Posts Tagged: 2014
Former GOP presidential contender Pat Buchanan. (Photo: KPCC)
“Now in half the homes in California, people speak a language other than English in their own homes.” We checked the second part of Buchanan’s statement, about the percentage of Californians who speak a foreign language at home. It’s a claim that was close to correct on the numbers, but wrongly implies that half the state does not speak English.
A California ballot box. (Photo illustration, Hafakot, via Shutterstock)
California’s fledgling top-two voting system, which creates an open primary for all statewide candidates, could prove costly to Democrats in liberal districts while rewarding Republicans who lose. In heavily liberal areas in Northern California, voters could be presented with the choice of two Democrats and no Republicans in the general election.
Voters and potential voters at a political rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)
The California Voter File is a massive and constantly changing dataset. At the end of the 2012 election cycle, it grew to over 18 million voters. But with recent purges from county election files, it has dropped down to its current 17 million. As we near a major statewide election, we expect to see an uptick in registration and growth of the overall voter file. The state’s registration is likely — again — to exceed 18 million, and potentially even reach 19 million by November.
Former state Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, who plans to run for mayor of Sacramento.
Former state Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg intends to run for mayor of Sacramento and will make his formal announcement on Wednesday, according to people familiar with his plans. Steinberg, 56, a Sacramento Democrat, served as Senate leader from 2008 to 2014, when he left office because of term limits. He earlier served three terms in the state Assembly, leaving in 2005.
As rush hour approaches, traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo: Frontpage)
To political experts up and down California, California’s new Motor Voter law is a question mark that likely will involve rethinking some practices and require a great deal of new effort. To Democrats, it’s the long-overdue removal of a barricade to full participation in California’s civic life. To Republicans, it poses a danger that a flood of illegal immigrants will start participating in political decision-making.
Shasta Lake in August 2014. (Photo: David Greitzer, Shutterstock)
As the state suffers through its fourth year of drought, most Californians say the lack of water is the single most important environmental issue facing the state, a dramatic increase over the number who expressed similar concerns a year ago. A survey by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California reported that 58 percent of Californians ranked the drought as the top issue — up 23 points from July 2014 and up 50 points from July 2011.
Voters cast ballots at the November 2014 general election in Oak View, Calif. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
We Californians justifiably become excited about our many remarkable achievements: we make terrific movies; Silicon Valley leads the planet in technological innovation; our traffic jams are world class. But when it comes to voting, we give a statewide shrug. A mere 42.2 percent of registered voters — registered voters — bothered to cast ballots in the November 2014 general election. Los Angeles County bottomed out statewide with a turnout of 31 percent. It gets even worse: The June 2014 turnout was 25.2 percent.
Photo of Dominga Sarabia by Lily Dayton, design by Cathy Krizik (HealthyCal.org)
California Health Report: An estimated
2.6 million undocumented California residents are explicitly barred by law from the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation has been a huge boon for many Californians: More than 3 million previously uninsured Californians gained health insurance since the start of the ACA’s first enrollment period. Almost 30 percent of the remaining uninsured, however, are undocumented immigrants who are ineligible for both Medi-Cal and assistance through Covered California.
State Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: David Monniaux)
California’s political watchdog, facing 2014’s high-stakes statewide elections in which a relatively small number of donors put in more than $158 million to influence voters on ballot propositions, closed hundreds of cases with settlements – the most in its 40 years of existence.
UC Davis students protest occupy Mrak Hall to protest tuition increases. (Photo:: Sacramento Bee, via Associated Press)
Californians started 2014 the way they ended the previous year – parched by drought, hoping for an improved economy, outraged at Capitol corruption scandals and, finally, looking some relief at the fuel pump. Compared with the drought, the rest of the top stories of 2014 seemed almost trivial. Almost, but not quite.