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The Orange County Transportation Authority provides bus services and improvement projects, including a planned widening of the 405 Freeway.
The Orange County Transportation Authority provides bus services and improvement projects, including a planned widening of the 405 Freeway. (Los Angeles Times)

An initiative to repeal an increase in California’s fuel taxes and vehicle fees may force a reduction of bus service in Orange County and elimination of some transit jobs, officials and union leaders said Friday.

Members of Teamsters Union Local 952 rallied against Proposition 6 outside the headquarters of the Orange County Transportation Authority, saying repeal of transportation taxes approved by the Legislature in Senate Bill 1 could force an 11% cut in the budget for bus operations, jeopardizing nearly 200 jobs.

“We were able to avoid service cuts and job losses because of SB 1, but now if this goes through we’re going to have a bunch of job losses and we’re going to have a negative impact on the traffic,” said Patrick D. Kelly, the secretary-treasurer for the union local.

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For years, Rep. Devin Nunes and the Fresno Bee got along just fine. But now, facing his first serious election challenge in years, the Central Valley congressman is on the attack — not against his Democratic opponent, but his district’s largest newspaper and what he calls its “band of creeping correspondents.”

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de León will meet Wednesday for a conversation moderated by the Public Policy Institute of California.

But is it a debate? Feinstein’s campaign says it is, De León’s team says it is not.

Moderator and PPIC president Mark Baldassare will sit between the two Democrats, posing questions to each. The candidates will have three minutes to answer each question and will not engage one another as in a traditional debate, but Baldassare will have discretion over allowing rebuttals. (PPIC says the face-off will be similar in format to a conversation last month between the state superintendent of public instruction candidates.)

An inherited home once owned by comedian Dom DeLuise in Malibu has received a large property tax break.
An inherited home once owned by comedian Dom DeLuise in Malibu has received a large property tax break. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Eliminating California’s inheritance tax break for vacation houses and rental property and restricting its use for primary homes could raise $2 billion a year in property taxes over time, according to a new analysis.

The tax break was subject of a recent Times investigation that found wealthy heirs across the state had received large tax benefits from inherited property and that the majority of heirs had not reported their homes as their primary residence.

For instance, actor Jeff Bridges and his siblings would have paid an additional $300,000 in property taxes if their Malibu beach property had been reassessed when they inherited it nine years ago. Earlier this year, the family listed the home for rent at $15,995 a month.

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(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The Proposition 6 campaign on Tuesday cited six-figure salaries given to thousands of government transportation workers as a reason why California voters should approve the initiative to repeal fuel-tax and vehicle-fee increases enacted last year.

Less than a month before the Nov. 6 election, campaign chairman Carl DeMaio is set to host a news conference Wednesday in front of Caltrans headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, where he said he will argue that the state can fix roads and bridges without raising the gas tax and vehicle fees.

DeMaio said Tuesday that public records requested by the campaign show thousands of government transportation agency employees are getting excessive paychecks.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla speaks about election integrity.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla speaks about election integrity. (Mini Racker/ Los Angeles Times)

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla criticized the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday for incorrectly registering 1,500 individuals to vote, saying he was “hugely concerned” that the agency did not uncover the errors until The Times revealed them to the public.

The registration errors might have been caused by the motor voter program, which requires Californians to opt out if they do not want to be registered to vote when they get a driver’s license. Padilla said that a freeze of the program was on the table, and has also called for an independent audit of the DMV’s technology and procedures.

“They’ve demonstrated that they’re not capable of handling it themselves, and the stakes are too high as we approach the voter registration deadline and the November election to have any more mistakes like this,” Padilla said of the DMV.

(Official Voter Information Guide, California Secretary of State)

Californians receiving their official state voter information guide for the Nov. 6 election may notice a glaring omission.

On the page displaying the candidates for California governor is a picture of Republican John Cox and a half-page candidate statement, along with his campaign website address and official Twitter handle.

But Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statement is nowhere to be found. All that’s listed is his name, party affiliation and a concise message: “No candidate statement.”

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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.