Government & Politics

News about government and politics

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Benjamin Brayfield / KPCC

UPDATE 9:28 p.m.: Prop. 57 Expected To Pass

Voters have approved Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to overhaul California’s criminal justice sentencing system.

Proposition 57 allows for parole of nonviolent offenders who complete the full sentence for their primary offense. It also lets inmates earn credits for good behavior and education. And it requires judges, rather than prosecutors, to decide whether juveniles as young as 14 should be tried as adults.

Forty years ago, when Jerry Brown was first governor, he signed a law that dramatically changed the way California sentenced criminal offenders. Previously, under the indeterminate sentencing law, many inmates received inconclusive sentences instead of a fixed term. It was up to a parole board to decide when an inmate was ready to re-enter society.

Under the law signed by Brown in 1976, the state shifted to a determinate sentencing structure — and in the years following, lawmakers and voters piled on dozens more laws that added years to prisoners’ terms.

Election Day is finally here. Californians will elect a new senator and decide 17 state ballot measures -- including whether to legalize recreational marijuana, raise the tobacco tax and eliminate or streamline the death penalty.

UPDATE 4:20 P.M.: Californians Show Up To Polls For Many Reasons

Millions of Californians are casting votes this Election Day. What issues are driving them to the polls?

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The future of one of the most prominent public officials in Fresno could be on the line Tuesday, but his name won’t even be on the ballot. The results of a vote on a local school bond and the political leanings of two new Fresno Unified School Board Trustees could be a signal about how much local support there is for district superintendent Michael Hanson.

Voters in Fresno are casting ballots on a $225 million school bond called Measure X and on two new trustees to take a seat on the board.

Democrat Bryan Caforio, left, and incumbent GOP Congressman Steve Knight, right, are in a hotly contested race for the 25th Congressional District representing North Los Angeles County.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC and Steve Knight campaign

Democrat Bryan Caforio, left, and incumbent GOP Congressman Steve Knight, right, are in a hotly contested race for the 25th Congressional District representing North Los Angeles County. Maya Sugarman/KPCC and Steve Knight campaign

In the final days before Election Day, the congressional race to represent northern Los Angeles County and parts of Ventura County has turned into one of the most competitive in California. 

As Election Day draws closer, the race between incumbent Republican David Valadao and Democratic challenger Emilio Huerta in California's 21st Congressional District is heating up. FM89's Joe Moore reports both sides have turned recently to negative TV ads in an effort to gain an edge.

If you were watching the World Series in Fresno or Bakersfield, or most any other TV program you probably heard an ad that sounded a lot like this…

PRO VALADAO AD: “This is a story of corruption, of how Emilio Huerta got rich hurting the poor.”

Apple farmer and former Calaveras County Supervisor Steve Wilensky is pictured on a hillside burned in the 2015 Butte Fire, Monday, October 20, 2016.
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Outdoor cannabis cultivation has become more prevalent following the 2015 Butte Fire. This grow was pictured November 1, 2016.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

We're winding along the hills and curves of Calaveras high country past the town of Rail Road Flat to a lookout on Jesus Maria Road.

Apple farmer Steve Wilensky's at the wheel. He’s headed toward the burn scar of the Butte Fire. Just over a year ago, the blaze burned 70,000 acres in Calaveras County.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown wants voters to change the way California inmates serve their time behind bars. He argues the state’s current system does little to rehabilitate convicts before sending them back to the streets.

But many prosecutors are fighting back against Proposition 57 ahead of Tuesday's election.

Deborah Barron (third from left) hosts a proposition party at her home in San Francisco's Mission District.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

There are plenty of handouts to go with the snacks and drinks at Deborah Barron’s Proposition Party, at her home in San Francisco’s Mission District.

In addition to California’s 17 state ballot measures, San Francisco voters face an astounding 25 local measures.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Fresno County Sheriff is explaining in more detail the circumstances surrounding the apparently accidental fatal shooting of a deputy.

 

Sergeant Rod Lucas, a 20 year veteran of the department, was shot and killed by a fellow deputy at a satellite office near the airport yesterday.

 

Sheriff Margaret Mims says in a standard course of work the two deputies were discussing their weapons when Lucas was shot.

 

LOS ANGELES — When Mike Stabile first moved to Los Angeles in 2011, he was struck by a billboard he saw along the freeway. It showed a line of cocaine and a turned-over shot glass, with the caption: You know why. Free HIV test.

“I literally pulled over the car and was like, what’s going on?” Stabile remembers. “I was having a panic attack.”

Another ad showed two men in bed, looking nervous, with the question: “Trust Him?”

California Voters Will Decide Fate Of Plastic Bags

Oct 28, 2016
plastic bags - p
Day Donaldson / Flickr Creative Commons

Day Donaldson / Flickr Creative Commons

Plastic bag manufacturers have one last chance to keep their product in the nation’s largest market.  The industry has placed two measures on California’s November ballot. One is a referendum on a law that bans single-use plastic bags. The other would require retailers to send bag fee revenues to an environmental fund. 

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.  

A new TV ad by a Democratic campaign committee describes Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, as Donald Trump’s ‘Man in Washington DC.’

It says Denham was deeply involved in the GOP nominee’s development of Trump International Hotel in DC.

FILE PHOTO: Volunteers for both GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and voting rights groups plan to monitor the California polls on Nov. 8 following Trump's yet unsubstantiated claims of a "rigged" election.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

FILE PHOTO: Volunteers for both GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and voting rights groups plan to monitor the California polls on Nov. 8 following Trump's yet unsubstantiated claims of a "rigged" election. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's claims of a "rigged" election and voter fraud are having an effect in Southern California, with some of his supporters voicing concerns and planning to take action on Nov. 8.

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