For those of you that had yesterday off of work, welcome
Unfortunately, the state is on fire again.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency
in Los Angeles
and Ventura counties, warning residents that the fickle
winds made the
fires especially dangerous and unpredictable. "The state is
coordinating with federal and local officials to ensure
firefighters have the resources they need, but with
such a serious
situation on our hands, we need residents to take every
remain safe during this dangerous and difficult time," he said in a
In other disasters, the Dodgers are on the brink of elimination, quickly losing that ability to gloat over hapless
Meanwhile, today is Prop. 11 day, with several dailies printing stories on the
We start with Troy Anderson in the Daily News.
"Supporters of Proposition 11 on the Nov. 4 ballot say the measure will make California state elections
competitive once again, after years of lawmakers facing only token challenges
to their re-election bids.'
"The measure removes the ability of legislators to draw
their own district lines and instead transfers that
responsibility to a citizens commission.
"Advocates say they have more than 1,800 organizations and elected politicians endorsing the
measure, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the
California and Los Angeles chambers of commerce, and
the California Taxpayers Association.
"They believe that the constitutional amendment could
help end the gridlock that has paralyzed Sacramento
in recent years and contributed to this year's record-late state budget."
"Backers of Proposition 11 on the Nov. 4 ballot want to install a stronger barrier than unmarked doors
between legislators' self-interest and political mapmaking. They seek to take the job away from the Legislature
entirely and give it to a commission of 14 interested citizens who would operate in a public
spotlight," writes Nancy Vogel in the Times.
"At its simplest, Proposition 11 would remove the Legislature's conflict of interest in drawing its districts after
the 2010 census and each decade thereafter.
"But proponents -- who include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the League
of Women Voters -- promise more. They argue that independent redistricting
will help make the Legislature more capable of solving
healthcare, water supply, budget and other intractable
We think there's a song about that... Or, there's always this version...
"They reason that when districts are drawn with an overwhelming
number of Democratic or Republican voters, as they
tend to be when legislators do the job, the general
election winner is practically predetermined. In safely
drawn districts, competition comes only in primary
The Bee's Jim Sanders takes a look at why Prop. 11 would change the redistricting process for state races,
but not for congressional races.
"To quiet congressional opposition, backers of Proposition
11, championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, are proposing
that a citizens commission draw legislative and Board
of Equalization seats – but not those of Congress.
"Opponents say splitting such duties would be costly
"'The idea of having one entity do half the job and somebody
else do the other half is kind of a silly way to do
things,' said Paul Hefner, spokesman for the No on 11 campaign.
"The measure would have legislators draw congressional
seats that they conceivably could seek in future years,
"Hefner said Proposition 11 would produce a two-by-two "Noah's Ark" effect – two public bodies with map-drawing authority, requiring two staffs of experts
and two redistricting budgets.
"'That will actually minimize public participation,' said attorney Nancy Ramirez
of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational
Fund. 'Community groups are going to have competing sets of
hearings to attend.'
"Others counter that cost increases would be minimal
and that hearings could be coordinated.
, AARP state president and a leader of Yes on 11, said it makes sense to target the most egregious
conflict of interest by prohibiting legislators from
choosing their voters by drawing their own districts."
"In the run-up to a ballot initiative that would regulate the treatment
of farm animals, an animal rights group has released footage showing egg-laying hens crammed into filthy cages, while, nearby, discarded birds are left to die in
piles of corpses," reports Howard Blume in the Times.
"The footage, the latest by animal rights activists
working undercover at factory farms, is intended to
boost support for Proposition 2. The November ballot initiative would require that
confined cattle, pigs and chickens have enough space
to lie down, stand up, turn around freely and extend
their limbs. Because there are few veal producers in
the state and the largest pork producer here has already
said it would eliminate small crates, the initiative
would apply to the 19 million laying hens in California.
"Opponents said the measure, if passed, would serve
only to push egg producers and jobs outside of California.
They also insist that California eggs are among the
safest and healthiest in the country, saying that the
"indoor housing system" typically in use here results in fewer contaminated
eggs than with uncaged and free-range chickens.
"The animal rights organization Mercy for Animals said
the footage was taken at Norco Ranch in Riverside County."
Meanwhile, the Chron's Erin Allday reports on Gavin Newsom's unwanted starring role in the Yes on 8 campaign as the modern-day straight Harvey Milk.
"The mayor has become the reluctant face of the campaign
opposing same-sex unions with the help of a prominent Yes-on-Proposition-8 television ad. Conservative blogs have been atwitter
about Newsom last week officiating at the wedding of
a lesbian teacher whose class of first-graders took a field trip to celebrate with her.
"In many ways, Newsom has become the single best campaign
tool for proponents of Prop. 8 - and that might have been inevitable, political experts
"'His pictures have become the rallying cry for Prop.
8. It's unfortunate for him, and it's unfortunate for the anti-Prop. 8 campaign,' said Barbara O'Connor, a professor of political communications at
California State University Sacramento. 'I don't know that I would change his behavior, because he's representing his constituency, and he's been totally consistent in his position. But he's become everyone's worst nightmare.'
"Indeed, analysts say the mayor should be trying his
best to keep out of the same-sex marriage spotlight - something that Newsom's handlers, and even the mayor himself, say he's been trying to do.
"Newsom has led several college campus rallies against
Prop. 8 and has hosted private fundraisers for the campaign.
Last week, he sent an e-mail to 20,000 supporters asking for donations to the campaign."
Shane Goldmacher reports on the newly designed Bee
website, which incorporates CapitolAlert back into
the main news pages:
"After four years at the communications helm for Assembly
Republicans, Morgan Crinklaw is leaving the Capitol next week to take a new job
"Crinklaw first started back in the Capitol in 2003, working for then-Assemblyman Dave Cogdill, who is now Senate GOP leader.
"He was hired as press secretary for the Assembly Republican
Caucus in 2004 and moved on to become communications director. He
has worked reporters for three consecutive GOP leaders: Kevin McCarthy, George Plescia and Mike Villines."
And, we bring you yesterday's top recipients on ElectionTrack:
No on Props 6 & 9:
Fran Florez For Assembly: $122,324
Yes on Prop. 11:
Yes on Prop. 8:
Yes on Prop. 2:
Hannah Beth Jackson for Senate: $62,167
No on Prop. 8: $55,800
Yes on Prop. 1A:
Lois Wolk for Senate: $18,548
Alyson Huber For Assembly: $14,400
Bill Emmerson for Assembly:
Department of Corrections: Yesterday, we threw a little test out there to see
how many of you were working and paying attention,
rather than honoring Christopher Columbus or Indigenous
Many of you indeed were reading The Roundup, and, yes,
Thomas Friedman wrote The World is Flat. So much for
that decaf experiment.
And, finally, today's news from the Sausage-Making Files:
"A Brooklyn butcher shop worker called his specialty "hot kielbasa" — for snorting, not eating. Police Commissioner Ray
Kelly said the kielbasa was really cocaine — not the Polish sausage sold in a popular meat market.
"According to a criminal complaint, the "hot kielbasa" was kept in the basement.
"Twenty-six suspects are under arrest, including the butcher,
after an FBI informant visited the shop in response
to the message: 'Come to the store, I have hot kielbasa for you.'"