POLITICS (National): Report/analysis, midterm elections, control of U.S. Senate: "Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate" ....

* New York Times:  "Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate" - From the NYT:

The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls.

“African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.” Mr. Belcher’s assessment points to an urgent imperative for Democrats: To keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, as many are predicting, they need black voters in at least four key states. Yet the one politician guaranteed to generate enthusiasm among African Americans is the same man many Democratic candidates want to avoid: Mr. Obama.

Now, Democrats are deploying other prominent black elected officials and other surrogates, buttressed by sophisticated voter targeting efforts, to stoke black turnout. At the White House, the president is waging an under-the-radar campaign, recording video advertisements, radio interviews and telephone calls specifically targeting his loyal African-American base.


African-Americans could help swing elections in.............................


POLITICS (National): Pew Research Center, new study, political polarization, upcoming midterm elections: "In American elections, who you hate is almost as important as who you like" .... 

* Washington Post (The Fix):  "In American elections, who you hate is almost as important as who you like" - From the WP:

The Pew Research Center has a new study on political polarization in the 2014 midterms, and it mostly confirms what we already know: The more ideologically partisan you are — especially if you're conservative — the more likely you are to vote.

But it goes a little further than that. In fact, the more you hate the party you aren't part of, the more likely you are to vote. And not only that, there are plenty of people whose entire voting strategy is driven by distaste for the other side. Thirty-six percent of likely voters see their vote in terms of being against the other party. They aren't voting for their party; they just can't stand the idea of the other party winning!

This impulse to cast a ballot against the opposition more so than for your team is especially strong among the most conservative Americans, or what Pew calls "consistent conservatives." This also happens to be the demographic most driven to vote this year........................


POLITICS (State, Local/Los Angeles): Assembly District 64 election, commentary (Dan Morain): "A cynical campaign to knock off an upstart in South Central Los Angeles" ....  

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Morain):  "A cynical campaign to knock off an upstart in South Central Los Angeles" - From the Bee:

The Alliance for California’s Tomorrow is made up of fine and upstanding people. They quote from the Bible and Gandhi, and worry deeply about deadbeat dads.

The Alliance for California’s Tomorrow includes doctors, nurses and firefighters, and oil companies, insurance conglomerates, payday lenders, casino owners and the world’s largest cigarette company, Philip Morris U.S.A.

On behalf of California’s tomorrow, the Alliance seeks to destroy the Assembly candidacy of a 26-year-old Democrat named Prophet Walker..............................


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Orange County): Orange County Great Park, Irvine City Council, "dueling allegations of misconduct": "Great Park audit brings back-and-forth allegations of misconduct" ....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (audit, Orange County Great Park, Irvine City Council, political drama, flare-up)....

* Daily Pilot:  "Great Park audit brings back-and-forth allegations of misconduct" - From the DP:

A week after a developer broke ground on a scaled-back version of Irvine's long-planned Orange County Great Park, a bitter fight over the site renewed this week as city-hired auditors and Councilman Larry Agran leveled dueling allegations of misconduct.

The latest flare-up came as attorneys from the firm Aleshire and Wynder gave the Irvine City Council a status update Tuesday night on an ongoing forensic audit looking into how more than $200 million was spent in planning the park while just a small piece of it was constructed...........................


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Burbank): Talaria project, Burbank Media District: "Burbank council approves developer's proposal despite mayor's objections"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Burbank council approves developer's proposal despite mayor's objections" - From the LAT:

Calling the Talaria at Burbank mixed-use project proposed in the city's Media District "too dense" and "not appropriate," Burbank Mayor David Gordon chastised his City Council colleagues this week for supporting the development. Gordon was the lone dissenter in a series of 4-1 votes on four measures that cleared the way for the proposed 241-unit luxury apartment complex on top of a 43,000-square-foot Whole Foods. "All of you have dropped the ball," Gordon said during a council discussion that capped a lengthy public hearing.

The hearing had been continued from an Oct. 7 meeting, when a capacity crowd filled council chambers and nearly 50 residents voiced support or opposition to the project. Many cited potential traffic and environmental impacts..........................