Jerry Brown, despite having a virtually uncontested reelection bid, has been raking in millions to support his Props. 1 and 2.
Seema Mehta reports for The LA Times: “He has raised more than $6.2 million in less than three weeks in favor of the measures, Propositions 1 and 2, the centerpieces of his otherwise sleepy reelection bid.”
“Though the two measures are not formally connected, Brown has made clear that they are his top priorities. He is expected to use the proposals as his main vehicle for seeking an unprecedented fourth term, campaigning not as an incumbent asking voters to let him stay, but as a sitting governor focused on the state's needs.”
Californians approved strict three-strikes guidelines two decades ago and will be asked Nov. 4 whether those rules should be dumped.
Erik Eckholm reports for The New York Times: “Now California voters appear poised to scale back the heavy reliance on incarceration they once embraced, with a measure that would transform several lower-level, nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors punishable by brief jail stays, if that, rather than time in a state penitentiary. The referendum on Nov. 4 is part of a national reappraisal of mass incarceration.”
“To its advocates — not only liberals and moderates, but also an evangelical conservative businessman who has donated more than $1 million to the campaign, calling it “a moral and ethical issue” — the measure injects a dose of common sense into a justice system gone off the tracks.”
The Vergara v. California case over teacher tenure has turned the State Schools Chief race into a contentious and close election.
Theresa Harrington reports for The Contra Costa Times: “Torlakson, a 65-year-old former high-school teacher and coach in Contra Costa County who served in the state Legislature before he was elected to the state's top education post four years ago, has the formidable backing of the state teachers union. But his stand on teacher tenure -- he supports the current rules -- has left him vulnerable to criticism from educational reformers and parents who want a better, faster method of weeding out bad teachers.”
“Tuck, 41, a former charter schools chief who more recently ran a nonprofit focused on improving 16 low-performing schools in the Los Angeles school district, is one of those reformers who argues that current laws protect ineffective tenured teachers while giving inspired newcomers the boot, shortchanging kids.”
“Both refer to a recent court decision to champion their differing viewpoints on the subject.”
The landscape of American schooling has seen an implosion of home-schooled children.
Carrie Marovich reports for Cabinet Report: “Today more than 1.7 million children in the U.S. are being homeschooled – a number that has almost doubled since 1999, according to a 2011 survey from the U.S. Department of Education.”
“Leading the surge is the state of North Carolina, where the number of children being taught at home has jumped more than 25 percent in the last two years, growing to nearly 100,000 students – a figure that outnumbers those attending private schools.”
“Although this upswing coincides with the state’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards – which remain controversial among the electorate’s mostly conservative majority – it is unclear what is driving families to homeschool.”
In CD17, candidates are prepping for their first (and possibly only) debate, in which incumbent Rep. Mike Honda will face questions regarding a recent controversy for his campaign.
Josh Richman reports for Bay Area News Group: “But Honda almost certainly must address allegations, based on leaked emails, that his office consulted his campaign about inviting potential donors to an official State Department event in February 2013. And recent media attention to the incident might mean a bigger audience for his answer.”
“The candidates are vying to represent the heart of Silicon Valley and the first Asian-American majority district outside Hawaii. The race has drawn national attention ever since Khanna used his record-breaking campaign war chest -- much of which was raised in 2011, when most thought he would be running in then-Rep. Pete Stark's East Bay district -- to hire key staffers from President Barack Obama's campaigns.”
Careful what you say on Twitter, especially when your location is on.
David Harding reports for NY Daily News: “A senior Taliban official has dismissed as an "enemy plot" a tweet showing that he is in Pakistan.”
“Zabihullah Mujahid says he is in Afghanistan despite his Twitter updates on Friday claiming to show him in "Sindh, Pakistan," reports the BBC.”
“Pakistan has long been accused of having links with the Taliban, a claim which it denies.”
“Mujahid took to Twitter to claim he was not in Pakistan”