Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Must Read: Dems to Lose House, Keep Senate; Big Business Tries to Kill Obama’s Plans

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. With less than two weeks until Election Day, New York Times statistician Nate Silver is forecasting that Democrats will lose control of the House of Representatives but not the Senate. Silver, who accurately predicted the 2008 elections, forecasts that Democrats will maintain a 52-48 edge in the Senate, but that Republicans will take a commanding 228-207 advantage in the House. In California, he predicts that Barbara Boxer will keep her Senate seat, but forecasts that East Bay Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney will lose his to Republican David Harmer.

2. Meg Whitman appears to be proving that you can’t buy elections. Newly filed campaign finance reports reveal that she spent a record $163 million, including $142 million of her own money, trying to get elected, the Sacramento Bee notes. But she’s slipping farther behind Brown in the polls. Silver gives her an only 18 percent chance of winning. However, overall, he predicts that Republicans will take a 30-19 edge in governor’s mansions nationwide.

3. The Republican surge is being fueled by anti-Obama fervor, and by big corporations funneling millions of dollars into GOP campaigns across the country. The New York Times pulls back the veil on the US Chamber of Commerce and its secret multimillion-dollar effort to defeat Democrats and the Obama agenda. Not surprisingly, insurance companies are funding a rollback of healthcare reform, financial institutions are paying to overturn Wall Street regulations, and oil and energy companies are spending big bucks to block climate-change legislation.

4. In the Bay Area, home sales plummeted 20 percent in September compared to last year as the housing slump continues, the Chron notes. Home sales reached their lowest point in three years.

5. And Bay Area employment likely will not fully recover until 2015, the CoCo Times reports, citing a new industry forecast.

6. Finally, plans in Oakland and other cities to tax marijuana businesses if Proposition 19 passes took a blow when US Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the feds will enforce the nation’s drug laws in California even if cannabis becomes legal, the SacBee notes. Measure V on the Oakland ballot would implement a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana use if Prop 19 wins. But that could become moot if the feds crack down on any new recreational cannabis businesses that open in the city.

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