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POLITICS (Lots of post-election politics.....): Jerry Brown, labor unions; Harris-Cooley; Nancy Pelosi, her effectiveness/her future; San Francisco, choosing a new mayor; Democratic loyalty, black and Latino voters; analysis/commentary, fundraising from outside groups, etc...

****So many interesting items today, probably too many to even try to put together a thorough compilation.  For starters, though, here are a few, including an update on the attorney general race; discussion regarding Nancy Pelosi's future; San Francisco politics and the selection of a new mayor; continuing Democratic Party loyalty by black and Latino voters; the impact of funding from outside groups in Tuesday's elections; labor union expectations from Jerry Brown, etc...:

* Los Angeles Times:  "Attorney general race hangs in the balance as 2 million votes remain uncounted"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Outside groups made the difference for some Republicans"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Some Democrats favor a shift to more outside campaign spending"

* Contra Costa Times:  "Labor union expectations loom large for Gov.-elect Brown"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Blacks, Latinos stick with shrinking Democratic base"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Nancy Pelosi's core support strong despite loss"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Pelosi's effectiveness is not rewarded"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "With Newsom's win, supes scramble to replace him"

* San Francisco Chronicle: "Results show S.F. voters moderate on measures"



TRANSPORTATION: It's official, first California high-speed rail link will be built in the Central Valley....

* Following up on earlier reports here that the the first segment of the California high-speed rail system might be built in the San Joaquin Valley, latest on this, via the San Francisco Chronicle/AP, is that, yes, the Central Valley will in fact be where the first segment is built.... From the Chronicle:

   The first segment of a $43-billion bullet train line between San Francisco and Anaheim will be built in the middle of Central Valley farmlands, far away from either urban center.

   The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Thursday that federal regulators are requiring the first $4.3 billion in stimulus funding to be spent on segments linking Fresno to either Merced, 50 miles north, or Bakersfield, 100 miles south.

Read more:



POLITICS: Importance of the Latino vote as factor in Democratic victories/Republican losses in California.....

* The Los Angeles Times (Cathleen Decker) looks at various reasons and factors that led to the Republican losses in California at the same time the G.O.P. was winning big elsewhere in the country.  A key factor, Decker writes, was the "strength of the Latino vote" for Democrats; that they basically came out to vote in the governor's race (for Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman, by a 2-1 margin) and then, once at the polls, they also voted for other Democrats on the ticket .... Excerpts from the LAT:

   In one declarative night, California on Tuesday confirmed its status as a political world unto itself, zigging determinedly Democratic while most of the rest of the country zagged Republican. Voters not only restored the governor's office to Democratic hands, they may have given Democrats a sweep of statewide offices, though uncounted ballots could still shift one race. Driving much of the success — and distancing the state from the national GOP tide, according to exit polls — was a surge in Latino voters. They made up 22% of the California voter pool, a record tally that mortally wounded many Republicans.

   Latinos were more likely than other voters to say it was the governor's race that impelled them to vote, and they sided more than 2 to 1 with Democrat Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman, the Republican whose campaign had been embroiled in a controversy over illegal immigration. Once at the polls, they voted for other Democrats as well.


   Democratic successes in the midst of 2010's national Republican renaissance marked a sharp turnabout from how the state behaved during the last major Republican year, in 1994. That year, as Republicans took back Congress, they won in California as well, picking up five of seven statewide offices, including the governorship, and adding legislative seats. This time, Democrats picked up a legislative seat despite Republican gains nationally, and were waiting for uncounted ballots to see whether they lost a congressional seat or two.

   The difference between then and now rests on the changes in the California electorate. Those changes also explain the gulf that now exists between California and the nation. California in 1994 was more white and proportionately less Democratic than it is today, thus more similar to the country today. Nationally, non-whites made up only 22% of the Tuesday electorate; in California they made up 38%. Latinos nationally represented 8% of the national electorate, just shy of a third of their power in California. The California and national exit polls were conducted by Edison Research for a consortium of news organizations, including television news networks and the Associated Press.


EDUCATION/ECONOMY: Hispanics in Washington, D.C. region, "most affluent in the nation"

* It is not unique to read that, given the D.C. area's rich mix of professional jobs, residents in and around the nation's capital are among the best educated and wealthiest in the country.  Washington Post today, however, takes a more specialized look at this issue; i.e., that Hispanics in the D.C. region are the "most affluent in the nation." -- From the WP:

   The Washington area has been a magnet for educated Hispanics for decades. Now, new figures from the Census Bureau illustrate how exceptional they are. The region's 700,000 Hispanics have a median household income of nearly $61,000 - the highest in the country among Latinos. One in four Hispanic adults here has at least a four-year college degree, almost double the national rate for Latinos.

   The statistics reflect both the unique characteristics of the region and of the Hispanics who are drawn here. Many were part of an educated elite in their native countries when they immigrated here in the 1960s, '70s and '80s on the heels of political unrest and natural disasters. The nation's capital - with its embassies and its abundance of professional jobs in government, the law, international institutions and nonprofit organizations - was a natural fit. "What attracts other highly educated folks here attracts highly educated Latinos," said [Charles] Vela, who came to the United States from El Salvador as a child and has advanced degrees from California State University and the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico. "It's opportunities."

   To be sure, many Hispanics in the region do not share the opportunities. About 12 percent live below the poverty level. And the number of Hispanic adults who have less than a ninth-grade education is about the same as the number with college and advanced degrees.

   Demographers and community leaders say the Hispanic community here is more diverse than in other cities. According to census statistics, people from Central America or their descendants make up almost half the Hispanics in the region. The biggest share, about 230,000, comes from El Salvador. In addition, there are almost 100,000 who trace their heritage to Mexico, about 50,000 each from Puerto Rico and Guatemala, and more than 40,000 each from Peru and Bolivia.

   "There's a big difference between Latinos who reside in Maryland from the rest of the Latino population in the U.S.," said Jessy Mejia of the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. "You have a higher percentage of Latinos in Maryland who are citizens or legal residents, who are studying here, getting not just bachelor's but master's degrees."

***A lot of comments, observations, anecdotes from local Hispanics who have fulfilled their dreams and ambitions. Recommended reading for anyone who interested in demography, politics, education, etc....  


POLITICS: Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor's mansion, Cuomo family history and ties to the 40-room Victorian building....

* Yesterday, the Sacramento Bee reported that Jerry Brown had stated in a post-election press conference that, after taking office as governor, he will continue to live in his Oakland home and, for the time he spends in Sacramento, he will look for a place to sleep.  Following up on this, I couldn't help but find New York Times piece today about the governor's mansion in Albany and the strong Cuomo family ties to the mansion to be somewhat of an interesting read....  From the NYT:

   It is perhaps the most spectacular perk of the governor’s job: a 40-room Victorian mansion, with a full-time domestic staff, on six rolling acres above the Hudson River. But since Mario M. Cuomo left 16 years ago, the house has been oddly unloved, shunned by a procession of governors who had fancier addresses elsewhere or just wanted to escape the eerie desolation of Albany. That neglect is about to end.

   Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor-elect, is coming to Albany not just to govern, but also to live in a place still rich with family memories. Nobody, it seems, has treasured the house, at 138 Eagle Street, the way the Cuomo family members have. Moving into the mansion punctuated their ascent to political power and lifted them out of a middle-class world in Queens, where they had crammed into a humble row house in the neighborhood of Hollis.

***NYT piece has lots of personal tidbits as to the mansion, the Cuomos, the staff fondness for the Cuomo family, etc.  Also, comments and observations from current Gov. David Paterson as to his thoughts and experiences at the mansion....