594 posts
A homeless woman in Venice.
A homeless woman in Venice. (Los Angeles Times)

We tried something new on “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast.” We enlisted “LA Podcast” for our first-ever crossover episode, and talked with “LA Podcast” hosts, comedian Hayes Davenport, local activist Scott Frazier and Curbed Los Angeles editor Alissa Walker, about the connections between housing affordability issues in Los Angeles and the state as a whole. 

We went deep explaining the city of Los Angeles’ proposal to build housing for homeless residents across the city, including talking about a contentious meeting in Sherman Oaks where neighbors threatened to recall Councilman David Ryu if he backed new developments.

And, according to a new poll, there is more support in Los Angeles for Proposition 10, the rent control expansion ballot initiative, than anywhere else in the state. The poll revealed a difficult path to victory for the initiative.

  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
Rent-control supporters march past the Capitol in Sacramento.
Rent-control supporters march past the Capitol in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

The California Republican Party spent $5.8 million against two November ballot measures that would expand rent control and limit profits for dialysis clinics after accepting a similar amount of money from business interests. 

The money paid for “member communication” opposing Propositions 8 and 10, according to campaign reports filed over the last few weeks.  

It’s not illegal for political parties to ask for money to fund mailers for ballot measures as long as the contributions are reported to the state. The arrangement allows outside groups to pay for the outreach to voters and hide behind the state GOP name without disclosing their own identities  on the mailers or advertisements. 

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
(Photo courtesy the Proposition 6 campaign)

Objecting to the ballot title provided by state officials, the Proposition 6 campaign has sent a mass mailer to California voters labeled “Election Ballot Correction” that opponents of the gas-tax repeal initiative say is misleading because it looks like an official notice.

The mailer sent to some 2 million absentee voters across the state says “The correct title for Proposition 6 should read Proposition 6: Gas Tax Repeal Initiative.”

The mailer by Reform California, a group headed by Republican activist Carl DeMaio, was criticized Monday by Matt Cate, co-chairman of the No on Proposition 6 campaign.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election

California gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox on Monday highlighted their diametrically opposed beliefs on the state’s criminal justice and immigration policies.

In a KQED radio debate, Cox staked out a tough-on-crime stance and denounced recent voter initiatives that have reduced some theft and drug crimes and overhauled the parole system, saying they have contributed to high property crime. He said he would not continue such reforms if elected governor, while Newsom called them “enlightened policies” enacted under the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown, pledging to build on the governor’s legacy.

The two candidates also hold very different positions on bail reform and California’s so-called “sanctuary state” law, with Cox pledging to work to repeal them and Newsom arguing that his opponent “parrots in almost every opportunity Donald Trump and Trumpism.” 

  • 2018 election

Gavin Newsom has centered his gubernatorial campaign on his rivalry with President Trump. But long before Trump, Newsom was known for his squabbles with fellow Democrats.

KQED’s Scott Shafer asked Newsom on Monday about the lieutenant governor’s history of tussling with other elected officials — be it colleagues on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Gov. Jerry Brown when Newsom briefly ran against him in 2010 or leaders in the California Legislature.

Newsom said the spats were a good thing — a sign he’d go against the political grain.


Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox was quick to blame “special interests in Sacramento” for wasteful government spending during Monday’s radio debate against Gavin Newsom. 

But when pressed on how he’d tackle the influence of money in politics, he repeatedly demurred, saying he’d unveil his plans after the election.

Cox hasn’t always been so coy. In fact, he got his start in California politics by pushing an out-of-the box initiative to create a “neighborhood Legislature,” which would have dramatically expanded the number of state lawmakers. Cox tried, and failed, multiple times to get the proposal on the ballot.

  • 2018 election
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Republican businessman John Cox faced off Monday in a candidate forum in San Francisco.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Republican businessman John Cox faced off Monday in a candidate forum in San Francisco. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The candidates for California governor clashed in a debate Monday over Proposition 6, the initiative that would repeal fuel tax increases and vehicle fees for repairing the state’s roads and bridges.

Republican John Cox, who is co-chairman of the Proposition 6 campaign, said that if elected, Democrat Gavin Newsom would not force Caltrans to improve operations to allow the state to pay for road repairs without raising taxes.

“I think Gavin would not exercise enough control over efficiency at Caltrans,” Cox said during the debate on KQED radio, adding that Democrats are “digging into the pockets of people who are already paying” high fuel taxes “instead of reforming that system.”

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election

California gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox outlined sharp contrasts on how to resolve the state’s housing affordability crisis during a radio debate Monday morning.

While they agreed the state needs to speed production to address the state’s low housing supply, they differed on how to do that.

Newsom, the Democratic lieutenant governor, said the state needed to increase spending to help build new low-income housing developments, and pitched giving cities and counties more financial incentives to approve new housing. Currently, the state’s tax structure provides more revenue to local governments that approve commercial and hotel projects compared with housing. Newsom said he’d be willing to reexamine Proposition 13’s property tax restrictions as part of broad changes to the tax structure.