October 31, 2011 |
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is not normally the gambling type. Yet in the political equivalent of an all-in bet at a high-stakes poker match, the beleaguered leader said Monday that he would ask Greek voters to determine whether to agree to a new, hard-bargained European deal to help the financially strapped country get out of debt. "This referendum will be a supreme act of democracy and of patriotism," Papandreou said, apparently catching many lawmakers by surprise.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 2011 |
Reporting from San Francisco and Sacramento -- The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to intervene in new voting districts drawn by a citizens commission, deciding unanimously to reject two challenges to the boundaries. The high court considered the legal challenges, brought by Republicans seeking to overturn congressional and state Senate district maps, in a closed session, and the judges did not comment on their reasons for rejecting the lawsuits. "We're disappointed that the court denied the petition on the Senate districts without a hearing," said Charles H. Bell, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
September 13, 2011 |
Democrats suffered a stunning blow Tuesday as voters in New York's 9th Congressional District chose a novice Republican to replace disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner in an election that became a referendum on President Obama. With more than 90% of precincts reporting, Bob Turner, a retired television executive best known for producing "The Jerry Springer Show," had 53% of the vote in unofficial returns, election officials said. Democrat Dave Weprin, a state assemblyman from a politically connected family, had 46%. Weprin did not immediately concede.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2011 |
Reporting from Sacramento -- Its aisles brimming with a rainbow of ripe organic produce, bins of grains and refrigerators stocked with soy everything, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has long been an oasis of civility in this combative city. Democrats and Republicans may quarrel at the Capitol a few miles away, but here they break gluten-free bread, munch on kale chips and sip acai juice in blissful bipartisan harmony: "Peace, love and granola," said Republican strategist Donna Lucas, a proud co-op member.
September 8, 2011 |
A tentative deal that would halt Amazon.com Inc.'s campaign to repeal the state's recent Internet sales tax collection law may have pulled California back from the brink of an expensive and politically fractious June ballot war. Bricks-and-mortar retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., have long complained about Amazon's unfair advantage, but said they were satisfied with the agreement reached between lawmakers and the world's...
August 26, 2011 |
State lawmakers escalated their war with Amazon.com Inc. on Thursday with a fresh attack aimed at the Internet giant's refusal to collect taxes on its sales, which a new law requires. The legislative move would halt Amazon's campaign to put a referendum on the June ballot asking voters to overturn the state's Internet sales tax law, which took effect July 1. In a bit of legislative legerdemain, the state Senate Appropriations Committee took the language of that law, tweaked it and put it into a so-called urgency bill.
August 25, 2011 |
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced his resignation Friday, following through on his pledge to quit if voters failed to cast ballots in a city referendum that was invalidated due to a low turnout. "I will fulfill my duty by resigning to minimize the controversy in political circles," he said at a City Hall press conference. "I believe this is the will of the citizens. " In recent days, Oh had demonstrated that he was far off the mark when it came to gauging voter preferences. The 50-year-old mayor, once considered a candidate for next year's presidential election, on Sunday gave an emotional press conference in which he wiped away tears, vowing to step down if voters did not respond to his call to support his agenda.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2011 |
GOP leaders announced an effort to invalidate many of California's new voting districts Monday as the boundaries were finalized by the commission that drew them. The maps, drafted for the first time by a citizens' panel rather than politicians, could give Democrats a tighter grip on the statehouse and California's congressional delegation. In particular, the new lines put Democrats within reach of the coveted two-thirds majority, which is needed to raise taxes, in the state Senate.
July 20, 2011 |
At the turn of the last century, as the robber barons' first gilded age lingered on, many Californians came to regard one powerful enterprise as the symbol of oppressive avarice and of big money's corrupt appropriation of the political process. That company was the Southern Pacific, whose railways kept a stranglehold on commerce and whose operatives dominated state government. The firm's malevolent influence was the inspiration for one of California's first literary classics, Frank Norris' "The Octopus," which — along with Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" — helped usher in a period of progressive reforms.
July 12, 2011 |
Escalating its fight to thwart a new levy on Internet purchases, Amazon.com says it will ask California voters to overturn a state law requiring all companies with operations or affiliates here to collect sales tax. Amazon has refused to collect the 7.25% base sales tax since the law took effect July 1, saying it is unconstitutional. It will seek a referendum vote as early as February, which could ignite an expensive and noisy political battle pitting the deep-pocketed Seattle-based Internet seller against a much larger coalition of brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Best Buy Co. and Target Corp.