancer, said his son Bryan. Briem spent most of his life on the radio, reaching his largest audience as the host of a popular midnight-to-5 a.m. talk show on KABC from 1967 to 1994.
December 8, 2012
Re "Rethinking Prop. 13," Editorial, Dec. 6 Proposition 30 raises taxes on everyone, landed and landless. That's fair. Nevertheless, the only part of Proposition 13 that should be revisited is the two-thirds vote requirement to legislate taxes. The 1% cap on the purchase price must be left alone. In California, property changes hands so often that there is no shortage of revenue. To go back to the days of levying taxes based on current market value would increase costs of administration and would be unfair to those who don't flip houses for sport.