California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Parties Shrink, Races Tighten in Final 2014 California Voter Data -- Political parties continue to shrink in California, with voters who state no party preference edging ever closer to being the second-largest subset of the state’s overall electorate. John Myers KQED -- 11/1/14

Independent money washes over California contests on Tuesday’s ballot -- Bankrolled by a small group of major businesses, unions and wealthy individuals, independent spending groups have showered California legislative and statewide campaigns with more than $47 million for mailers, TV ads and other advocacy efforts leading up to Tuesday’s election. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14

Mailed ballots suggest low turnout in California -- California appears on track for another low-turnout election as elections clerks and analysts report that the number of voters mailing in their absentee ballots has declined compared with previous election cycles. Fenit Nirappil Associated Press -- 11/1/14

Former state Sen. Wright's jail term ends quickly -- Former Democratic state Sen. Roderick D. Wright showed up late Friday to begin serving a 90-day jail sentence but was released almost immediately due to jail crowding, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

Ugly endgame in Honda-Khanna showdown -- Nasty ads, big spending by unknown donors and feverish get-out-the-vote efforts might show desperation by Congressman Mike Honda and Democratic challenger Ro Khanna. Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/14

L.A. County supervisors violated open-meeting law, D.A. finds -- Los Angeles County supervisors violated the state’s open-meeting law earlier this year by discussing compensation negotiations behind closed doors without properly informing the public, according to the district attorney’s office. Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

More than $16M of outside cash floods two local races: Solorio vs. Nguyen and Quirk-Silva vs. Kim -- Political parties, organized labor and business groups throughout the state have poured millions into two local races for the state Legislature, dwarfing campaign cash from constituents inside the districts. Martin Wisckol and Keegan Kyle in the Orange County Register$ -- 11/1/14

Immigrant politicians fight for votes in the heart of Orange County -- Walking door to door in suburban Los Alamitos, Janet Nguyen lets her 3-year-old son soften up the voters. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

Banks: Assembly candidates' divergent pasts provide fodder for mudslinging -- Their platforms are similar and their party the same, but the candidates' profiles could hardly be more different. Sandy Banks in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

Ex-CHP officer charged in theft of women’s phone photos -- Two days after he resigned from the force, Sean Harrington, 35, of Martinez was named in a complaint filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court that accused him of two counts of theft and copying of computer data belonging to two women. A third woman, meanwhile, believes her privacy was breached, her attorney said. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/1/14

Joe Biden visits Southern California to help Democrats in tight races -- Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Southern California on Friday to help Democrats in tight races as the campaign season headed into the final weekend before Tuesday's election. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

California Strategies’ lobbying violation emerges in campaign attack -- Last year’s lobbying violations by the high-profile California Strategies public affairs firm have emerged as a point of attack in the increasingly nasty campaign between Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced and his Republican challenger, Jack Mobley. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14

Ad Watch: Mailer misleads on Pan’s fracking record -- An independent committee funded by environmentalists, lawyers and nurses has sent out a mailer attacking Assemblyman Richard Pan for his position on a controversial oil extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14

Bera campaign raises ghost of Gingrich to spook voters --  In an email Friday with the subject line “Boo!,” Rep. Ami Bera’s campaign says it finds former Rep. Doug Ose’s record “the scariest thing around this Halloween for Sacramento County women.” Curtis Tate in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14

A glimpse into Brown’s 4th term -- A little-known panel of Gov. Brown’s top administration officials is poised to play a critical role in his fourth and final term as governor. Samantha Gallegos Capitol Weekly -- 11/1/14

Money talks: Props. 45, 46 down sharply -- In the face of $150 million in opposition spending, two ballot measures to regulate health insurance insurance rates, require drug testing for doctors and ease caps on medical malpractice awards have declined sharply in popular support, according to the final Field Poll of this year’s election. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 11/1/14

California Race Brings Democrats’ Differences on Education Into Focus -- The two candidates for state superintendent are at odds over tenure rules, charter schools and evaluations — and so are people on the left across the country. Motoko Rich in the New York Times$ -- 11/1/14

California schools chief race is hot, but will voters find it? -- The race for state superintendent of public instruction between incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck is one of the hottest in California this fall – it has drawn $14 million in outside spending – but you may have trouble finding it when it comes time to vote. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14

California's sky-high poverty rate an issue in governor's race -- In truth, neither candidate's approach to the problem is all that different -- they both favor growing jobs over boosting programs for the poor -- and advocates for low-income people fault the candidates for failing to tackle a critical question: Has California cut its welfare-to-work programs so deeply that they no longer offer a helping hand to those who are motivated to climb out of poverty? Jessica Calefati in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/1/14

Kamala Harris Redefining the Job of Attorney General -- But, as she heads into Tuesday’s election, Harris has clearly emphasized different priorities than her predecessors. Scott Shafer KQED -- 11/1/14

Lazarus: Late-night political robocalls: Are these things legal? -- Marsha says she knows political robocalls aren't covered by the Do Not Call registry. But does that mean they can call any time they like? David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

Greenhut: Bankrutpcy ruling not as bad as it looks -- But it’s probably not as bad as it seems for those who want these municipal debts tamed so that public services can be restored and residents aren’t stuck with escalating tax burdens. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 11/1/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Pensions   

San Diego Local economy has best month of 2014 -- Diverse job growth and gains in consumer confidence boosted San Diego’s economy to its best month in almost two years, says a report released Friday by the University of San Diego. Jonathan Horn UT San Diego$ -- 11/1/14


A $1.3 Billion Question: What's The Future Of LA's iPad Program? -- This time last year, students in Los Angeles were squealing with delight as boxes of new iPads rolled into their schools. It was the first phase of what was touted as the largest technology expansion in the country. Annie Gilbertson NPR -- 11/1/14

State lawmakers say rising school superintendent pay must be addressed -- State lawmakers said they were shocked to learn how much school superintendents in California are being paid and how auxiliary benefits such as district-financed home loans are becoming increasingly popular. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/1/14

LAUSD tech head Ron Chandler resigns abruptly over MiSiS crisis -- The head of Los Angeles Unified's technology division, Ron Chandler, abruptly resigned today, as the nation's second-largest school district attempts to recover from a disastrous new computer software rollout. Thomas Himes in the Los Angeles Daily News$ Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

Rocklin schools hit with student abuse claims -- Two families have filed claims against the Rocklin Unified School District alleging that their special-needs children were subjected to physical and psychological abuse at the hands of a teacher at Breen Elementary School during the last school year. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14


New research predicts California droughts will worsen -- Future droughts in California are likely to bite deeper and last longer than the one now gripping the state, according to new research into the potential effects of climate change. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/1/14

Morrison: A brief history of drought in California -- Sure, it's an easy phrase to bandy about — "historic drought." But what, exactly, does it mean? Historic, like the Dodgers 1988 World Series win? Or historic, like the drought that up-ended California's economy in the midst of the Civil War? Patt Morrison KPCC -- 11/1/14


Condoms Fight Climate Change, but Nobody Wants to Talk About It -- The equation seems fairly simple: The more the world's population rises, the greater the strain on dwindling resources and the greater the impact on the environment. The solution? Well, that's a little trickier to talk about. Jason Plautz National Journal -- 11/1/14


Second West Nile virus death suspected in San Diego County -- A second person has died in San Diego County from suspected West Nile virus as the state continues to suffer its worst outbreak of the mosquito-spread brain infection in nearly a decade. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/1/14

These scientific studies show that airport Ebola screenings are largely ineffective -- The debate over whether the Obama administration should ban flights from Ebola-stricken nations has been raging for weeks, fueled by fears of an outbreak in the United States and a lot of election-inspired finger pointing. Josh Hicks in the Washington Post$ -- 11/1/14

Dignity Health to pay $37 million to settle overbilling claims -- The allegations in a whistleblower lawsuit relate to 12 hospitals in the San Francisco-based health system, including Mercy General in Sacramento and Mercy San Juan in Carmichael. Kathy Robertson Sacramento Business Journal -- 11/1/14

NSA / Surveillance   

Why Facebook Just Launched Its Own ‘Dark Web’ Site -- Facebook has never had much of a reputation for letting users hide their identities online. But now the world’s least anonymous website has just joined the Web’s most anonymous network. Andy Greenberg WIRED -- 11/1/14