AirTalk for November 5, 2010

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California Attorney General election fight update

Los Angeles County's district attorney Steve Cooley trails San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris by fewer than 15,000 votes with all precincts reporting and tens of thousands of provisional and late absentee ballots still to be counted. It could be weeks before a winner is determined. How and when might this be resolved?
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Judge rules Jessica’s Law unconstitutional

The measure known as Jessica’s Law, passed in 2006, prevents convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather. This week, in response to a number of petitions by sex offenders, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge concluded the ban is overly restrictive and thus unconstitutional. With so many residential areas off limits, Judge Peter Espinoza says, sex offenders are left with the choice of either jail or homelessness. And by essentially consigning sex offenders to the streets, the law actually undermines public safety. As a result, the Department of Corrections has issued a memo to local parole agents ordering them to suspend enforcement of the ban. Does Jessica’s Law go too far in restricting the freedom of convicted offenders? What does this ruling mean to Southern California families?
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Handicapping pre-election polls

Now that the dust from the midterms has (mostly) settled and (nearly) all the votes have been counted, there’s one aspect of election season that bears more attention. Voters and campaigns have traditionally looked to pre-election polls to predict how elections will likely turn out. But polling methods aren’t standardized and frequently differ. Critics of early polling argue that potentially inaccurate predictions, which often get loads of media coverage, might negatively influence voters and possibly election outcomes. Or, just be totally off. Well, the tallies are in, and it’s possible to judge whether the polls got it right – or miserably wrong. So, which ones called it? Which didn’t? And more importantly, why?
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FilmWeek: Due Date, Megamind, 127 Hours and more

KPCC film critics Henry Sheehan, Andy Klein and Charles Solomon join Larry to review the week’s new film releases including Due Date, Megamind, 127 Hours, For Colored Girls, Fair Game, and Four Lions, among others… TGI-FilmWeek!
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From irreverent hits like “Short People” in the 70s to an illustrious career in Hollywood film composing, Randy Newman’s music has woven its way into the fabric of American life. Most recently, he’s added to his acclaim with jazzy numbers in The Princess and the Frog, touching strains of Toy Story 1, 2 & 3, and the Oscar winning Best Original Song “If I Have You” from Monster’s Inc. Now, Newman is collaborating with four-time Tony winning director Jerry Zaks on a new musical production. Based on Newman’s music and lyrics, “Harps and Angels” will make its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum this month. Newman joins Larry in studio to talk about this latest project and his prolific musical career. What’s your favorite Newman song?
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