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OPINION
March 7, 2014 | By Karthick Ramakrishnan
Is the debate on affirmative action versus race-blind policies mainly about principle, or mostly about preserving narrow group interests? We are beginning to find out in California. A bill passed by the state Senate and pending in the Assembly would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would overturn portions of Proposition 209 to exempt public college and university admissions from the ban on racial, ethnic and gender preferences. There are principled reasons to support as well as to oppose affirmative action in higher education.
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NATIONAL
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 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 federal 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 means women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The president also ordered contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation paid to employees by gender and race.
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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.
OPINION
April 6, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are typically reelected every four years with token opposition at most, and in former days they explained away this phenomenon by arguing that voters were so satisfied with their performance that there was a general consensus that things were going well. The lack of serious challengers, they asserted, was proof that democracy was working. That argument is so twisted as to need little serious discussion. Supervisors are consistently reelected in this county of more than 10 million people because it's nearly impossible to unseat them regardless of their performance.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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 3, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan - The last time Abdullah Abdullah ran for president of Afghanistan the election devolved into a bloody farce. Votes cast in some areas in 2009 exceeded the number of voters. One in 5 ballots nationwide was tossed out because of fraud. Thirty-one people died in insurgent attacks. Days before a runoff against President Hamid Karzai, Abdullah withdrew from the race, fearing more fraud in the incumbent's favor. Five years later, the Karzai era is ending, as is the dominant role of the United States in Afghan life.
NATIONAL
April 2, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - Muriel Bowser, a relatively little-known District of Columbia councilwoman, triumphed in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary over incumbent Vincent Gray, whose tenure has been tarnished by a corruption scandal. The win most likely means she will be the next mayor in the overwhelmingly Democratic city. Bowser emerged as the front-runner in a field of seven challengers after federal prosecutors tied Gray to an illegal "shadow campaign" that helped him win the mayor's race in 2010.
NATIONAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Regularly scheduled service on California's bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday. The faster trips were held out to voters in 2008 when they approved $9 billion in borrowing to help pay for the project. Since then, a series of political compromises and planning changes designed to keep the $68-billion line moving ahead have created slower track zones in urban areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Jean Merl
Heading off a lawsuit over compliance with a federal voting rights law, California officials have agreed to help millions of state residents register to vote. Under a deal announced Monday by several voting-rights groups, the state will send voter registration cards to nearly 3.8 million Californians who have applied for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The move will ensure that many residents can complete or update their registration in time for the June 3 primary election, representatives of the groups said, and bring the state into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
WORLD
March 16, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
PEREVALNE, Ukraine - Crimean voters went to the polls Sunday to decide whether to end their decades-long ties to Ukraine in a referendum rejected as illegal by the nation's leaders in Kiev and most Western powers. Balloting was being carried out under the watchful eyes of Russian forces and pro-Russia militia who largely seized control of the peninsula late last month. “The referendum will pass the way the Crimean people choose and it will be inexorable and categorical,” Sergei Aksenov, the region's new pro-Russia premier, wrote Sunday in his Twitter account before the polls opened.
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.
NEWS
November 15, 2012 | By Ted Rall
The Republican Party in California may have effectively been doomed to electoral irrelevance. ALSO: CA to GOP: Adios Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Wanted: Smarter American voters Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall  
WORLD
March 16, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine - Partial election results released late Sunday showed Crimean voters overwhelmingly supporting a referendum measure that would see their region break away from Ukraine and join Russia. With half the ballots counted, Mikhail Malyshev, head of the Crimea Election Commission, said in televised remarks that more than 95% of voters approved the option of annexation with Russia over a second option offered, which called for seeking more autonomy within Ukraine. The referendum was widely denounced by the United States, much of Europe and Ukraine's acting government, which came to power last month after protests drove pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich from power, as an illegal seizure of Ukraine's territory.
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