Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Felton Elementary School Principal Norma Martinez stands outside some of her school's portable classrooms. She hopes Prop 51 will help fund projects like permanent classrooms.
Mary Plummer/KPCC

Felton Elementary School Principal Norma Martinez stands outside some of her school's portable classrooms. She hopes Prop 51 will help fund projects like permanent classrooms. Mary Plummer/KPCC

California voters have a decision to make on the general election ballot: approve $9 billion in bonds for school and community college construction projects and modernization, or reject it to avoid adding to the state debt.

Karen Goh for mayor

For the first time in over a decade, Bakersfield will soon have a new mayor. Kyle Carter and Karen Goh both are vying for the spot to lead Kern County's largest city. While it's largely a ceremonial job, as the office of mayor has little official power, Goh says she wants to use the position to improve Bakersfield's image. Goh joined us this week on Valley Edition to talk about her agenda, which includes boosting local business and creating a safer community.

Part I: Huron

Loud music and the smell of roasted corn on the cob fill the air at the Friday night street festival in the small Fresno County town of Huron. Kids play on a bounce house slide, while adults sell everything from used bikes and shoes to melons and tomatoes.

Jazmin Vargas, 22, is selling an idea: that Huron residents should bank on a newly regulated industry in California — medical marijuana. She asks a young man to sign a petition in support of a city ordinance.

Cannabis 101916P
Don Goofy / Flickr

Don Goofy / Flickr

There are so many questions about California’s November ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana that it’s easy to overlook the most basic question of all: What would the initiative actually do?

Well, we’re here to help.

So get your sample or mail-in ballots out and follow along as we go through that little Proposition 64 summary together. It’s right next to where you vote “yes” or “no.”

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.

Asked about California’s effort to legalize recreational marijuana, Republican congressional candidate Scott Jones said on Tuesday the experiences in Colorado are a stark warning of what not to do.

Depending on whom you ask, it’s a question of either common sense or constitutional rights: Should ammunition be treated like guns are, with background checks for buyers and limits on who can sell?

It’s one of several questions facing voters within Proposition 63, a gun control measure sponsored by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. The initiative would also require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement; set up a process for convicted felons to give up their guns; and fully ban magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of bullets.

Rep. Ami Bera (left) and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones (right) met for their only debate Oct. 18, 2016. It was the only debate in the race for the contentious 7th Congressional District.

Democratic Congressman Ami Bera and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones found room for agreement on some of the issues during their first and only debate for the 7th Congressional District, but also spent time attacking each other's character and who they align themselves with in the presidential race.

Fresno State

With 17 ballot measures going before voters in November's general election, on issues ranging from plastic bags to the death penalty, there's a lot of information for the average voter to digest before election day. On Valley Edition this week, we invited Fresno State political science professor Dr. Thomas Holyoke to help us wade through the slate of measures and provide some extra insight into who is behind them, and what they claim they would do.

Henry R. Perea - Facebook

Henry Perea has spent the past 20 years in public service, first as a member of the Fresno City Council, and most recently as a member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Now he wants to be Fresno's next mayor. With election day just weeks away, he recently visited Valley Public Radio for a hard-hitting conversation about the issues, from homelessness to the influence developers have at city hall. 

LAS VEGAS — Marijuana cultivation is a family affair for Los Angeles native David Holmes. A couple of his uncles grew cannabis, as did his brother. But while they were off planting and harvesting, Holmes was busy studying mathematics in college.

“And at that point I wasn’t really a connoisseur,” says Holmes.

Around 15 years ago, he says, a friend in graduate school turned him on to a particularly potent strain of weed.