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Elections Updates and Other Pressing Issues


The LA Times has an editorial on the new study that shows that blacks are far more likely to be arrested for pot than whites—even though whites consume the stuff at a much more rapid clip. For instance, in LA blacks are 7 times more likely to be arrested for pot; in Pasadena and Inglewood, 12 times more likely.

The glaring disparity has gotten the NAACP and the National Black Police Association—among others— to support Prop 19.

However, the LAT editorial board harrumphs that it’s still not enough of a reason to pass the measure.


Julia Dahl of the Crime Report has a snapshot of what post-Prop-19 changes will and won’t take place, should the measure win.

Here’s the opening:

One week from tomorrow, the nation’s most populous state may decriminalize marijuana. Polls indicate that California’s Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, otherwise known as Proposition 19, is supported by between 39 and 44 percent of likely voters.

But even if the proposition becomes law, California’s 338 separate police departments and 58 county sheriffs are likely to have the final word.

Several of the state’s law enforcement authorities, such as Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, have already signaled they will continue to enforce federal laws against possession and cultivation of marijuana—no matter what happens.

“You’re going to have massive confusion,” predicts Rodney Jones, Chief of Police in Fontana, California, a city of 200,000 located 50 miles east of Los Angeles.

Read on.


Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated much of Arizona’s 2004 Proposition 200, which required proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

A legal ID will do fine, said the court. Here’s a clip from the Arizona Daily Star:

The split decision by a three-judge panel determined that the requirement to show proof of citizenship — passed by voters in 2004 — is not consistent with the National Voter Registration Act.


The majority noted that Congress was well aware of the problem of voter fraud when it passed the voter act, and built in sufficient protections, including applying perjury penalties to applicants who lie about their eligibility.

The court determined Arizona’s polling place photo identification requirement, however, is a minimal burden and does not violate the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment.

And, by the way, before anyone starts nattering about the liberality of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the justices sitting on the three-judge panel (and one of the two who voted with the majority) was an Arizona-raised Republican girl named Sandra Day O’Connor.


Steve Lopez has been having much too good a time with this, in case you’ve missed it.


Really? Ya, think? (cough) Citizens United (cough, cough)

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg has the story:

The U.S. Supreme Court is more business-friendly today than it was 25 years ago, according to a study conducted by a group that advocates for environmental safeguards and civil rights.

The study by the Constitutionality Accountability Center in Washington takes issue with comments by Justice Stephen Breyer in a Bloomberg News interview earlier this month. Breyer said business groups aren’t doing any better than they have historically……..

“Justice Breyer’s flat wrong in suggesting that the chamber has always done well before the court,” said Doug Kendall, the Constitutionality Accountability Center’s president. “The Supreme Court’s modern pro-corporate tilt — and particularly its sharp ideological split in favor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — are relatively new developments, traceable to the court’s current conservative majority.”

By the way, the conservative-leaning justices haven’t given us all the worst of our biz-oriented decisions. (Not that every business-centric decision is bad.) It was the liberal-leaning side of the court that handed us: Kelo v. City of New London. (Look up that fun puppy here, in case you don’t remember.)


LA’s wonderful youth-driven publication, LA Youth, has a number of elections-related articles.

In one article, 15-year-old Aaron Schwartz decides to research both gubernatorial candidates to find out whom he would vote for (if he was old enough to vote). After his examination, he eventually does select a candidate, but finds himself uninspired by either.

When it comes to Prop. 19, in another article called The Lows of Getting High , a formerly-pot smoking teenager (the author withholds her name for reasons of privacy) talks about the negative effect weed had on her life.


The Southern California Independent Booksellers (SCIBA) had their big awards dinner Saturday night and gave out six awards. Father Greg Boyle’s luminous and unforgettable “Tattoos on the Heart” won first in the nonfiction category. (Wooo-hooo! And really, I’d feel that way even if I wasn’t totally partisan.)

Other winners included, the marvelous Aimee Bender for fiction, and my pal David Ulin, as part of a trio who won for Art, Architecture and Photography.

The full list is below:

Children’s Picture Book: All the World by Marla Frazee and Liz Garton Scanlon (Simon & Schuster)

Children’s Novel: This Book is Not Good for You by Psuedonymous Bosch (Little, Brown)

Fiction: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender (Doubleday)

T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award: The First Rule by Robert Crais (Putnam)

Nonfiction: Tattoos on the Heart” by Father Gregory Boyle (Free Press)

Glenn Goldman Art, Architecture and Photography Award:Los Angeles: Portrait of a City” by Jim Heimann, David L. Ulin and Kevin Starr (Taschen)


All good wishes for very quick healing to Carly Fiorina who was admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning for observation and treatment of an infection related to her reconstructive surgery in July. Fiorina was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009, and had a double mastectomy as part of her treatment.

I don’t like Fiorina as a candidate, but facing the rigors of the campaign trail this soon after her various surgeries and treatments, ain’t easy. I wish her a speedy recovery.


  • Well, even though I’m not a Christian, I’m going to adopt their views on what’s happening to Fiorina health wise. Just as Christians believe their perceived deity punished Ted Kennedy for being responsible for a young woman’s death, according to their logic, isn’t Fiorina being punished for something, as well? She has policies that would be devastating to the poor, and if implemented via her election, would undoubtedly put a lot of poor people in positions where they would not be able to get help when sick. Now, she’s sick. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t have to be viewed as some sort of punishment. Maybe it’s a message from who the Christians refer to as “God”. Maybe this “God” is giving her an idea as to just how vulnerable we all are, and how badly the poor could use some type of public health care to rely on, that’s at least somewhat as good as the kind she’s being afforded right now. She may think they don’t deserve it, they haven’t earned it. Wouldn’t be fair to those who’ve played the game of capitalism and achieved. But does this Christian “God” see it that way, and could her sudden health issues be a sign from him? Just a question.

  • Might be any one of dozens (or more) Gods who differnet people around the globe pray to.

    Could be the Apache God. Maybe even the Mayan God. Perhaps it’s the Hindu God. Think it’s Buddha?
    Hell, maybe it’s Satan, the God of Satanists.

    Shit, it’s EASY when you apply Rob’s logic. It’s GOT to be Allah answering the Muslim’s prayers. They pray five times a day, and it doesn’t matter what they’re doing. NOTHING has a higher priority than their prayers.

    Case closed.

    Now, back to the topic. Are those Christians silly or what? Praying to someone that there isn’t one ounce of proof exists?

  • If we aren’t careful, our society will erode to the point where Christian zealots are applying the law based on their religion.

    That’s the threat. You better believe it. I mean, after all, that’s what going on around the globe right?

  • Irwindale officials spent lavishly during business trips to discuss housing for the poor
    October 27, 2010 | 10:10 am
    The Irwindale officials charged Wednesday with misappropriating public funds took lavish business trips to New York City, including meals at five-star restaurants, evenings at Broadway shows, chauffeured rides and nights at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, according to records obtained by The Times.

    The spending came as leaders in Irwindale spent $87 million in affordable housing funds over eight years, but only built 42 homes. Two trips to New York were for the purpose of discussing bonds for housing for the poor in the San Gabriel Valley city of about 1,500 people.

    Councilman Mark Breceda, retired City Manager Steve Blancarte and finance director Abe De Dios are charged with five felony counts of misappropriating public funds. Former Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez faces one count.

    One trip in 2003 had fewer than eight hours of scheduled meetings on the itinerary, but city officials spent six nights at the Ritz-Carlton, according to expense reports and itineraries.

    During that trip to discuss ratings for the bonds, city officials arrived on Saturday and checked into the Ritz-Carlton. Sunday’s agenda featured no business meetings but did include brunch at the River Café, where the current prix fixe menu for omelets or poached eggs is $55.

    The afternoon schedule included a matinee of “Jackie Mason Laughing Room Only” followed by dinner at Atelier, a restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton.

    On Monday, officials met for a few hours with bankers but also ate lunch at Bouley Bakery and dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse. The next day, they met again with bankers at 10 a.m., but were done in time for lunch at ritzy Le Bernardin. Their afternoon was left free, with plenty of time before the curtain rose for “Phantom of the Opera.”

    Wednesday was similar, with a short meeting in the morning, followed by lunch at the exclusive sushi restaurant Nobu and a late afternoon hockey game.

    Total cost to Irwindale taxpayers: $37,852.

    Think these bums will get voted out? 42 homes built while spending 87 million. ROFLMAO.
    Guess we know now what the rest of the money went for.

  • Villaraigosa asks council to cut health and pension benefits for new workers

    Nobody cares about the working man anymore. What an outrage.

  • Rancho Cucamonga councilman convicted in government fraud

    Rex Gutierrez is found guilty of taking a salary from the San Bernardino County assessor’s office while doing little work in a job allegedly arranged by a developer.
    Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez was convicted of conspiracy, theft and fraud Wednesday for taking a salary in a San Bernardino County government job allegedly arranged by a politically connected developer in which he did little work.
    Prosecutors charged that instead of doing his job, Gutierrez took trips to Las Vegas and Monterey, Calif., representing the city of Rancho Cucamonga, and also that he informed his colleagues that he worked for developer Jeff Burum and not the county. Burum was not accused of any wrongdoing.
    Tired of it yet?

  • Sure Fire, I wasn’t talking to you. I respect you. I’m done fighting with you. But I’m just starting with this punk ATQ.

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