Quick Read: McNerney Nails Down Fourth Term in Congress

Incumbent Congressman Jerry McNerney won the 9th Congressional District with 54 percent of the vote.

Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney will be returning for a fourth term. His victory in the 9th Congressional District comes despite predictions that the San Joaquin Valley race might be a toss up. McNerney faced a redrawn district and a tough challenge from Ricky Gill, a young newcomer to the GOP.

Read more at: www.kqed.org

California Democrats May Have Supermajority in Both Assembly, Senate

(Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

(Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

California Democrats are on the brink of a historic political achievement: Assemblyman John Perez has declared that Democrats have gained a two-thirds supermajority in the Assembly, and the California Senate is also trending that way.

If those totals hold, the Democrats will have attained a Proposition 13-proof advantage that would enable them to raise taxes without any votes from Republicans, largely intractable on the tax issue, or having to go to the voters, as Gov. Brown did with his Proposition 30.

But it’s not a done deal. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The party’s apparent capture of 54 seats in the 80-member Assembly and 27 in the 40-member Senate would mark the first time in nearly 80 years that one party controlled two-thirds of both houses, according to Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg. Continue reading

East Bay Institution Pete Stark Toppled by Novice Eric Swalwell

Undated Stark campaign button shows unseated Congressman's history. (Mpls55408: Flickr)

Undated Stark campaign button shows defeated Congressman's history. (Mpls55408: Flickr)

Twenty-term incumbent Pete Stark lost his re-election bid to Alameda County prosecutor and Dublin city councilman Eric Swalwell — who won with 53 percent of the vote.

It had been a bitterly fought campaign, with sometimes strange allegations from Stark. As KQED’s Cy Musiker reported, “Stark accused Swalwell, without evidence, of taking bribes; he was forced to apologize; and he wrongly accused newspaper columnist Debra Saunders of making political donations to Swalwell, again apologizing after.”

Stark issued a statement this morning:

It has been my honor to serve the people of the East Bay for the last 40 years. I have worked hard to deliver results: accomplishments like writing the COBRA law to make health insurance portable between jobs, bringing the first computers to schools, and crafting President Obama’s groundbreaking health care law. Continue reading

Video: Karl Rove Stages Mini-Revolt on Fox News Over Ohio Call

President Obama won the swingingest of all states last night, Ohio, possessor electoral votes so important that New York Times polling guru Nate Silver had written that it had a 50 percent chance of deciding the election.

As the night shaped up, the state was so critical to any hopes Mitt Romney had of staying in the hunt, that Fox News analyst and Republican mastermind Karl Rove engaged in a public display of wishful thinking after the network called the election for Obama based on the projection that he would win Ohio. Rove actually staged a mini-revolt on-air by challenging Fox’s decision to put the state in the Obama column. He claimed that with just 74 percent of Ohio precincts tallied and Obama’s lead narrowing, it was too early to make a determination one way or the other, as there were too many votes to be counted in the Republican suburbs of Hamilton County. “As they’ve started to come in, they’ve narrowed that margin dramatically,” Rove said.

“I’m going to ask you a straight-out question,” said anchor Chris Wallace. “Do you believe Ohio is settled?”

“No I don’t,” said Rove, who went on to explain there were still more “big chunks” of the Republican vote left to count.


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San Jose’s Minimum Wage Will Go Up

San Jose’s minimum wage is about to go up, after voters approved a ballot measure raising the minimum from eight dollars an hour to 10. The measure won with 59 percent of the vote.

Measure “D” started out as a class project at San Jose State.

Diana Crumedy, who helped launch the campaign, says she hopes other students will try to raise the minimum wages where they are. Continue reading

The House: Berman on Sherman and More Political Fratricide in California

What's more awkward than two belles sharing the same stage in the same dress? Two political candidates from the same party in a knock-down, drag-out fight to the bitter finish in November!

What's more awkward than two belles sharing the same stage in the same dress? Two political candidates from the same party in a knock-down, drag-out fight to the bitter finish in November!

Granted, California was not a swing state in the presidential election. We’re so dominated by Democrats, it’s hard to imagine anybody so much as blinked when Barack Obama won here. And Dianne Feinstein’s next term in the U.S. Senate? Even loyal Republicans were calling that one for her before the ballots were published.

But even in a True Blue state like this one, there was plenty of blood spilled in the California delegation to the House of Representatives. Between the way Congressional districts were redrawn after the last US Census and the state’s new top-two primary system, the stage was set for some high-pitched theater in two Republican districts and six Democratic ones. You might think that Democratic Party leaders would gather in some smoke-filled room somewhere in California and make the decisions required to avoid one party member going up against another. That’s not how it played out.

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Voters Defeat Effort to Require GMO Labels on Foods; Proponents Say They Will Fight On

(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

What a difference $46 million in TV ad spending can make.

At least that was the consensus in the wee hours of the morning at the Yes on Proposition 37 party, held at a performance art space in San Francisco’s Mission District, even before the final votes were tallied.

Outspent many times over, “we couldn’t get up on the air,” organizer Stacy Malkan told The Salt when it appeared the measure was going down. “You need a certain saturation to have an impact.”

All eyes in the food world have been on California’s hotly contested genetically modified (GMO) food labeling proposal, which was defeated this morning by a significant margin — 53 percent of the state’s voters opposed and 47 percent in favor.

It would have required that most foods containing genetically modified ingredients carry a “Made with GMO” label on the box. Given the prevalence of genetically engineered corn and soy in processed foods, those labels would have been nearly ubiquitous in the middle aisles of the grocery store. And, given the size of California’s market, and manufacturers’ opposition to distribute two versions of packaging, the California law could have morphed into de facto national policy as well.

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San Francisco Voters Say ‘No’ to Study Draining Hetch Hetchy

By Lauren Sommer

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir occupies Hetch Hetchy Valley behind O'Shaughnessy Dam. (Photo: Andrew Alden)

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir occupies Hetch Hetchy Valley behind O'Shaughnessy Dam. (Photo: Andrew Alden)

Voters in San Francisco say they are not ready to consider draining the city’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, for environmental restoration. The idea was rejected last night by more than a three-to-one margin.

Authors of Measure F stressed that a “yes” vote was to order a study of the future of Hetch Hetchy, not a vote to drain it. But San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee opposed it right away.

“I called it stupid,” the Mayor recalled. “I still think it is.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein and business groups also joined the opposition. But supporters say their goal was just to open the debate.

“I do think the voters are open to our message,” said Mike Marshall, director of Restore Hetch Hetchy, the group that put the measure on the ballot. “We’re very excited by the results and that sounds awkward given that we’ve lost but in fact it’s really, really true.” Measure F was defeated 77-23 percent.

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Alameda County Measures: Results

08:40am — This post has been revised with corrected numbers.

Here are the complete results, with 100% of precincts reporting:

Measure A1 — Alameda County, Oakland Zoo: 62.69% yes; 37.31% no (Two-thirds majority)

Measure B1 — Alameda County, Transportation: 65.54% yes; 34.46% no (Two-thirds majority)

Measure D — City of Alameda, Parks: 78.23% yes; 21.77% no (Simple majority required)

Measure C — 65% yes; 35% no  (Two-thirds majority)

Measure F — City of Albany: 78.96% yes; 21.04% no (Simple majority required)

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Gov. Brown’s Proposition 30 Passes by Solid Margin, Will Fund Schools

California Gov. Jerry Brown during a rally on Monday in support of Proposition 30. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

California voters soundly passed Proposition 30, 54 to 46 percent. Many considered it the biggest measure on this California ballot.

Gov. Jerry Brown crisscrossed the state in recent weeks making his pitch, supported by union leaders, teachers and others keen to avoid the “trigger cuts” that would have hit had Prop. 30 failed. But even before the final count was in, the governor was in a buoyant mood at the Yes on 30 election night party in downtown Sacramento.

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Gov. Brown had a lot on the line with Prop 30. It imposes a temporary 1/4-cent sales tax and raises income taxes on the wealthy for seven years.

The failure of Prop. 30 would have triggered $6 billion in education cuts. And the governor staked his reputation on the measure, making it his top priority. Continue reading