House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Friday she plans to vote for California's Proposition 64, making her one of a small number of high-level politicians to support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
“I will vote for it, but I have not made a public statement about it until right this very second,” Pelosi said when asked about the measure, which is favored to pass Tuesday. She did not elaborate.
Pelosi told the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board and Times reporters that she has not taken public positions on many of the state ballot measures because she is focused on other races in her fundraising and public appearances. She has endorsed Proposition 62, which would repeal the death penalty, along with Proposition 51 to borrow $9 billion in school bonds and Proposition 52, which restricts diverting funds away from Medi-Cal.
State ethics investigators are recommending $63,000 in fines against state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) and others for several campaign finance violations involving the 2012 election, according to documents released Friday.
State Fair Political Practices Commission officials are also recommending $30,000 in fines against Rudy Bermudez and his Assembly campaign for violations that include accepting excessive contributions from Mendoza. Both men have agreed to the fines.
"Although my actions were well intentioned, I will accept full responsibility for the FPPC campaign finance related violations," Mendoza said in a statement. "I plan to move forward and serve my constituents and the people of California."
A new poll shows there is a deep divide among likely voters on the death penalty in California, as they weigh two opposing capital punishment measures on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The analysis by USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times found Proposition 62, which would replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole, has 44% support and 45% opposition among 1,382 likely voters, while 10% said they did not know how they would vote or refused to answer.
It also found only 35% of voters support Proposition 66, which would expedite death sentences, while 42% oppose it. About 21% said they did not know how they would vote or refused to answer.
“While the charges were primarily authorized by the campaign, the buck stops with me and I take full responsibility — including the responsibility to determine and implement other structural changes to ensure errors are not repeated,” he told the newspaper. “In taking these steps, I am fully confident that the right oversight and controls are now in place.”
Five former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency have signed a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown asking him to take a stand against Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational use of marijuana in California.
Brown has not taken a position on the ballot measure, an aide said, and it is uncertain whether he will do so before Tuesday’s election.
The letter says California should delay approval of legalization until it can see how Colorado and other states are dealing with problems including impaired driving and marijuana use by teenagers.
In a segment on HBO's "Vice News Tonight" that aired Thursday, California billionaire and political donor Tom Steyer avoided saying whether he planned to run for governor.
"I have said consistently that we are completely engaged through 2016. I will continue to work on the stuff that I care most about,” he told correspondent Nellie Bowles when she asked about a potential gubernatorial bid. “The question will be how can I do it in the way that has the most impact."
The former hedge fund manager's comments are consistent with what he told The Times in a June interview, when he said he wouldn't decide whether to run until after the November election.
Proposition 57, a sweeping plan to offer new parole opportunities to thousands of state prisoners while shifting juvenile defendants out of adult courtrooms, is poised to become law once the votes are tallied next week.
A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows the ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown supported by 57% of likely voters, with 31% opposed.
Proposition 51 seems to have everything going for it. The $9-billion state school bond ballot measure has support across the political spectrum, a decent chunk of campaign money and a strong history of voters looking kindly on school construction spending.
But the measure is having trouble in the polls, registering less than 50% support. A pollster says that voters could be scared off by the bond’s size and impact on the state budget.
A gun control initiative on next week's ballot in California is supported by 58% of likely voters, while 35% are opposed, according to a new statewide USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Proposition 63 enjoys its strongest support among minority registered voters, the poll shows.
The initiative would require background checks for those purchasing ammunition and outlaw the possession of large-capacity ammo magazines, among other things.
For 10 years, the death penalty system in California has been on pause, as the state has sought to develop a new method for killing prisoners. Now the fate of the latest proposal is hanging at the ballot box.
Proposition 66 intends to expedite executions by changing how and how often death row inmates can appeal their sentences. If voters approve the measure on Nov. 8, it also would exempt prison officials from the Administrative Procedure Act, which sets the regulations all state agencies must follow when establishing new guidelines.
Supporters say the move would remove unneeded bureaucratic layers that bog the system down. Opponents counter it would harm transparency.