Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Republicans Gary Miller and Bob Dutton square off in Inland Empire race for Congress


Steven Cuevas / KPCC

Rancho Cucamonga and other Inland cities are awash with campaign sings for 31st Congressional candidates Bob Dutton and Gary Miller.


Steven Cuevas / KPCC

31st Congressional candidate Bob Dutton celebrates his birthday with supporters while on the campaign trail in Grand Terrace.


Gary Miller for Congress

31st Congressional candidate Gary Miller.

Two veteran politicians are battling for control of a newly drawn Congressional district in the Inland Empire.

Both candidates are Republicans — pushed into an all-GOP fight by California’s “top two” primary system that sends the two leading vote-getters into the general election regardless of party. But even though both are Republicans, there are key differences between the two.

The 31st Congressional District swings west from Redlands, up through San Bernardino and out to Rancho Cucamonga — home base for Republican Congressman Gary Miller.

“This is my fourth event today,” said Miller outside his campaign office before joining supporters for a hamburger lunch on a recent Saturday.

For nearly 15 years, Miller represented the 42nd District — an Orange County Republican stronghold that included a small ribbon of the Inland Empire.


Bill Clinton traveling to Irvine to boost CA Democratic Congressional candidates

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton recently spoke at an event at Florida International University in Miami.

Bill Clinton is visiting Orange County Tuesday. The former President is lending some star power to a quintet of lesser known Democrats who'd like to become members of the US House of Representatives.

Democrats know that if they want a shot at taking back the House, they have to pick up more than two dozen seats around the country.  Redistricting has made California ground zero for turning red to blue.

To help out, Clinton will be the headliner at a UC Irvine rally called "California's Voice."

He'll be there to boost candidates in five of the toughest House races in California.  Three are running for open seats: Julia Brownley in Ventura,  Alan Lowenthal in Long Beach, and Mark Takano in Riverside. Two others are taking on GOP incumbents: Scott Peters in San Diego, and Raul Ruiz in Palm Springs.


Deadline looms to register to vote for November elections

Floridians Register To Vote For Presidential Election As Deadline Nears

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In California, voters can now register on the internet. Shown is an old-fashioned Florida Voter Registration Application.

If you want to vote in the November 6 Presidential election you have until midnight on Monday to register. Eligible voters must be citizens of the United States and 18 years old by November 6th. 

In California, the deadline to register is always two weeks before the election date, and this weekend the rush is on to register. For the first time in the run-up to a Presidential election, voters may go online to register

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen is responsible for managing the hundreds of thousands of applications submitted in the final weeks before the voter registration deadline.

Bowen says she wants as many people as possible to register before Monday, and points out that should internet registration be too difficult, that the trusty paper applications are widely available. 


Voices of Young Voters: We talked to college students about what matters to them this election

Voices of Young Voters

Kim Bui/KPCC

Sharon McNary interviews a young voter at Whittier College

Could the voice of millennials be enough to change the election? An estimated 46 million of them (between age 18 and 29) will be eligible to vote this election year. We joined KQED and other West Coast public radio stations as a part of a project called "Young Voters West," which aimed to collect the voices of these young voters — what they stand for, why they matter and what issues are on their mind.

We headed to Whittier College, the University of Southern California and UCLA. 

Do their votes matter? Young voters overwhelmingly said they did, and even if they weren't quite 100 percent informed, they wanted to make sure they had their say in this year's election.

For Phong, a Vietnamese immigrant who was just naturalized, voting was important because, in his homeland, votes were just for show.


Business sector is dubious of Props 30, 38

Independent bookstore owner Alzada Knickerbocker

Bookstore owner Alzada Knickerbocker discusses an upcoming community event with manager Nicholas Weigand.

At the Avid Reader bookstore in Davis, just steps away from the UC campus, a customer digs into her wallet to purchase an early work by Jules Verne. The woman ringing up the purchase is store owner Alzada Knickerbocker.

“This is my 25th year,” Knickerbocker says.  “It’s an exciting year. So we have to celebrate that we’re still here.”  

The Avid Reader is one of two local independent bookstores that survived the arrival of Borders a decade ago. Now that the chain store has folded, Knickerbocker says things are looking up. 

But if voters pass either Prop 30 or 38, she and other small business owners who report earnings as personal income are worried. With Prop 30 for example, depending on income level, their tax rate — not their actual taxes — could rise by anywhere from 10-to-30 percent. Knickerbocker says Prop 30’s quarter-cent sales tax increase won’t help either.