Expanding the battleground

Oct 17, 2014

Will Democrats keep a supermajority in the Assembly?  The Los Angeles Times’ Melanie Mason looks at a late flurry of spending as both parties fight to expand the battleground. 


“The most contested races in the Assembly have long been established: Republicans are looking to oust vulnernable first-term Democrats Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton and Steve Fox of Palmdale. And both parties are spending heavily to claim an open Ventura County seat vacated by GOP Assemblyman Jeff Gorell.


“But recently, both parties have gone farther afield….”


It may overcast in Sacramento this morning, but the state’s water picture is still grim, according to a new report from the National Weather Service.  Matt Weiser reports in The Sacramento Bee.


“A winter outlook released Thursday by the National Weather Service suggests drought is likely to continue in many parts of California for a fourth straight year. Although that prediction is early and marked by some uncertainty, it’s enough to keep water officials on edge.


“’California is now extremely vulnerable to water shortages,’ said Kevin Werner, western regional climate services director at the National Weather Service. ‘The situation is unlikely to change even if we get an average winter.’


And, speaking of bad news, the Golden State still has the nation’s highest poverty rate.   From Dan Walters at the Bee:


“California continues to have – by far – the nation’s highest level of poverty under an alternative method devised by the Census Bureau that takes into account both broader measures of income and the cost of living.


“Nearly a quarter of the state’s 38 million residents (8.9 million) live in poverty, a new Census Bureau report says, a level virtually unchanged since the agency first began reporting on the method’s effects.”


In an interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Timothy Phelps, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole was clear: California must strengthen regulation of medical marijuana to avoid federal intervention.


“’If you don't want us prosecuting [marijuana users] in your state, then get your regulatory act together,’ he said. Cole added that California must do a better job of stopping marijuana growth on federal lands.


“Unlike most other states that have legalized marijuana in some form, California has no statewide regulatory regimen, leaving counties and cities to create a hodgepodge of rules and protections.”


As the 2014 election moves into the final stretch, a new study by Echelon Insights, a national Republican advertising and strategy firm, found some surprising numbers regarding cable TV ad buysReid Wilson at the Washington Post has the story.


“It’s little surprise that the overwhelming number of political advertisements on Fox News come from Republicans: GOP candidates accounted for 84 percent of Fox’s ads. A similar number, 85 percent, of ads on MSNBC come from Democrats.


“But the news networks are only the second-most partisan channels. Echelon found that 93 percent of political ads on the Golf Channel are paid for by Republican candidates and outside groups. And 94 percent of the political spots on the E! Network are sponsored by Democrats and their allies, making it the bluest network in America.”


And, from Xochitl Peña at The Desert Sun:  The town of Indian Wells in Riverside County, could soon be the most polite city in the state – by law. 


A proposed “Code of Conduct” policy that proposes penalties for Indian Wells residents accused of cursing at or disrespecting city employees has some residents – and The First Amendment Coalition – up in arms.


“Some residents of this mid-valley city also believe the proposed code, part of a larger Property Owner Identification Card Use and Enforcement Policy set to be reviewed by City Council Thursday, would undermine their rights of free speech by coercing more vocal citizens to remain silent for fear that they'll lose some of the benefits they enjoy as residents of Indian Wells….


"’I've never heard of a city or other government trying to employ a code of conduct on all its citizens outside of a village in Pakistan …. controlled by the Taliban,’ said Peter Scheer, executive director at The First Amendment Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in San Rafael."

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