Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Obama vs. Romney: Watch & discuss the last presidential debate here


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President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Oct. 22, 2012 at the start of the third presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney will meet Monday night for their final debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The format will be similar to the first presidential debate, but the candidates will focus on foreign policy.

It's your last chance to watch and discuss the debate with us. Check out live footage on this page starting at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern or listen at KPCC 89.3 FM.

As always, you can also tune in via our live stream from your computer, or listen to the debate through our iPhone or Android apps. If technology can't pull through, you can go old school and listen at 89.3 FM on your radio.

RELATED: MAP: Where you can register today to cast a ballot in November's election

Don't forget – we want to know how you think each candidate fares. You can take part in the discussion in the comments below, on our Facebook page and on Twitter (just "@" mention @KPCC if you'd like us to share your tweet).


Political battle for the White House fought in pages of women's magazines

First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have made magazines a platform for courting women voters.

Ann Romney sat down with the ladies of “The View” last week and tackled tough questions on abortion (her husband “has always been a pro-life person”), and why the Romney sons hadn’t served in the military (all were on Mormon missions, “We find different ways of serving”).

Last month, Michelle Obama stopped by the show with her husband. The topic of the Libya attack came up, but most of the questions were softball queries about their marriage.

The candidate’s wives have shown up in puffy articles in many magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Parade, and People.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised to find Michelle Obama in between the perfume and handbag ads in this month’s Elle.  But it doesn’t read like a puff piece.  It reads like a campaign mailer, complete with the “5 reasons to vote for Barack.”


Some surprises among rating of CA lawmakers by Human Rights Campaign

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, who represents Palm Springs, was one of only two House Republicans who joined Defense of Marriage Act opponents on some legislation

The Human Rights Campaign has issued its annual Congressional scorecard on issues important to the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. A look at how California lawmakers fared shows some interesting results.

As expected, nearly all House Democrats from the Golden State agreed to co-sponsor every piece of legislation backed by the HRC, and voted up or down in ways the campaign approved; most California Republicans did not.

But there were exceptions.

The HRC didn’t like the House version of the Violence Against Women reauthorization because, unlike the Senate version, it doesn’t expand protections to partners in same-sex couples.  Democrats, by and large, voted against it, but so did GOP Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach and Tom McClintock of Lake Tahoe.

McClintock voted against it for reasons other than its exclusion of same-sex couple protection. On his website, McClintock blasts the legislation as "a feel-good measure that uses 'Violence Against Women' as an excuse to vastly expand a dizzying array of government grant programs, hamstring judges who are attempting to resolve and reconcile highly volatile relationships, add $1.8 billion to the nation’s debt and generally insinuate the federal government into matters the Constitution clearly reserves to the states."


The challenges of debate moderating have grown along with partisan differences



US President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney debate on October 16, 2012 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Undecided voters asked questions during a town hall format.

There continue to be questions about how moderators approach Presidential debates and about whether the extra time President Obama has received in the first two debates indicates moderator bias in his favor. 

I had chalked up the concerns to Republican hyper-partisanship, such as we saw with many Democrats criticizing Jim Lehrer for his moderating — as though Obama would’ve won the first debate if only Lehrer had asserted himself more.   However, even CNN has been doing significant follow-up on its own Candy Crowley’s performance in debate number two. 

Maybe it’s not just hardcore GOP loyalists who are questioning Crowley’s decision-making on when to cut in and when to allow the candidates to take more time. I thought she did pretty well, but there are plenty of critics.

As someone who has moderated hundreds of debates, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what we’ve seen so far in this election. Though I’ve never moderated a Presidential debate, with its incredible level of attention, concern about rules, and demands by campaigns, there are certain fundamentals regardless of the office or issue at stake.


MAP: Where you can register today to cast a ballot in November's election

Deepa Fernandes/KPCC

Parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church fills out his voter registration form after Sunday mass.

Deepa Fernandes/KPCC

Jesus Cervantes (L) and two volunteer registrars from St Joseph’s Catholic Church. The table is set up outside the church to encourage all Sunday mass goers to register to vote.

If you’re eligible to vote in next month’s presidential election and you haven’t registered, it’s the 11th hour. TODAY is the last day to register to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 presidential election. While California's Secretary of State and county registrars of voters have actively encouraged people to register online, many traditional voter mobilization efforts are also in play through Monday night.

Outside St. Joseph’s Catholic church in Hawthorne, some parishioners set up a table after Sunday mass with American flags and paper registration forms.

Volunteer registrar Jesus Cervantes said the economy is fueling interest in next month's election.

"We desperately need to create more jobs in this community. There's a lot of young adults who are ready to work, but there’s no jobs," Cervantes said. "Besides that, there’s young people that are just ready to start joining the workforce, but same problem: no jobs."