Campaigns & Elections

Campaigns & Elections

Speculation Begins on Candidates for Open LA Supervisor Seat; Solis Considers Running

Supervisor Gloria Molina is set to term out of office next year and speculation has already swirled about who will run to fill her seat. It would seem U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis is the early favorite, as she recently announced that she was leaving her Cabinet post. Solis has in fact confirmed that she will likely run for the supervisorial seat and wants to “get her footing back in the community.”

San Mateo County Looks to Dismiss Lawsuit after Voters Approved Measure B

San Mateo County is no longer the only county in the state that elects its board of supervisors in countywide elections after voters supported a ballot measure that switched the county from at-large to district elections. Supervisors agreed to have voters decide whether the county should change its methods, and a lawsuit likely motivated the decision. Critics have long argued that the at-large system is a violation of the California Voting Rights Act because the voting power of minorities is diminished.

Race and Politics: RSVP for Special Event on the Changing Racial Landscape of America

The 2012 Presidential Election forever changed both national campaigns and Americans' awareness of race. On January 17, the Leadership California Institute and Race 2012: A PBS Election Special will host a free screening of the PBS documentary "Race 2012," followed by a panel discussion with experts on how race, ethnicity and politics interact.

Map of the Day: The Counties that Flipped in November 2012

During the 2012 election, there was a 100-year low in terms of the number of counties that voted for a different party than they did four years earlier. This flipping of counties usually has an average of 24% each election, but the November election saw only 6.8% of counties flip. Bill Bishop compared county-level voting from 2008 to 2012 and found that "[o]nly 207 counties changed allegiance in 2012 out of more than 3,100 counties that cast votes.

San Bernardino Supervisors Approve Contract with FPPC to Enforce Reform Law

It could be a new era of scrutiny in San Bernardino County, as the Board of Supervisors officially approved a contract with the state Fair Political Practices Commission. We relayed over the summer that Governor Brown signed into law a bill that allows the FPPC to enforce the county’s new campaign finance ordinance, thereby making the county the first local government in the state of California to outsource ethics oversight. The approved contract went into effect on January 1st.

New Study Stops Short of Calling Voters Stupid; Analyzes Decision-Making at the Polls

With the holidays over, November’s election is growing increasing distant in the rearview mirror but that hasn’t stopped analysis of voter trends. A new study from the American Political Science Review entitled “Sources of Bias in Retrospective Decision Making: Experimental Evidence on Voters’ Limitation in Controlling Incumbents” sort of sounds like a fancy way of calling voters stupid. It may not explicitly do so, but it certainly calls into question the competence of voters when it comes to assessing the performance of incumbent politicians.

Growing Latino Population Not Evident in Local Govt Representation? County Latino Caucus Aims to Change

For the first time in this nation’s history, there will be 31 Latino members of Congress when it convenes in January, which has set a record for Latino representation. Furthermore, Latino turnout at the polls also set a new record on election day, as more Latinos cast ballots and drove historic gains in state legislatures and Congress. 

Recount on the Way? Close Defeat of Alameda’s Transportation Measure

We relayed recently that after a long vote-tallying process, Alameda County’s transportation measure fell just short of enough votes for passage. But supporters of Measure B1 aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. So while it’s almost December, the election still isn’t over yet because supporters have formally reserved the right to request a recount. In order for the measure to pass, it needs two-thirds of the vote and the final outcome was indeed very close, as it gained 66.53 percent of the vote when 66.67 percent was needed for passage.

A Tale of Two Measures: Wake-Up Call for SBDO Leads to More Favorable Measure

The tension was building for months, but by a slight margin, voters defeated a controversial and union-backed initiative in San Bernardino County that would have greatly impacted the pay of supervisors by reducing their status to part-time and their salaries to $60,000. That being said, Supervisors will still see their pay reduced because a competing measure placed on the ballot by supervisors, Measure Q, had more total votes. Supervisors chose to advance Measure Q because it provided voters the desired decrease in compensation without the more punishing aspects of Measure R.

Coming in Last…Again: Criticism of Slow Vote Tally in RivCo; Time for Overhaul of System?

In a society that expects rapid results, Election Day can be a test of one’s patience and while reporting outcomes is not a race to the finish-line, Riverside County is once again the center of criticism for being the slowest county in the state when it came to reporting results. Scrutiny over a delay in results has a history in the county, as back in 2010 Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore was fired after supervisors lost their patience with continuing to come in last, particularly after the purchase of $650,000 in new equipment.

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