AirTalk for October 27, 2010

Mercer 11541
During an appearance at the Women's Conference, moderator Matt Lauer of the “Today” show asked gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman to pull all negative advertising. Brown said he would if Whitman would. But the GOP candidate wouldn’t agree to the pledge, drawing boos from the audience. Brown, the Democrat in the race, went into the debate polling 6-13 points ahead, giving him more flexibility to make such a pledge. So was it a fair question? And how will this standoff change the tenor of the campaigns?
Mercer 11512
The California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee convened a hearing on nuclear expansion yesterday. Right now, California gets 15 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy. The pressure is on to reduce carbon emissions while increasing electric capacity. Is the answer to build more nuclear power plants? How much will that cost? And how will the public respond?
Mercer 11510

Steve Cooley - candidate for Attorney General

In California’s contentious race for Attorney General, Republican candidate Steve Cooley holds a narrow lead over Democratic opponent Kamala Harris. As Los Angeles County’s three-term District Attorney, Cooley has strong name recognition in this usually Democratic stronghold. Cooley, a 63 year-old career prosecutor, is considered a centrist by many, with proven managerial skills. Cooley supports the death penalty and backers say he’s tough on crime. But critics question his stance on the state’s three strikes law, same-sex marriage and the new federal health reform law. Where does Cooley stand on these important issues? What would top his agenda if he becomes California’s next top cop?
Mercer 11515
President Obama is back on the campaign trail trying to rev up support for Democratic candidates in the midterm election. Last week, he held a rally in Los Angeles, which drew more than 37,000 attendees. This Saturday, fans of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will descend on the National Mall in D.C. for the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear." Supporters of this event, a rejoinder to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in August, say it's time for America to "take it down a notch." Are all these folks just entertaining the choir? Or can this fusion of entertainment and activism create real change? Are bona fide political rallies any more effective at energizing voters?
Mercer 11525
As a candidate for the Colombian presidency in 2002, she was brave—or foolish—enough to campaign near the jungle stronghold of rebel paramilitaries. That’s when Ingrid Betancourt was taken hostage and held captive for six years, becoming the icon of the government and civilians’ struggle against a drug-fueled armed resistance. Her memoir, Even Silence Has an End, sheds light on those dark days.
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