In 2010, students at three underperforming middle schools sued the Los Angeles Unified School District on the grounds that seniority-based teacher layoffs unfairly impact poor schools. This is because difficult schools tend to be staffed by newer teachers, what with more senior teachers choosing high-performing schools. The case is still being litigated, but both sides agree that “evidence shows there is a distinct relationship between high teacher turnover and the quality of educational opportunities afforded. Read More
When considering why President Barack Obama performed so poorly in comparison to Mitt Romney at Wednesday’s presidential debate, one should note that Romney has had plenty of recent debate practice in the Republican primary. But those debates also gave the Obama team a potential advantage: a record of Romney’s statements about current issues that Obama could be ready to challenge, fact-check and use as fodder for seemingly spontaneous one-liners. That Obama had no responses to Romney’s altogether predictable rhetoric was a completely missed opportunity. Read More
The plastic bag surcharge is in effect in just about every store in The City — and, for better or worse, we all have suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to thank. Back when he was on the Board of Supervisors, plastic bags, PG&E and brevity were his enemies, although he only pushed through a law banning one of them. As of Oct. 1, stores must charge a dime for any bag they have to provide to customers. Read More
The first of three presidential debates will take place this coming Wednesday, and we’ve all been reading that this is “The Biggest Thing Since That Last Big Thing.”
The first game-changer was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president. Then it was the conventions. But when none of those produced much more than a ripple in the murky political waters, the hopes of Republicans have come to rest with the debates. Read More
Radiation is far from the only problem bedeviling the residents of Treasure Island. Delays in development have left residents of the island neglected in other ways.
Take power outages, for instance. Whenever the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is planning an outage, it tells residents to relocate or find another way to keep medical devices working, unplug computers and other electrical equipment, not open their refrigerators and freezers, keep flashlights handy and be sure to reset security systems and alarm clocks when it’s all over. Read More
This election season, pundits everywhere are denying the existence of the undecided voter. While that may be true for some races, there’s one ballot measure in California that has voters stumped, and that may be the best reason to vote against it. Read More
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the subject of the day was a proposed renewable energy plan, CleanPowerSF. No member of the board objected to the notion that the plan would give San Franciscans the option of using 100 percent renewable energy instead of just contracting with PG&E. At issue was the fact that being green takes green — the eco-friendly energy option could cost most ratepayers between $9 and $18 more per month, and residents would be automatically enrolled in the plan unless they opt out. Read More
Gov. Jerry Brown said, “I’m fired up and ready to go!” in response to Candy Crowley’s question as to whether he will run for re-election in 2014. Read More
Over the past two weeks, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has been distributing a flier to his supporters. On it is a series of bulleted sentiments, or “Points to convey in letters to the editor, supervisors and on-line media sites. Ideas to get started: choose, combine, re-phrase, embellish.”
The directive mentions the will of the voters or “democracy” at least three times. As in, “The sheriff was duly elected by voters. We put him into office; only we should decide whether he stays.” Read More
After Bill Clinton’s speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, the delegates cast their votes on behalf of each state. The woman who took the microphone to cast Arizona’s vote said that her state had produced some fabulous politicians from both parties. Read More
Early Tuesday night, Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., gave a rousing speech to an enthusiastic crowd at the Democratic National Convention. It wasn’t part of the main presentation, though, and that is no accident.
Remember that back in May, Booker told David Gregory of “Meet the Press” that President Barack Obama’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s time with Bain Capital were “nauseating to the American public.” Read More
On Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn took the stage to refute statements made by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan last week at his party’s convention. That came on the heels of statements by John Burton, the chairman of the Democratic Party of California, referring to the huge, demonstrable lies in Ryan’s speech as “the big lie” and invoking Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Burton has apologized, even if only in that empty “if you were offended” kind of way. But Ryan has not. Read More
The Republican National Convention was my first national convention, so its my only reference point to describe the Democratic National Convention. The first thing that stands out to me is the fact that Obama is everywhere. Barely a surface goes unmolested by an O, his picture or his name. This is in stark contrast to the Republican Convention, where the gift shop contained lots of elephant and GOP sweaters, visors and jewelry. Read More
Since 1851, the holder of the America’s Cup trophy has lost only four times. The structure of the race requires challengers to compete against each other to determine who will go head to head with the champion. While teams exhaust themselves vying for a chance to race the incumbent, the team with the trophy need only worry about the final race.
The ability to focus on the ultimate goal is key to presidential politics, too. Since World War II, the only sitting presidents who have lost re-election bids have first had to overcome challenges within their own party.
There was undeniable excitement in the air on Thursday. It was the night they had all been waiting for: the Big Speech. All week we had been surrounded by Mitt Romney billboards, treated to stories about Mitt Romney and sold schwag bearing his name. And then he was finally there. It was the Homecoming Game. After filming the morning segment for CBS 5 KPIX, I headed out to a resort where the California delegation was staying. A huge number of folks — about 600, I’m told — made up of delegates, alternates and families had taken over one resort in St. Petersburg. Read More