House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Friday announced her support for a proposition that would repeal the death penalty in California, calling the practice "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
"Even the most heinous of crimes can be punished without killing," she said. "As Pope Francis said in his address to Congress, where he reaffirmed his advocacy for the global abolition of the death penalty: ‘every human person is endowed with an unalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.’"
Pelosi is among a string of top political leaders, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and celebrities to come out in support of Proposition 62, which would replace the punishment with life in prison without parole and apply life sentences retroactively to death row inmates. The initiative is one of two competing death penalty measures on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday became the latest high-profile politician to endorse an initiative on next week’s ballot that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California.
Villaraigosa is considering whether to run for governor in 2018 amid a field that already includes Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a leading proponent of Proposition 64.
“I took my time on this measure because I wanted to make sure it included protections for children and public safety,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “In evaluating the measure in its entirety, I am convinced there are enough safeguards to make it a workable proposition.”
In a rare show of unanimity, every member of the California Senate signed a letter on Monday asking Congress to permanently waive any repayment of bonuses offered to the state's National Guard members for Iraq war reenlistment.
Most of the soldiers that accepted the money "acted on good faith, relying on bad information from recruiters and others in positions of authority," said the letter signed by all 39 sitting members of the state Senate.
The Congressional Leadership Fund is pouring another $1.5 million into the race between Rep. Jeff Denham and Democrat farmer Michael Eggman.
The group, which is endorsed by House Republican leaders, and works with the American Action Network, has now spent $3.5 million in the race. The race was initially viewed as an easy win for Denham (R-Turlock), but has become increasingly uncertain in recent weeks.
The Rev. Al Sharpton kicks off a rally and march in support of Proposition 61, the California ballot measure that seeks to lower the price state agencies pay for prescription drugs.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders gathered at a rally Monday morning to support Proposition 61, the ballot measure that seeks to lower the price state agencies pay for prescription drugs.
Sharpton appeared alongside black community leaders, including Marc Morial, former New Orleans mayor and head of the National Urban League, and Kevin Sauls, pastor of a South L.A. church.
"This issue is very simple," Sharpton said to a crowd of about 40 supporters. "It’s about the right of people to afford what they need, and they need to have accessibility that is affordable with prescription drugs."
Voters casting a ballot for Proposition 53 on election day are, in effect, choosing more voting on more propositions in future elections.
The ballot measure, bankrolled by a wealthy Stockton agribusiness owner, seeks to force voter approval of a particular type of borrowing for large public works projects. Its most likely impact, in the near future, would be ballot measures on a landmark water project and on California's high-speed rail effort.
The proposition's backer, Dean Cortopassi, argues it's all about more transparency when it comes to government debt.
U.S. Senate candidate and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris launched a 10-day campaign bus tour in Santa Clarita on Sunday, holding a rally with down-ballot Democrats who hope she’ll bring out the party faithful in the November election.
The rally, which was jam-packed inside the tiny, local Democrat Party headquarters, will be the first of many Harris will hold this week in congressional districts where Democrats threaten to nab seats from Republican incumbents.
Harris’ rival in the race, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange, was campaigning in the Inland Empire over the weekend, touting her record on water issues and taking a few swipes at Harris. Sanchez said she’s the only candidate in the race talking about the issues and that all she’s seen from Harris are "commercials on TV."