Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Must Read: Brown Up, Boxer’s Lead Shrinks, Props 19 and 23 Losing

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 7:09 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Nannygate appears to have damaged Meg Whitman’s candidacy, as a new poll shows that Latino voters have helped Jerry Brown open up an eight-point lead in the governor’s race. The new survey by the respected Public Policy Institute of California shows Brown ahead 44 to 36 percent overall, and he has a commanding 2-1 advantage among Latino voters, the Chron reports. The ex-Oakland mayor also is now leading among women voters by 15 points.

2. But the same survey also shows that Barbara Boxer’s lead over Carly Fiorina has shrunk to five points, 43 percent to 38 percent, the Chron reports. Fiorina is being buoyed by outside conservative groups and large corporations who are spending millions to get her elected. The ex-Hewlett Packard CEO is expected to push for a repeal of the new Wall Street regulations if she wins.

3. Californians also appear to be souring on Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure. The new PPIC poll shows that it’s now losing 44 to 49 percent, a sharp turnaround from last month when the measure was leading. The LA Times reports that Proposition 23, which would roll back California’s landmark climate change law, also appears headed for certain defeat, as the PPIC poll shows it losing 37 percent to 48 percent.

4. A planned Indian-gaming casino in Richmond got a huge boost yesterday when several environmental groups announced that they’re now endorsing the proposal after the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians agreed to spend at least $48 million to buy and protect prime waterfront land, the CoCo Times reports. The deal and environmental support arrived just two weeks before Richmond voters will vote on advisory ballot measure involving the planned Point Molate casino.

5. The US military’s acceptance of openly gay recruits only lasted one day, because a federal appeals court agreed late yesterday to restore the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy until a lawsuit against it is resolved, the New York Times reports. The Pentagon had suspended DADT after a lower court ruled it unconstitutional. But then the Ninth Circuit approved a request by the Obama administration to put a hold on the lower court ruling while the case is heard on appeal.

6. As distasteful as it was, the federal government’s $300 billion bank bailout has proven to be a success. Bloomberg News reports that two-thirds of the bank loans have been repaid and taxpayers have earned $25 billion in profits already.

7. However, California’s unemployment insurance fund has a $10 billion deficit because so many people remain out of work, the Chron reports. The huge deficit likely will force the state to slash unemployment benefits and raise taxes on employers.

8. In a move apparently intended to affect the November elections, BART held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Oakland airport connector yesterday and featured two agency directors who are up for reelection, including Carole Ward Allen.

9. Gus Kramer, the embattled Contra Costa County tax assessor, amended his official financial disclosure forms 33 times after the CoCo Times began investigating his numerous shady property deals.

10. The San Francisco 49ers planned move to Santa Clara has been postponed for a year because of NFL labor strife, the Mercury News reports.

11. And the San Francisco Giants are now one win away from the World Series after a thrilling 6-5 victory last night.

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