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Latest State, Regional Election Coverage and Results (BLOG)



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
 

4:45 p.m. Supporters of Failed Prop 37 Say Campaign Brought National Attention to an Important Issue

More than 4 million Californians voted for the food labeling initiative, but that amounted to only 46 percent of voters while 53 percent opposed. 

David Murphy with Yes on 37 says the California campaign succeeded in drawing national attention.

"This is a social movement," said Murphy. "Building awareness about an issue, genetically-engineered foods, it wasn't even on the on map five years ago, politically, in a national conversation."   

Murphy says the California initiative engaged over 10,000 volunteers.  Stacy Malkan is with Yes on 37.

"It did build an organizing force that's ready to go forward, with just so much passion and energy," she said.

The organizers are funneling that energy into passing labeling initiatives in Washington state and Oregon, and rallying to push legislation in Connecticut and Vermont.

A coalition of consumers groups and organic farmers is also pressuring the Food and Drug Administration for national labeling regulations.

The issue could be pushed to the forefront if the FDA approves a variety of genetically-engineered salmon.

4:04 p.m. Senate Leader Steinberg Comments on New Supermajority

California Democrats have captured a supermajority in the state Senate, giving them the authority to raise taxes.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg says that doesn't mean they will. He says Democrats will exercise their new power with strength, humility and reason.

But he says it is time to reinvest.

"We're not going to just go do whatever we want to do and we won't have the ability to restore all of the losses that have occurred over the last four years, but we will take the opportunity to fight for and restore some of the worst of the worst cuts that have been made," said Steinberg.

1107 Steinberg

In a statement, Senate Republican leader Bob Huff says Republicans are committed to working with the Governor and Democrats.

He added that doing so will require a focus on job creation, quality education and improved oversight of taxpayer resources.

10:46 a.m. School Bond Measures Do Well

In Davis, Measure E, the local school parcel tax, appears to have won with a margin of 68.9 percent "Yes." It required a two-thirds majority to win, so that's a 2.2 percent margin. 
 
Other area school bond measures did well. These are all measures to help pay for campus improvements -- everything from fixing leaky windows to installing new technology. 
 
In Sacramento, Measure Q collected 69 percent of the vote and Measure R got 67 percent.
 
San Juan Unified's Measure N collected 58 percent of the vote, and Folsom Cordova's Measure P came in with 69 percent.  
 
 
 

8:00 a.m. Propositions Round-up

California voters approved about half of the 11 ballot measures they faced at the polls.   
 
Measures that Passed:
 
Brown-30-AN
 
It was a major win for California Governor Jerry Brown, as Californians approved Proposition 30 - his sales and income tax measure.  
 
Californians also approved Proposition 35, which increases penalties for human trafficking…and 36, which changes the state's three strikes law to allow for shorter sentences in some cases. 
 
Voters gave the go-ahead to Proposition 39, which changes the way multi-state corporations pay California tax; many will pay more. 
 
And Californians overwhelmingly approved Proposition 40, which was a referendum of the state's new Senate district map.  That means the current lines drawn by the citizen's commission will stand. 
 
 
Measures that Failed:
 
California voters rejected Proposition 31, which would have changed the state budget process.  
 
They also rejected Proposition 32, which would have banned campaign contributions from corporations and unions. 
 
It was the most expensive battle on November's ballot. More than 120 million dollars was raised to both fight and support the measure.
 
Jake Suski is spokesman for the "Yes on 32" campaign. 
 
 "The unions and the big corporations were in adamant opposition to Prop 32 and the unions spent over 70 million dollars fighting it, and at the end of the day those special interests came out as victors in this election."
 
While labor led the No on Prop. 32 fight, businesses and wealthy Republicans funded the opposing campaign. 
 
Voters also rejected Proposition 33, which would have let auto insurers charge drivers based on their history of coverage.  
 
Proposition 34 , which would repeal the death penalty - is trailing, but too close to call.  Voters rejected Proposition. 37, which would have required labels on products containing genetically modified ingredients.  
 
And they said "no" to Proposition 38, the tax measure that billed itself as a better alternative to Governor Brown's measure. 
 
 
 

8:00 a.m. Incumbents Hold Seats in Several Congressional Races

 
Incumbents will hold on to their seats in several area congressional races: 
 
Stockton-area Democrat Jerry McNerny defeated Republican Ricky Gill, 54% to 46%, in the 9th District. 
 
Solano-area Democrat John Garamendi has defeated Republican challenger Kim Vann in the 3rd district by a 54 to 46 percent margin. 
 
In the 6th District, Sacramento-area Democrat Doris Matsui easily won her seat against Republican challenger Joseph McCray, Senior, with 74 percent of the vote.
 
In the 10th District, Modesto-area Republican Jeff Denham has defeated Democrat - and astronaut - Jose Hernandez, 54% to 46%. 
 
In the U.S. Senate, Democrat Dianne Feinstein defeated Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken 62% to 38%.
 
 

7:45 a.m. Voters Approve Proposition 30

After a campaign full of twists and turns, California voters approved Governor Jerry Brown's sales and income tax measure - but not without a suspenseful Election Night.
 
It's been the cornerstone of Jerry Brown's agenda since the day he returned to the California governor's office: Win voter approval of a tax measure to bring an end to the state's years of never-ending budget deficits.
 
After a campaign full of twists and turns, voters approved the governor's sales and income tax measure, Proposition 30 - 54 percent to 46 percent - but not without a suspenseful Election Night.
 
Californians usually don't go for statewide tax measures.  They've rejected them the last seven times they've seen them on the ballot.  And late into Election Night, Prop 30's fate was far from certain.  Early returns showed the measure trailing, then pulling even.  Then, just as it took a narrow lead after 11pm, Governor Brown took the stage at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Sacramento.
 
Brown: "Well, here we are.  We have a vote of the people - I think the only place in America where a state actually said, let's raise our taxes for our kids, for our schools, for our California dream."
 
It sounded like a victory speech…
 
Brown: "We had to overcome a lot of obstacles - we overcame 'em.  Yes on 30, yes on our kids, yes on California!  We're all in it together.  Thank you very much!"
 
Yet at that moment, less than half of the votes had actually been counted.  And opponents like Aaron McLear with the "No on 30" campaign held out hope a while longer.
 
McLear: "I think it's too early to tell.  It's just after midnight on Election Night.  We have a lot of counties to go."
 
It wasn't until after 3am that the Associated Press officially declared Prop 30's passage.
 
See the full story and slideshow.
 
 

7:15 a.m. Possible Supermajority in Both State and Assembly

In a surprise development, Assembly Speaker John Perez says Democrats have won two-thirds of the seats in the lower house. That would give them the supermajority needed to pass tax increases without Republican votes.   

The contest that may put Democrats over the top in the Assembly is between Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quick-Silva and Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby.  Quick-Silva is leading by about one-thousand votes, with some mail ballots still to be counted.

Democrats were always expected to have a good shot at winning two-thirds of the state Senate seats - but the Assembly is a surprise.  Perez says it will present a big opportunity his party:

"What it means is that we can build in the success of the past couple of years.  It means that we'll have two thirds of the members of both houses who are ready to roll up their sleeves and focus on continuing the work we've done in terms of stabilizing the economy and growing jobs."

Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg has not yet declared victory in the upper house, but the races are trending toward a Democratic supermajority.

If Democrats control two-thirds of both houses, it would also allow them to override a Governor's veto and put constitutional amendments on the ballot.   The verdict is still out - but it's looking like a real possibility.

 

7:15 a.m.  Propositions Round-up

Californians reject Propositions 31, 33, 34, 37, approve 36, 35, 39

Three Strikes
 
California voters have approved reforming the nation's toughest three strikes law to allow for shorter sentences.
 
Proposition 36 eliminates 25 years-to-life sentences for inmates whose third felony conviction is not a serious or violent crime.  
 
Dan Newman, with the "Yes on 36" campaign, says the change will save the state millions of dollars.
 
Newman: "It's a great victory for California taxpayers to keep communities safe because we can focus those law enforcement resources on violent and dangerous criminals instead of wasting money the way we were under this flaw in the law."
 
Previously, any felony conviction, no matter how minor, triggered the automatic sentence for an offender with two previous felony convictions.
 
Opponents argued the law needed no alteration and was meant to punish California's habitual offenders.
 
An effort to repeal California's death penalty appears headed for defeat.
 
Death Penalty
 
Proposition 34 would have replaced the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole.
 
Supporters of the repeal say the state is wasting money on special housing and taxpayer financed appeals for inmates on death row.
 
But Peter DeMarco, the spokesman for the "No on Prop 34" campaign, says it appears that voters don't buy that argument.
 
DeMarco: "In the onslaught of millions of dollars in misleading advertising and claims that were never substantiated we had a very strong message that said stand with the victims and their families."
 
DeMarco says guaranteeing murderers lifetime housing and healthcare would cost taxpayers more money.
 
With 75-percent of precincts reporting, the proposition was failing 46 to 53-percent.
 
Others
 
For the second time in three years, California voters have rejected a ballot initiative that would have let auto insurers charge drivers based on their history of maintaining coverage.
 
Proposition 33 failed with about 55 percent voting against it. 
Voters also rejected Prop 37 which would have required labels on products containing genetically modified ingredients.
 
Californians voted in favor of Prop 35, increasing human trafficking penalties.
 
And Proposition 39, which ends a tax break for some businesses, passed.
 
It's expected to generate about a billion dollars a year
 
 
Three Strikes
 
California voters have approved reforming the nation's toughest three strikes law to allow for shorter sentences.
 
Proposition 36 eliminates 25 years-to-life sentences for inmates whose third felony conviction is not a serious or violent crime.  
 
Dan Newman, with the "Yes on 36" campaign, says the change will save the state millions of dollars.
 
Newman: "It's a great victory for California taxpayers to keep communities safe because we can focus those law enforcement resources on violent and dangerous criminals instead of wasting money the way we were under this flaw in the law."
 
Previously, any felony conviction, no matter how minor, triggered the automatic sentence for an offender with two previous felony convictions.
 
Opponents argued the law needed no alteration and was meant to punish California's habitual offenders.
 
An effort to repeal California's death penalty appears headed for defeat.
 
Death Penalty
 
Proposition 34 would have replaced the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole.
 
Supporters of the repeal say the state is wasting money on special housing and taxpayer financed appeals for inmates on death row.
 
But Peter DeMarco, the spokesman for the "No on Prop 34" campaign, says it appears that voters don't buy that argument.
 
DeMarco: "In the onslaught of millions of dollars in misleading advertising and claims that were never substantiated we had a very strong message that said stand with the victims and their families."
 
DeMarco says guaranteeing murderers lifetime housing and healthcare would cost taxpayers more money.
 
With 75-percent of precincts reporting, the proposition was failing 46 to 53-percent.
 
 Others
 
For the second time in three years, California voters have rejected a ballot initiative that would have let auto insurers charge drivers based on their history of maintaining coverage.
 
Proposition 33 failed with about 55 percent voting against it. 
Voters also rejected Prop 37 which would have required labels on products containing genetically modified ingredients.
 
Californians voted in favor of Prop 35, increasing human trafficking penalties.
 
And Proposition 39, which ends a tax break for some businesses, passed.
 
It's expected to generate about a billion dollars a year

6:15 a.m. Changes in School Bonds and Sales Taxes in Sacramento

Tuesday's election resulted in a number of changes for the City of Sacramento.

People who make purchases in the City of Sacramento will pay a little more next year.  Voters approved a half-cent sales tax hike with the passage of Measure "U."

Measure "T," was ahead at last count.  It would put the method of trash collection back in the hands of the City Council. 

School bonds in the City and in the Folsom Cordova and San Juan school districts all passed.

Who will serve on the City Council was not resolved last night. The District Two and Four races are both too close too call. 

6:15 a.m. Lungren - Bera Race Too Close To Call

The race for California's 7th congressional district is still too close to call.  Sacramento County has at least 50,000 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots to count.  

The two were separated by a few hundred votes when elections officials stopped counting for the night.   Lungren thanked supporters last night when it became apparent the race might be too close to call.

Bera's campaign manager, Josh Wolf says the 50-50 split after the absentee ballots were counted bodes well for the Bera campaign.

The Secretary of State's office says about half of registered voters requested vote-by-mail ballots.  Many turned those ballots into their polling places yesterday. 

 

6:15 a.m. Lungren - Bera Agree on Need For Reform

Dan Lungren and Ami Bera's Congressional race is still too close too call.  But, after a bitter fight, they have found something to agree on - the need for campaign finance reform. 

Lungren says people should be able to give as much as they want as long as the big donors are known to voters.

Lungren says: "If you gave over a certain amount, and we could argue about whether it's $20,000 or $50,000 or whatever it would be, that would have to be completed  at least five days, or maybe we do a week before the election so you wouldn't have this spurt of money coming in the last 24 hours that voters wouldn't be aware of."

Bera says there is legislation that has failed to pass through Congress that could change how elections are funded.

Bera says: "I'd love to co-sponsor that and try to get us to act on that. Yeah, I think a lot of Republicans are looking at how much money was spent against them and you might be able to create some bipartisan legislation that starts to enact some real campaign finance reform. "

According to the Federal Election Commission Bera and Lungren together raised more than five million dollars for their Congressional campaigns.

 

 
Click here for our Election night blog.
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