Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. If Meg Whitman wins the governor’s race or Republican Steve Cooley is elected attorney general, it could prove pivotal in the legal battle over gay marriage, according to a noted constitutional law expert, the LA Times reports. Erwin Chemerinksy, law school dean at UC Irvine, said that Whitman or Cooley, who have both said that they would defend the anti-gay marriage law on behalf of the state, could attempt to intervene in the Proposition 8 case in federal court. Current Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Schwarzenegger have refused to defend Prop 8, saying it’s unconstitutional. The difference could be key because a federal appellate court later this year may uphold a lower court ruling invalidating Prop 8 on the grounds that the state — via Brown and Schwarzenegger — has refused to defend the anti-gay-marriage law.
2. Proposition 23, the anti-environmental measure sponsored by out-of-state oil companies, is losing the race for campaign contributions by more than a 2-1 margin, the Mercury News reports. The No on 23 campaign has raised $19.6 million, while the proponents of the measure have brought in $9.1 million. Prop 23 would indefinitely suspend California’s landmark climate-change law.
3. Whitman and Carly Fiorina are conspicuously avoiding the toxic Sarah Palin as the November 2 election approaches, the Chron reports. In fact, all California Republican candidates are steering clear of the Tea Party Mama Grizzly, apparently because her national disapproval rating is 54 percent. Palin is in California for a three-stop tour — San Jose, Sacramento, and Anaheim — in an apparent effort to drum up support for a potential 2012 presidential bid.
4. Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer is being investigated by the District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal wrongdoing, the CoCo Times reports. Investigative reporter Thomas Peele also digs deeply into Kramer’s numerous questionable property dealings over the years, and raises questions over whether Kramer has violated several state laws.
5. GM is gearing up for the release later this year of its plug-in hybrid, the Chevy Volt, the Chron reports. The Volt will be able to go 25 to 40 miles on its electric battery before its gasoline engine kicks in for longer trips. Nissan also plans to unveil its all-electric Leaf by year’s end.
6. And Google proves once again that it’s a recession-proof monster. The search-engine giant reported fat profits, exceeding analysts’ predictions by a large margin, Bloomberg News reports.