California's most controversial propositions see new waves of support, according to some of the latest polling before election day.
KATY MURPHY with Mercury News: "Less than a week before Election Day, California voters appear to be bucking a tradition of casting no votes when faced with an overwhelmingly crowded and confusing ballot."
"A new Field-IGS Poll suggests voters are headed toward legalizing recreational marijuana, hiking taxes on cigarettes, beefing up the state’s already tough gun laws and freeing more nonviolent offenders by overhauling the state’s parole system."
“It’s not as if this long ballot is leading to this no, no, no, no, no syndrome,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of The Field Poll.
READ MORE related to Ballot: California voters divided on drug price ballot measure but support other health initiatives -- ANA B. IBARRA with California Healthline; Here's why California is on the verge of legalizing pot -- CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO with Sacramento Bee; Californians sharply divided on death penalty ahead of historic vote -- ALEXEI KOSEFF with Sacramento Bee; Conflicting measures on death penalty both favored in poll -- BOB EGELKO with The Chronicle
Fears of election fraud echo from across the Beltway after more than 80 election ballots were mysteriously delivered to a single unit apartment complex in San Pedro.
DONNA LITTLEJOHN with LA Daily News: "On the eve of a contentious national election that at times has focused on potential voter fraud and suppression, a San Pedro couple unexpectedly landed in the media spotlight this week."
"Authorities are investigating the story behind more than 80 unused ballots — all with different names but all addressed to the same single-unit apartment — that landed at their mailboxes."
"I call it spooky,” said Jerry Mosna, who discovered the bundled stacks on top of the apartment building’s mailbox center on Saturday. He went first to the Los Angeles Police Department, where officers directed him to the main San Pedro post office on Beacon Street. The ballots were returned to the sender, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office."
Speaking of polls, California's U.S. Senate race has some data of its own.
PHIL WILLON with LAT: "Democrat Loretta Sanchez’s wave of attacks against her rival and attempts to win over Republicans have failed to turn around her fading campaign for U.S. Senate, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll."
"Just 28% of likely California voters have a favorable impression of the Orange County congresswoman, a basement-level number she shares with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the survey found."
"Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, the solid front-runner in California’s historic Democrat-versus-Democrat Senate contest, had favorability marks of 41%, brighter but not great. President Obama’s approval here is 65% and Hillary Clinton’s is 56%."
READ MORE related to Polling: Close divide on death penalty -- MARK DICAMILLO with Capitol Weekly; LA County Latino voters energized, concerned about unemployment, immigration, Trump -- MIKE ROE with KPCC
And since we're on the subject of the U.S. Senate Race, Kamala Harris has added to her huge cash advantage in the campaign.
CHRIS NICHOLS with CPR: "New campaign finance reports show Kamala Harris has raised more than $14.5 million in her race for California’s U.S. Senate seat."
"That’s more three times the nearly $4.5 million raised by her competitor, Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez."
"The totals are through October 19. Harris' is up more than $400,000 from her $14.1 million tally at the end of September. Sanchez' total is up nearly $100,000 over the same period."
Absentee voting amongst Democrats has seen an increase compared to mail-in-voting statistics from 2012.
JOHN WILDERMUTH with The Chronicle: "Early-voting Democrats could be the key in some of the state’s most fiercely contested congressional races, new vote-by-mail statistics show."
"More than 3.7 million Californians already have voted in Tuesday’s election, with hundreds of thousands more mail ballots expected to arrive at county election offices over the next few days. And in the handful of toss-up congressional contests across the state, more and more of those ballots are coming from Democrats."
“All around the state, we’re seeing an underperformance by Republicans (in early voting) compared to 2012,” said Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., which provides information on voters and voting to both Republican and Democratic campaigns. “Vote-by-mail means higher turnout ... and it looks like Democrats are getting out more of (those voters) than in the past.”
READ MORE related to Election Day: What you can -- and can't -- do at polling places this Election Day -- BEAU YARBROUGH with Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Tom Steyer seems to have nothing but harsh words and criticism for Donald Trump -- despite investing in The Donald's casinos.
CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO with The Bee: "Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, who positioned Donald Trump as the leading antagonist in his multimillion-dollar effort to register voters and advance a progressive agenda nationally, was an investor in Trump Entertainment Resorts, federal records show."
"Steyer, a managing partner at the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management until 2012, reported a $558,000 investment in the gambling and hospitality company that operated the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., according to a review of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission records. Trump once referred to it as “the eighth wonder of the world."
"Steyer, one of the country’s most prolific Democratic donors and a potential candidate for California governor in 2018, left Farallon four years ago to focus on increasing alternative energy. As his profile has grown, his past investments have come under increased scrutiny, which would only multiply if he ran for office."
California's water crisis is practically shouting us down, face-first. So why do some Californians still refuse to conserve our most precious resource?
TARA LOHAN with KQED: "For year companies have targeted consumers with advertising that leverages social pressure – like saying seven out of 10 people prefer a certain brand of toothpaste or laundry detergent. More recently, that kind of thinking has been used not just to sell products, but also to change behavior."
"Behavioral economists assert that in the absence of price signals, policymakers can change people’s behaviors by harnessing their natural inclination to conform to social norms,” wrote Nola Hastings and Galib Rustamov in a 2015 report on customer water use messaging for the California Urban Water Conservation Council. “For example, customers make decisions based on social cues, self-image, local values and identities."
"Basically, most of us just want to fit in with our social groups. And if given a little direction on how to do so, we’ll respond."
READ MORE related to California Water Crisis: Eleven experts to watch on California water innovation -- ELINE GORDTS with Water Deeply; Is the drought really over? -- ALASTAIR BLAND with Oakland Magazine; Livestock production drinks up water in drought-stricken California -- ALASTAIR BLAND in Comstock's; Effects of sea-level rise on Pacific Coast tidal marshes along a latitudinal gradient (WEBINAR) -- DR. KAREN THORNE, USGS with California Landscape Conservation Cooperative; As Californians fight over fresh water, San Francisco Bay barely survives -- JIMMY TOBIAS with Pacific Standard
California has become the first state in the nation to produce a curriculum framework centered around the Next Generation Science Standards for primary and secondary schooling.
PAT MAIO with EdSource: "The State Board of Education on Thursday approved a new science framework that makes California the first state in the nation to produce a framework based on the Next Generation Science Standards for K-12 grades."
"This has been a long time in coming. It is really an exemplar for the nation,” said Ilene Straus, vice president of the board."
"The framework, which represents a major overhaul of how science is taught to the state’s 6.2 million K-12 students, is essentially a blueprint for creating a curriculum based on the new standards that can be implemented in the classroom. The standards, more commonly known as NGSS, emerged after educational leaders nationwide met in 2010 and pushed for rewriting a science curriculum that had not been changed since the late 1990s."
And for the person who had the Worst Week in California, #WorstWeekCA ...
Congressman Duncan hunter, R-Alpine, must repay $49,000 of his own money to his campaign account after it was discovered he was using the fund for personal expenses. Click here for the story.