Monday, October 1, 2012

What We Still Don't Know About Mitt Romney's Taxes

by Theodoric Meyer of ProPublica
Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

With the documents Mitt Romney released recently, we know a bit more about his taxes.
We know, for instance, that Romney paid a rate of 14.1 percent on $13.7 million in income on his 2011 tax return, which he achieved by purposely overpaying. Though he was entitled to deduct $4 million in charitable contributions, Romney deducted only $2.25 million to keep his tax rate above 13 percent. Romney, it has been pointed out, could file an amended return to claim the full deduction after the election. We've contacted the Romney campaign, and Michele Davis, a spokeswoman, assured us he would not do so.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jane Brunner Has 'Some Brass'

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Last year, several Oakland councilmembers put forward a plan to make the city attorney an appointed position. It was clear at the time that the council intended to keep City Attorney Barbara Parker in her job. Parker has earned a reputation over the years as being both an excellent lawyer and a consummate professional. Councilmembers also knew that one of their colleagues, Councilwoman Jane Brunner, planned to run against Parker if the city attorney remained an elected position. Although Brunner also is a lawyer, she is known better for being a career politician and prodigious fund-raiser.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Judge May Not Let Cops’ Union Intervene

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

The Oakland police union is attempting to intervene in a court process that could lead to OPD becoming the first department in the nation to be put in federal receivership. Attorney Michael Rains, who represents the union, is asserting in court papers that the police union should be involved because a federal receiver likely would have the power to discipline Oakland cops involved in misconduct.

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UPDATED: Berkeley Schools Superintendent Candidate Withdraws

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Updated 9/18 9:03 a.m.: Edmond Heatley, the embattled applicant for Berkeley schools superintendent, has withdrawn his candidacy for the job. Heatley had come under intense fire from Berkeley activists, in part, for his role in the passage of a pro-Prop 8 measure in the Chino school district when he was the superintendent there.

Heately's announcement further confirmed that the Berkeley school board had failed to fully vet the leading candidate for superintendent of Berkeley Unified. Berkeleyside was first to report the connections that Heatley, who had been the sole finalist for the superintendent’s position, had with the pro-Prop 8 resolution in Chino.

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Koch Brothers Prove That Prop 32 Is Good for Corporations

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Backers of Proposition 32 have argued repeatedly that the November ballot measure will reduce the influence of both corporations and unions in politics. Unions, however, have contended that Prop 32 will actually increase the power of corporations and wealthy contributors in California, because those donors will still be able to spend huge amounts of money, funding so-called Super PACs. A massive donation made last Friday to a new group that is backing Prop 32 proves that unions are right.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Big Dog and The Mom-in-Chief

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 10:43 AM

For those who missed Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama's amazing speeches this week at the DNC — or if you simply just want to watch them again, here you go. See for yourself why even Republican pundits were impressed:

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Jon Stewart on Paul Ryan's Lies

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney obviously don't care if the news media points our their lies and deceptions, but should they care about comedian Jon Stewart? After all, lots of Americans get their news from the Daily Show — and not from the traditional news media that Ryan and Romney believe is no longer relevant. Here's Stewart mocking some of the lies and deceptions from Ryan's speech, and the questions is: Will it matter?

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Big Lies: Republicans Are Betting that Voters No Longer Pay Attention to the News

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan made it clear last night that he and Mitt Romney believe that they can win the White House by telling lies, over and over again. During his GOP convention speech, Ryan lied repeatedly and deceived the public proudly. We counted at least nine major falsehoods and outright deceptions — statements that can be easily debunked by the news media.

But Ryan and Romney have made it clear that they don’t care. They had to know that mainstream journalists would point out the deceit in Ryan’s speech — and it has been happening since last night. And because they had to know what the news media would do (even Fox News has called Ryan's speech "deceiving"), it seems clear that they’ve made what may be an unprecedented political calculation: that it won’t matter if the news media points out their lies and deceptions because many voters no longer pay attention to the news.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How an Obscure Federal Rule Could Be Shaking Up Presidential Politics

by Jake Bernstein of ProPublica
Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's allies seemed to give a big old raspberry to presidential aspirant Mitt Romney on the front page of the New York Post on Monday. Anonymous sources told the paper that Romney demanded Christie agree to resign the governorship if he was offered vice president on the GOP ticket. Christie was said to have declined since he didn't think Romney would win. A spokesman for Christie said they were not commenting on the Post's report and suggested contacting the Romney campaign, which did not respond to emailed questions.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Oakland’s Latest Mess

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The troubling saga of the Oakland Police Department took an ugly turn this week with the news that City Administrator Deanna Santana contends that Robert Warshaw, the independent court monitor overseeing OPD, made inappropriate advances toward her earlier this year. The revelation has already threatened the integrity of the oversight process of OPD and could delay a decision on whether the department should be put in federal receivership. In short, it’s a big mess.

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