Author Archives: Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

Final Presidential Debate 6 p.m.: Webcasts, Fact-Check, Live Blogs

We’re in the final sprint now. Election Day is just 15 days away, and tonight is the third and final presidential debate live from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Bob Schieffer of CBS News and host of Face the Nation will moderate.

His format sounds suspiciously like that of the first presidential debate. Schieffer has picked six topics — although not necessarily to be discussed in this order:

  • America’s role in the world
  • Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Red Lines – Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World

Schieffer will open each segment with a question, and the candidates will have two minutes to respond. Then it’s Schieffer’s job to “facilitate a discussion” for a total of 15 minutes on each topic.

The debate starts at 6 p.m. PT.

Here’s the NewsHour Live Stream:

Continue reading

Analysis: Propositions 32 and 37 Campaign Ads

California is not a battleground state for the presidential election, so that leaves plenty of room on the airwaves for other statewide commercials. Friday on The California Report Magazine, host Scott Shafer does some fact-checking with KXTV political reporter John Myers. They started off with commercials for and against Proposition 37, the measure to require labels on genetically modified foods in California.

Here’s an ad in favor of Prop. 37:

And here’s a commercial from the “No on 37” campaign: Continue reading

Register to Vote Online Now! Deadline is Monday at Midnight

Yo, time’s a wastin’.

If you want to vote on November 6, it’s time to register. Because the deadline is Monday night, midnight.

Here in public radio, we are big fans of engagement in the political process. We’ve been working hard to bring you informative stories, an awesome Propositions Guide, and, every now and then, quirky entertaining election tidbits.

So, click on this link. Or the attractive “register to vote” graphic. You can register to vote online in about 60 seconds. If you have ever complained about politics in this country, it’s time to make your voice heard.

Register, then vote on November 6.

We’re KQED and we approve this message.


Quick Read: Stark Drops Another Election Bombshell

This piece summarizes some ups-and-downs of what may be the “most bizarre congressional race in California.” Pete Stark, a 20-term incumbent is challenged by fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell. It’s Democrat vs. Democrat due to the new “Top Two” primary system.

Stark, who is seeking his 21st term, has been forced to issue public apologies for puzzling moves such as falsely accusing Swalwell, also a Democrat, of accepting what he said were “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in bribes, and wrongly insisting that a conservative columnist for The Chronicle made political donations to his rival.

Read more at:

Quick Read: Oakland A’s Owner Lew Wolff Urges ‘No’ on San Jose Minimum Wage Measure

Measure D on the San Jose ballot would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour — from the current statewide minimum of $8 an hour. The measure would also require automatic increases in the minimum wage, pegged to inflation.

SAN JOSE — San Jose hotel owner and Bay Area sports titan Lew Wolff spoke out Thursday against a ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage in the city. Wolff, who owns the Fairmont and whose son owns the St. Claire, two of the city’s downtown crown jewels, said he’s not against uniform higher wages.

Read more at:

Does The Death Penalty Provide ‘Closure’ to Victim’s Families? Three Perspectives

This coming election Californians will decide on Proposition 34, which would outlaw the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. It would also direct $30 million a year for three years to investigate unsolved rape and murder cases.

San Quentin Prison has housed California's only death row for male inmates since 1937. (Michael Glogowski-Walldorf: Flickr)

San Quentin Prison has housed California's only death row for male inmates since 1937. (Michael Glogowski-Walldorf: Flickr)

The measure is the latest chapter in a seesaw legal and political dispute over capital punishment that stretches back 50 years in California.

But setting aside the main argument of the “Yes on 34” camp, that the billions of dollars spent on the death penalty could better be used to solve crimes; and “No on 34” backers, that the death penalty process could be made more efficient and cheaper, there’s another issue that often comes up in the overall debate.

Many supporters of the death penalty say it is the only fair societal consequence for the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes, and that it gives victims’ families a sense of closure. Scott Shafer has been following this question around the death penalty for more than a dozen years, and he frequently addresses the question of closure in his reporting. Continue reading

Presidential Debate: Webcast, Chat, Fact Check and Live Blogs

In case you’ve been on Mars for the last week (where the SF Association of Realtors wants to send SF Board of Supes candidate Eric Mar, but I digress), by most accounts Barack Obama came in second in the initial presidential debate against Mitt Romney. Tonight is the second of three mano-a-manos; this one held as a town hall with 80 undecided voters, as selected by the Gallup Organization. The debate starts at 6 p.m. PT

The Commission on Presidential Debates says that people will ask questions on foreign or domestic issues. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond, then moderator Candy Crowley of CNN will have an additional minute to “facilitate a discussion.”

Here’s the NewsHour Live Stream:

Debate chat from NPR:

Continue reading

Chart: Where Major California Newspapers Stand on Each Proposition

The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has published a tremendous voter resource. The group created this propositions “scorecard” of the editorial board positions of nine major newspapers across California. Anyone can see at a glance where each paper is on each prop. Once you click on the image, the scorecard becomes interactive and you can click to read each paper’s editorial.

(Image: Consumer Watchdog)

(Image: Consumer Watchdog)

And while you’re researching your vote, don’t forget KQED’s Simple-Understandable-Portable-Shareable Proposition Guide. Get up to speed on all 11 State Propositions in 20 minutes.

Audio: Nader Tells Bush Haters It’s Still Not His Fault

(Don LaVange: Flickr)

(Don LaVange: Flickr)

by Lisa Aliferis and Jon Brooks

Some liberals still like to play the alternative-history parlor game called “What if Ralph Nader Hadn’t Run For President in 2000?” The chain of events in this butterfly-effect narrative unfolds something like this:

  • Without Nader on the ballot, the votes he received in Florida go instead to Al Gore, giving Gore the presidency, uncontested.
  • George W. Bush becomes a spokesman for Valvoline instead of the nation’s 43rd chief executive
  • Under President Gore, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the financial crisis never happen. The nation enters into a Pax Americana in which prosperity reigns, the environment is protected, and Honey Boo Boo is taken into the care of child protective services.

Continue reading

Making Sense of the Very, Very Complicated Prop 31

(Justin Brockie:Flickr)

Among other items, Prop. 31 gives California's governor new powers over spending during a fiscal emergency. (Justin Brockie:Flickr)

Among the 11 propositions on the statewide ballot this fall is a measure that would bring sweeping changes in governance to California. As Rachael Myrow suggested Friday morning on The California Report, it would also win a prize for “most changes in one measure.” The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has identified nine big ideas in Prop 31.

To break it down, Myrow turned to John Myers, political editor for Sacramento television station KXTV.

Here’s the edited transcript of their conversation:

RACHAEL MYROW: Who’s behind the measure? What is “California Forward”?

There has been a long, raging debate in government reform circles about whether we need incremental change or large systemic change. I think Prop. 31 puts its foot in both categories.”

JOHN MYERS: California Forward is a bipartisan group, formed a few years ago to work on ideas about how to fix what’s broken in California governance. They’ve been bankrolled by foundations. Their political activity is mainly bankrolled by a billionaire international investor, and that political activity really focused on this initiative — which they got on the ballot with his help.

RACHAEL MYROW: They’ve held forums around the state in recent years talking about how to make California government more effective. What is it they propose with Prop. 31? Continue reading