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Political Beat

Capitol & California -- Political news and analysis from the statehouse and city hall

Insight and analysis that’s always interesting and never dull on California state politics, budget news, public policy and Election 2010 from the Political Beat team. Steven Luo is the Political Director. E-mail him with news, juicy tidbits, and questions at sluo@californiabeat.org.

[By Steven Luo | 26 Mar 2014 | No Comments]

FBI agents arrested 20 people Wednesday — including state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and notorious gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow — as part of a sweeping organized crime probe including allegations of arms trafficking, bribery, drug dealing, receiving stolen goods and money laundering.

Yee — charged with arms dealing and six counts of wire fraud in connection with soliciting campaign donations in exchange for political and official favors — could face decades in federal prison if convicted.

[By Beat News Service | 1 Jul 2013 | No Comments]
Record crowds turned out for the annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade Sunday, June 30, 2013. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

The stars of the victorious fight for Gay Rights took center-stage during an especially significant San Francisco Pride Parade Sunday.

Like in years past, marriage remained a prevailing theme. This year, there was added reason to celebrate: more than 500 same-sex marriage certificates were issued during Pride Weekend at San Francisco City Hall following the defeat of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, at the U.S. Supreme Court last week. 

[By Beat News Service | 26 Jun 2013 | No Comments]
Prop 8 rally and march

(6/26) — 0746 PDT — WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Supreme Court Wednesday declined to intervene in the legal battle over Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, effectively allowing gay couples to legally wed.

The Justices ruled Proposition 8’s authors had no legal standing to appeal a U.S. District Court’s order that overturned the ban. 

[By Nathan Wyss | 24 Nov 2012 | One Comment]
US Congressman George Miller joins OUR Walmart strikers at the store in Richmond, Calif. (Nathan Wyss/ CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

Amid the Black Friday shopping frenzy, workers, protesters, labor groups launched what they called a nationwide strike against big box retailer Walmart in protest of the company’s treatment of employees.

The company said the strikes, which took place at select stores around the country, were “made for TV” events attended largely by non-Walmart employees.

[By Vanessa Guerra | 20 Nov 2012 | No Comments]
The spot where President Obama's Oakland ground campaign was launched now sells stylish footwear to Uptown residents. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

Hundreds of East Bay volunteers working to get President Barack Obama re-elected showed up at the campaign’s Oakland office to get marching orders during the election.

If they visit now, though, they could be taking home some stylish footwear needed to win the next race.

[By Beat News Service | 19 Nov 2012 | One Comment]

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will decide Tuesday on whether to ban public nudity, an unprecedented maneuver to fight the blossoming popularity of urban nakedness in the city.

The proposed ordinance put forth by Supervisor Scott Wiener will likely gain enough votes to pass, but it follows a series of protests by naked men and women on the steps of City Hall, including a march last Wednesday around the building and in front of thousands of high schoolers on a field trip to the San Francisco Opera across the street.

[By Beat News Service | 17 Nov 2012 | No Comments]

(11/18) — 1155 PST UPDATE — SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — Approximately 100 Pro-Palestinian protesters marched through streets around Union Square Saturday evening in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine over the disputed Gaza Strip.

Traffic was stopped along Powell and Geary Streets near Macy’s Union Square and down Market Street while marchers walked through lanes of traffic shouting, “while you’re shopping, bombs are dropping.” 

[By Andrew Leonard | 17 Nov 2012 | One Comment]
Andrew Leonard / CALIFORNIA BEAT

Sentiments about the violent conflict on the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestine spilled onto the streets of San Francisco late Friday afternoon in a spirited but peacceful protest in front of the Israeli consulate.

Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Israel demonstrators chanted and waved banners at one another from opposite sides of Montgomery Street in the Financial District during the afternoon commute hour as part of Bay Area reaction to the conflict in Gaza.

[By Beat News Service | 13 Nov 2012 | No Comments]

The San Francisco Fire Department was called out the City Hall Tuesday evening after smoke from a small electrical fire triggered the building’s smoke alarms, witnesses said.

The fire was reported before 9:30 p.m., a dispatcher said. 

[By Steven Luo | 7 Nov 2012 | No Comments]

In what is fast becoming a biennial tradition, the Bay Area’s cash-starved local governments went to voters hat in hand, and for the most part, came away with what they asked for.

Of 48 tax or bond measures on the ballot in the six core Bay Area counties, 36 passed, including 13 measures requiring a two-thirds supermajority — though Alameda County voters appeared to be more skeptical than their regional counterparts.