YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSenate


March 31, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli and David Lauter
WASHINGTON - Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections. The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. The Democratic National Committee has begun to make the sophisticated data analysis tools developed to target voters in the 2012 presidential campaign available to all the party's candidates.
March 30, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - When the state Senate took up the issue of affirmative action in late January, it was a relatively tepid affair. After 20 minutes of polite debate, senators passed a measure that, if approved by voters, would overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public higher education. But within weeks, the debate turned fractious. Backlash arose among some Asian Americans who feared their children could lose access to the state's universities if more places were granted to students from other minority groups.
March 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Maybe it was too good to be true. A rare bipartisan healthcare reform proposal backed by leaders of three major House and Senate committees is foundering because Republicans and Democrats can't agree on how to pay for it. The irony is that the measure, which would change the way Medicare reimburses doctors, would slow the growth of healthcare spending and taxpayers' costs. Lawmakers should stop the partisan bickering and start working in good faith to find a way to enact the long-overdue and much-needed reform.
March 26, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - State Sen. Leland Yee, a child psychologist and veteran lawmaker, was a visible member of the Capitol's Democratic majority who most recently has done much of his work out of the spotlight. He focused on issues involving mental health, open government and the protection of minors. He was involved in efforts to regulate guns, particularly after the 2012 mass murder of children at a Connecticut elementary school, a tragedy that Yee said touched him. "As a father," he said then, "I have wept for the parents and families who lost their precious children.
March 24, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- Legislation to approve $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine and impose sanctions against Russia cleared a key Senate hurdle Monday, but Congress remained locked in a partisan fight over the details of the package. By a vote of 78-17, the measure advanced after overcoming the threat of a GOP filibuster and objections from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other tea party-aligned conservatives. But the Senate package still faces opposition in the House, where Republicans -- with backing from key Democrats -- are crafting their own version.
March 21, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A judge on Friday ruled that Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch could be allowed on the ballot for the open 26th state Senate District seat in the June primary but county officials later determined he did not turn in enough valid signatures on nominating petitions to qualify. Mirisch would have been the only Republican candidate among seven Democrats and one candidate with no party preference who have filed papers to run for the seat. The office opened up when Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)
March 19, 2014 | By Doyle McManus
In a column last weekend, I warned that the Democrats' chances of keeping control of the Senate this year look increasingly bleak. That wasn't a value judgment on my part, merely an assessment of the political landscape. Some readers were pleased, others weren't. On Wednesday, the Cook Political Report , a widely respected firm that forecasts congressional elections for a living, issued a new outlook for the Senate - and for Democrats, the verdict was even bleaker than before.
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Republican state Senators on Monday blocked a bill that would require more disclosure of those who contribute money through nonprofit groups to affect California elections, the first legislative setback for Democrats since they lost their supermajority two weeks ago. With all Republicans either voting against the bill or withholding a vote, the tally was 26 to 4, one vote short of the two-thirds majority to approve SB 27 as an urgency...
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - The Democrats' loss of a legislative supermajority stifled their push to change California's campaign finance and affirmative action laws Monday, potentially foreshadowing a return to partisan battles over their other priorities, such as property taxes, water policy and a rainy-day fund. Monday's losses come less than two years after Democrats won a historic two-thirds control over both the state Senate and Assembly, eliminating the need for a single Republican vote on any bill.
March 16, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - An attempt by California lawmakers to curb anonymous political donations, sometimes hidden behind secretive out-of-state groups, will test Democrats' ability to have their way without a supermajority. Dark money, as such contributions are known, roiled California's 2012 election when a web of organizations tied to conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch poured $15 million into the state to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike and support an ultimately unsuccessful move to curtail unions' political power.
Los Angeles Times Articles