Index
Saturday
May282016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, nonstop polling?: Analysis/commentary (Dan Balz), "A sharp exchange over election-year polling offers thoughts for the rest of us" ....  

* Washington Post (Dan Balz):  "A sharp exchange over election-year polling offers thoughts for the rest of us" - From the WP:

In a political season marked by nonstop polling, a lively exchange took place recently about the state of public opinion research and what to believe about all of the numbers describing the state of the race. The context for the discussion was set by a series of national and state surveys showing Donald Trump gaining on or overtaking Hillary Clinton in the general-election campaign. It broadened into an examination how polls are produced and used in a competitive media environment.

Earlier this spring, Clinton enjoyed a substantial lead over Trump. Now, the RealClearPolitics poll average in the presidential race shows Clinton with a lead of just one point: 43.8 to 42.8 percent. Some recent polls showed Trump ahead, including a Washington Post-ABC News poll of registered voters released a week ago.

The shift raised questions: Is this merely a bounce for Trump because he has wrapped up the Republican nomination while Clinton is still fighting a campaign against Bernie Sanders? In that case, will Clinton reverse Trump’s gains once she has claimed the Democratic nomination? Do the current polls mean that the general election will be close and hard-fought? Most provocatively, is there something wrong with some of these polls?

The first salvo in the exchange came from ........................

Saturday
May282016

POLITICS (Orange County): Education, "UCI tries to cope with tensions between Jewish groups, others"; Irvine City Council, "The Drama Continues Over Irvine Councilwoman's Consulting Work"; O.C. Assembly elections, fundraising, "Young Kim passes $1 million mark" .... 

***Various items relating to politics and/or public policy in and around Orange County....

* Orange County Register:  "Young Kim passes $1 million mark"

* Voice of OC:  "The Drama Continues Over Irvine Councilwoman's Consulting Work"

* Los Angeles Times (Daily Pilot):  "UCI tries to cope with tensions between Jewish groups, others"

Saturday
May282016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: Lead contamination, Exide Technologies, environmental justice, regulatory failure?: "For public officials, accountability for Exide lead contamination has been scant" .... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "For public officials, accountability for Exide lead contamination has been scant" - From the LAT:

California officials have talked tough about the contamination of up to 10,000 homes with lead from a battery recycling plant, calling it a regulatory failure, an environmental injustice and a public health disaster. Yet accountability for years of pollution by Exide Technologies has been scant.

The company struck a deal with federal prosecutors last year allowing it to close down and avoid criminal charges for years of admitted felonies. But to the dismay of community groups in southeast Los Angeles County, almost nothing has been done to hold government employees accountable for allowing the plant to operate illegally for decades.

“People want to know how can such calamity go on for so many years without any agency stopping it,” said Msgr. John Moretta of Resurrection Catholic Church in Boyle Heights. “From day one we've been concerned about why this took place and we haven't gotten a good answer.”

The lack of scrutiny has frustrated people in the working-class Latino communities near Exide who see an aggressive pursuit of justice for environmental disasters elsewhere ..........................

Saturday
May282016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles): Homelessness, local tax proposals?: Editorial, "Time now to narrow, refine and justify homeless tax proposals"; also, commentary (Dan Walters), "Extending California income tax to local governments a minefield" ....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Time now to narrow, refine and justify homeless tax proposals" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles County supervisors are pressing Sacramento for authority to place a “millionaire’s tax” on the Nov. 8 ballot to pay for an ambitious program to combat homelessness. State Senate leader Kevin de León wants to help house the homeless by using part of an entirely different, but already existing, millionaire’s tax that is collected for mental illness programs. Some L.A. City Council members, meanwhile, want to sell housing-for-the-homeless bonds, which would be repaid by property taxes, but in case that doesn't work out they are also asking for ballot language for a sales tax, a marijuana tax, a billboard tax and a tax on transferring real estate – all for dealing with homelessness.

One or more of those homelessness tax measures may end up on the ballot in November, a ballot that is likely to also include an extension of temporary state sales and income tax increases, a transportation sales tax, a parks parcel tax, a school construction bond, a tobacco tax – and there may be more.

As the time approaches to secure a spot on the fall ballot, officials trying to deal with homelessness are scrambling for revenue, sometimes tripping over one another’s feet, sometimes tripping over even their own. Two Board of Supervisors hearings got heated as members debated options, timing and the degree to which someone else – Sacramento? Washington? – ought to be paying. At the county Hall of Administration, at City Hall and at the state Capitol, the lobbying and jockeying can appear unseemly – and frankly more than a little frightening when all those potential tax increases are added up.

How worried should we be? Let’s hold that question in abeyance, at least for the present .....................

***ALSO, Related:

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Extending California income tax to local governments a minefield"

Saturday
May282016

POLITICS (National/State/Local): Commentary (Willie Brown), "Clinton's edge on Sanders: reliable voters"; Sacramento, "Senate Republican priority bills shelved on deadline day"; L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 4th District election, "Hahn to return funds from businessman fined in money-laundering case"; Sacramento, "State official asked utility if it wanted help to quash order over gas leak"  

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

* San Francisco Chronicle (Willie Brown):  "Cliinton's edge on Sanders: reliable voters"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Hahn to return funds from businessman fined in money-laundering case"

* Orange County Register:  "State official asked utility if it wanted help to quash order over gas leak"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Senate Republican priority bills shelved on deadline day"