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Sunday
Nov082015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco mayoral election, commentary (Matier & Ross): "Teflon no more: The nasty stuff is sticking to Ed Lee" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "Teflon no more: The nasty stuff is sticking to Ed Lee" - From the Chronicle:

“You aren’t buying this BS about what a great election day it was for Mayor Ed Lee, are you?” The voice on the phone was that of former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, saying publicly what many insiders are saying privately — that Lee’s days as the Teflon mayor are over. “He got 57 percent of the vote against five nobodies,” Agnos said. “That means 43 percent of the voters voted for anybody but him.”

Critics point to the fact that Lee got fewer first-place votes than City Attorney Dennis Herrera, District Attorney George Gascón, Treasurer Jose Cisneros — or even first-time candidate Vicki Hennessy, who unseated Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi — as proof that Lee has lost his mojo. And while the mayor remains hugely popular in the Asian American community, his pull among whites, Latinos and renters under age 50 is dropping, pre-election tracking polls showed.

“That’s the nature of being a big-city mayor — everything drops at your door, good and bad,” said Sean Clegg, one of the chief strategists of Lee’s re-election campaign. Clegg said it’s not a phenomenon unique to San Francisco: Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel and New York’s Michael Bloomberg both faced tough re-election fights after their first terms.

Clegg also pointed to Lee’s $310 million affordable-housing bond, Proposition A — which passed by almost 3-1 — as a sign that Lee still has pull. “Come on,” Agnos retorted. “The housing bond was an all-American, motherhood issue. Everyone voted for it.”

 

Sunday
Nov082015

POLITICS (National, State/Colorado): 2016 presidential election, voter sentiment?: "Colorado: Voters are wary, anxious and divided over the race for the White House" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Colorado: Voters are wary, anxious and divided over the race for the White House" - From the LAT:

D.J. Painter goes to work each day in a little slice of bike-riding heaven, a vast emporium selling every piece of cycling equipment imaginable. Business at Wheat Ridge Cyclery, a 40-year-old family firm in the suburbs between Denver and the Rocky Mountains, has never been better — some models roll out the door for $14,000 — and Painter, a sales manager, is also doing well. Still, he’s nervous about the future and the country his 10-month-old daughter, Zoe, will inherit.

“Is there going to be money for us when we retire?” said Painter, 41, a political independent who twice voted for President Obama. “Is there going to be Social Security? Is this all going to be on my daughter's shoulders?”

One year before the country chooses its next president, voters are anxious, wary and not terribly confident about what lies ahead — sentiments found in ample supply across Colorado, one of just half a dozen or so states that will likely decide the 2016 election.

With voters almost perfectly segmented — roughly a third Republican, a third Democratic and a third unaffiliated — neither party starts with any real advantage in Colorado, reflecting a presidential contest more wide open than any since the 2000 election ended in a near-tie. Here, as nationally, the economy has improved considerably since Obama took office in January 2009 amid the worst downturn most Americans have ever faced. Unemployment, which peaked at 8.9%, has dropped to 4%, fueled by a construction boom and strong tourist trade. But the memories of not-long-past hardship haven’t faded, and looking forward doesn’t inspire a whole lot of hope, either .........................

Sunday
Nov082015

POLITICS/BUSINESS: O'Connor vs. Uber, class-action lawsuit, employment status of Uber drivers?: "Uber Drivers to Have Their Day in Court"; also, "Judge sets date for Uber driver classification suit" .... 

* Wall Street Journal:  "Uber Drivers to Have Their Day in Court" - "Trial could help decide the employment status of the car-hailing service drivers" - From the WSJ:

Drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. will get their day in court. A California federal judge has set a trial date of June 20, 2016 for a class-action lawsuit that could help decide the employment status of Uber drivers, according to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

The case, O’Connor v. Uber, concerns the ride service’s classification of drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. The plaintiffs say that, because Uber controls things like ride prices and performance standards, they should be considered employees and eligible for reimbursement of expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance.

Judge Edward Chen already certified the case as a class action, rejecting Uber’s argument that drivers should take their claims to individual arbitration proceedings. Uber has appealed the class certification to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

   ****

The case is being watched closely in Silicon Valley, Washington and beyond, as it may clarify the status of workers in the emerging on-demand economy ...................

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times:  "Judge sets date for Uber driver classification suit"

Sunday
Nov082015

POLITICS/BUSINESS: "World's Most Powerful People": "Forbes' 'Most Powerful' list ranks the rich, the powerful, the smart and the menacing" ....

* Los Angeles Times::  "Forbes' 'Most Powerful' list ranks the rich, the powerful, the smart and the menacing" - From the LAT:

Good thing the 1960s adage "Never trust anyone over 30" died out with bell-bottom jeans and black-light posters, otherwise there would be no one on this year's Forbes' list of the "World's Most Powerful People" to inspire confidence among the rest.

At 31, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (No. 19) is the youngest, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un (No. 46) is thought to be 32. The average age of the movers and shakers is skewed by the likes of 85-year-old investment kingpin Warren Buffett (No. 13) to come in just a few days short of 60. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates (No. 6), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (No. 12), Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi (No. 49) and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (No. 60) are all 60.

Topping the rankings of leaders, innovators, benefactors and menaces is Russian President Vladimir Putin, for the third year in a row. Putin, 63,  is "one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants -- and get away with it," the magazine said of the Kremlin leader, who retains stunning popularity in spite of involving his country in armed conflicts and provoking a painful economic crisis.

Just behind him is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who uses her power to promote unity on the continent and generosity toward the less fortunate, Forbes said in calling her "the most powerful woman on the planet for 10 years running."

Coming in third is President Obama, described by the magazine as leader of "the world's greatest economic, cultural, diplomatic, technological and military power" but constrained by the partisan politics that thwart more effective leadership in Washington.

Here are the magazine's 10 "Most Powerful People in the World" and why Forbes chose them: ...................

Saturday
Nov072015

POLITICS: Sacramento, "California to pay overtime to home-care workers next year"; California Public Utilities Commission/San Onofre, "Judge says CUC is 'stonewalling public information'"; Bay Area/ National Park Service, "To reduce Ocean Beach trash, Park Service removes trash bins"; Los Angeles, Autry National Center/Autry Museum, "With an eye toward Google, the Autry has changed its name" ....

*** Various items relating to politics and/or public policy....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California to pay overtime to home-care workers next year"

* San Diego Union-Tribune:  "Judge says CPUC is 'stonewalling' public information'"

* Los Angeles Times:  "With an eye toward Google, the Autry has changed its name"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "To reduce Ocean Beach trash, Park Service removes trash bins"