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Nov 28, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Calpers triggers legal fight with bankrupt San Bernardino over pension debt

LOS ANGELES, Nov 28 (Reuters) – America’s biggest public
pension moved aggressively against the bankrupt city of San
Bernardino, California, on Tuesday night over the city’s
decision to halt payments to the fund.

The move laid bare a high-stakes battle shaping up between
Wall Street and state pension funds over how they are treated
when cities run out of money.

Nov 27, 2012

ACLU sues over policy barring women from ground combat

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Tuesday on behalf of four U.S. servicewomen to challenge a longstanding policy barring women from thousands of ground combat positions, citing the changing nature of warfare and fairness for career soldiers.

The civil rights group argued in a legal complaint filed in federal court in Northern California that a military policy to bar women from combat roles on the basis of gender was unconstitutional.

Nov 18, 2012

Super-rich flight from California? Not so fast

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Warnings that a new millionaires’ tax would send California’s wealthy stampeding for the state line began before the results were final. But the super-rich may well stand their ground.

“Anyone know a good realtor in Incline Village?” Aaron McLear, the spokesman for California’s anti-tax campaign, tweeted early the morning of November 7 as the votes against his cause streamed in. Nevada’s Incline Village shares mountain Lake Tahoe with California, and has no income tax.

Nov 8, 2012

Insight: California Democrats amass control over unruly state

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California just became a one-party state.

Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic allies on Tuesday won a mandate that might be the envy of President Barack Obama, turning the nation’s bluest state into one in which Democrats will likely have all but complete political control.

Voters approved a tax hike championed by Brown and soundly rejected a measure that would have gutted union political power. Perhaps most importantly, if initial vote totals hold in several very close legislative races as the final absentee ballots are counted, they will have handed Democrats supermajority control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time in 79 years.

Nov 8, 2012

California Democrats amass control over unruly state

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 8 (Reuters) – California just became a
one-party state.

Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic allies on Tuesday
won a mandate that might be the envy of President Barack Obama,
turning the nation’s bluest state into one in which Democrats
will likely have all but complete political control.

Voters approved a tax hike championed by Brown and soundly
rejected a measure that would have gutted union political power.
Perhaps most importantly, if initial vote totals hold in several
very close legislative races as the final absentee ballots are
counted, they will have handed Democrats supermajority control
of both houses of the state legislature for the first time in 79
years.

Nov 6, 2012

California watchdog only halfway to bottom of $11 million donation

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) – An Arizona-based nonprofit group that gave $11 million to two ballot proposition campaigns in California was forced by court order on Monday to reveal the organizational source of the money, but the individuals behind the donation remain a mystery.

The group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, which has fought to keep the identity of its financial backers secret, complied with a California Supreme Court ruling by revealing that its contribution originated from a second entity known as Americans for Job Security, a pro-business advocacy organization.

Nov 5, 2012

California watchdog only half-way to bottom of Arizona donation

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) – An Arizona-based nonprofit group that gave $11 million to two ballot proposition campaigns in California was forced by court order on Monday to reveal the organizational source of the money, but the individuals behind the donation remain a mystery.

The group Americans for Responsible Leadership, which has fought to keep the identity of its financial backers secret, complied with a California Supreme Court ruling by revealing that its contribution originated from a second entity known as Americans for Job Security, a pro-business advocacy organization.

Nov 4, 2012

Mail-in ballots: the hanging chads of 2012?

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Sloppy signatures on
mail-in ballots might prove to be the hanging chads of the 2012
election.

As Republicans and Democrats raise alarms about potential
voter fraud and voter suppression, mail-in ballots have boomed
as an uncontroversial form of convenient, inexpensive voting.

Oct 29, 2012

California ballot measures draw free-spending billionaires

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A handful of individual super-donors, business groups and unions have poured more than $350 million into California ballot initiatives ahead of the November 6 election, underscoring the extent to which the state’s system of “direct democracy” has morphed into a big-money battleground.

Some of the spending is directly tied to the financial interests of the donors. Food and agriculture interests, for example, have spent $43 million so far to defeat a proposition that would require labeling of genetically modified foods, according to non-partisan researcher Maplight, which uses state data for its calculations.

Oct 24, 2012

Billionaire Steyer sees clean energy in his future

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer says he will focus on pushing California toward an alternative energy future when he steps down from the company he founded, Farallon Capital.

The 55-year-old, San Francisco-based financier has been increasingly active in politics in recent years, lauding President Barack Obama’s energy policy at this year’s Democratic Party convention and donating heavily to several state ballot propositions.

    • About Peter

      "Peter Henderson has worked for Reuters for more than a decade, covering the collapse of the Russian economy in the 1990s, media in Los Angeles and politics in San Francisco. He is West Coast Enterprise Editor, focusing on reporting and editing in-depth stories."
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