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OPINION
February 19, 2012 | By Drew Westen
In poll after poll, Americans say they don't like negative campaigning. Yet in the final week of the Florida primary, more than 90% of the ads broadcast were attack ads. That's not likely to change in the run-up to Super Tuesday. So why do candidates rely so heavily on a kind of advertising voters say they abhor? Because it works. To understand why, you have to consider what we know about how emotions work - and the different ways our conscious and unconscious minds and brains process "negativity" during elections.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2014 | By a Times staff writer
The industrial city of Vernon in southeast Los Angeles County has long been known for its small number of residents and voters - just 42 turned out for a municipal election last year, for example. So on Friday, when city leaders and state and national elected officials announced the groundbreaking of a new apartment complex in the city, it was hailed as a good governance reform that will bring more voters to the city. The 45-unit Vernon Village Park is hailed as an environmentally conscious, energy-efficient facility that, as city officials put it, "will make the concept of a live/work community a reality in Vernon.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2012
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday as voters choose the nation's president, members of Congress and the state Legislature and decide a slew of statewide and local ballot measures. Voters who encounter difficulties can contact their county's elections offices for help: Los Angeles: lavote.net or 1-800-815-2666 Orange: ocvote.net or 714-567-7600 Riverside: voteinfo.net or 951-486-7200 San Bernardino: sbcountyelections.com or 1-800-881-VOTE or 909-387-8300 Ventura: venturavote.org or 805-654-2700.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
The industrial city of Vernon in southeast Los Angeles County has long been known for its small number of residents and voters--just 42 turned out for a municipal election last year, for example. So on Friday, when city leaders and state and national elected officials announced the groundbreaking of a new apartment complex in the city, it was hailed as a "good governance reform" that will bring more voters to the city. The 45-unit Vernon Village Park is hailed as an environmentally conscious, energy-efficient facility that, as city officials put it, "will make the concept of a live/work community a reality in Vernon.
OPINION
November 13, 2012
Re “ The people and the props ,” Editorial, Nov. 11 If the lack of appeal to intellect and reason in political ads that proliferated before the election is any indication, The Times' ideal of the “citizen voter” rarely appears in our electorate. It's tempting to ponder the use of a qualifying I.Q. test, however legally dubious, to screen out unworthy voters. Perhaps election boards could pass constitutional muster by disqualifying any voter who spends less time reading high-quality periodicals and books than he or she does riveted to such cultural gems as “American Idol” and reality TV shows.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2010 | By Cathleen Decker
It is not surprising but it is confirmed: Money and frustration are driving California's elections this year. A Field Poll released last week demonstrated the dramatic edge that Republican Meg Whitman has given her campaign for governor by spending millions on a prodigious number of television ads: She was pummeling her Republican primary opponent, Steve Poizner, and was newly in a statistical tie with presumptive Democratic nominee Jerry Brown....
OPINION
January 26, 2012 | By Philip Freeman
A political system in gridlock, conservatives and progressives at each others' throats, military threats looming in the Middle East: Welcome to the last days of the Roman Republic. In 64 BC, Marcus Cicero, an idealistic outsider and the greatest orator ancient Rome produced, was running for consul - the highest office in the land - in a desperate bid to restore sanity to a corrupt and broken political system. It was a bitter contest to lead the most powerful government on earth, with accusations of incompetence, inconsistency and sexual misdeeds filling the air. Marcus wanted more than anything to save the republic from ruin, but he was hampered by his lowly birth and political naivete.
OPINION
November 7, 2012
The cartoon on the Nov. 6 Op-Ed page asks, "Which is the most powerful place in America?," and selects the voting booth from among four choices, including Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the White House. The cartoon reflects a quaint, naive view of contemporary American politics. A truer view is reflected in the diagram elsewhere in the same paper that shows the flow of money into the campaigns for California's ballot initiatives. The "most powerful places" are now corporate boardrooms or the offices of the Koch brothers, who pour tens of millions of dollars into races to get results that increase their profits.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Architecture Critic
So much for the Astrodome's new lease on life. Voters rejected a countywide ballot measure Tuesday that would have raised more than $200 million to restore the domed stadium in Houston and turn it into a multipurpose event center. Prop. 2 failed by a vote of 53% to 47%. A major challenge for preservationists hoping to save the stadium was that there is no obvious long-term tenant for the building, even in renovated form. The Astros now play baseball in a downtown stadium called Minute Maid Park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | By Tony Perry
In the northern San Diego County suburb of Solana Beach, voters adopted a measure to loosen rules for holding parties at a popular community center atop a seaside bluff. With all nine precincts counted, Proposition B was adopted by a margin of 52% to 48%, in unofficial results tallied by the county registrar of voters. The measure loosens rules for parties at the Fletcher Cove Community Center. Current city policy limits parties to 50 people, greatly restricts live music -- no drums, horns, DJs or amplification -- and limits drinks to two per person -- wine and beer only.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2014 | By David Zahniser
A grass-roots group that has been railing against Los Angeles' parking ticket policies has agreed to team up with Mayor Eric Garcetti to look at changes to the enforcement system. Steven Vincent, founder of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, said Garcetti invited members of his organization to participate in an official city working group. The panel, Vincent said, will look at an array of possible changes, such as reducing certain fines, expanding parking hours in key locations, making no-parking signs less confusing and halting the practice of using ticket revenue as a tool to balance the city's budget.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Leland Yee, who was indicted recently for accepting payments for favors, promises in an official ballot guide arriving at voters' homes this week to “expose special interests, and prevent corruption.” Yee wrote the candidate statement for the voter guide before his March 26 arrest by federal authorities who have also accused him of conspiracy to traffic in firearms. The San Francisco Democrat paid to include the statement in voter guides as part of a candidacy for secretary of state that he has since abandoned.
OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
"Supreme Court rules against affirmative action. " That is likely to be a common shorthand description of Tuesday's decision upholding the constitutionality of Michigan's ban on the use of racial preferences in admission to state universities. But it's misleading. The 6-2 decision leaves undisturbed previous rulings in which the justices said that state universities may take race into account in admissions policies without violating the U.S. Constitution. But the court now has made it clear that although such preferences are permissible, voters may opt to prohibit them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | Jean Merl
On the same day a new poll showed Americans still don't think much of Congress, several California candidates tried to show their solidarity with people on taxes. Some, including Republican congressional candidates Doug Ose, Tony Strickland and Paul Chabot, took Tuesday's state and federal income tax filing deadline to criticize government spending. "Tax Day is a stark reminder of just how much the government is over-taxing our country," Strickland said in a statement released by his campaign, while Ose and Chabot signed the "Tax Protection Pledge" to oppose all tax increases.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2014 | Catherine Saillant, Abby Sewell
Bobby Shriver, the first Los Angeles County supervisorial contender in 18 years to opt out of voluntary campaign spending limits, is calling for a major overhaul of county election laws, including lifting fundraising restrictions on candidates who use personal wealth to help pay for their campaigns. Last month, the Santa Monica lawyer and nonprofit director contributed $300,000 of his own money to his effort to succeed longtime west county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Shriver, a member of the Kennedy political family, criticized a $1.4-million voluntary spending limit in the June 3 primary as inadequate to get his message out to 2 million constituents.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Amy Reiter
In an outcome that was not the least bit surprising - except, perhaps, to the "American Idol" judges who unconditionally love her - Malaya Watson was sent home by the voters this week. And after using their save on Sam Woolf, there was nothing those judges could do to prevent or delay the departure of the 16-year-old singer (and tuba player) from Southfield, Mich., whom Keith Urban had once said made glasses and braces "look so cool. " Having made appearances in the bottom three twice before, Watson turned in a shrill and shouty rendition of Chaka Kahn's "Through the Fire" on this week's performance show.
OPINION
November 5, 2013
Re "Policing L.A.'s sheriff," Opinion, Nov. 1 Law professor Laurie L. Levenson calls for a civilian oversight board in addition to the Board of Supervisors and an inspector general to serve as a check on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. I am surprised she failed to mention that the sheriff is an elected official and the chief uniformed law enforcement officer in the county. He serves at the pleasure of the voters and no one else. Unlike Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, the sheriff is not hired, fired or evaluated by a mayor, city council or police commission.
WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Tanvi Sharma and Shashank Bengali
NEW DELHI - Balloting began Monday in the world's largest election, as Indian voters frustrated by an economic slowdown and political mismanagement were expected to drum the ruling Indian National Congress out of power. Six weeks of staggered voting began with residents in a handful of remote northeastern constituencies going to the polls. It was the first of nine days of balloting with 814-million registered voters spread across India's 935,000 polling stations. Preelection polls predicted a resounding win for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, whose prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, has captured the country's attention with a pro-business, anti-incumbency message.
NEWS
April 8, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama used his executive power and a hot-button issue to try to stoke support from a key election-year constituency on Tuesday, as he issued two directives aimed at ensuring federal contractors pay women as much as men for equal work. Surrounding himself with female supporters at the White House, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about how much money they make. Advocates say secrecy about salaries is a major contributor to the gap in average pay between male and female workers in the United States, which the White House says leaves women making 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The president also ordered contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation they provide their employees by sex and race.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Voters in Long Beach went to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for a new mayor, city attorney and most of the City Council, setting the stage for a potential shake-up  in city politics. The mayor's race has attracted much of the attention and much of the campaign money with a field of candidates that includes both political heavyweights and city insiders. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will meet in a June 3 runoff. After outgoing Mayor Bob Foster announced last year that he would not seek a third term, the race was thrown wide open, attracting contenders such as Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, Council members Robert Garcia and Gerrie Schipske, former NFL player and real estate investor Damon Dunn and Long Beach City College Trustee Doug Otto.
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