Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 8.
- A rundown of California races to watch on Election Day.
- Nancy Pelosi says attack will affect her political future.
- And a colorful cubic retreat opens near Joshua Tree.
Here we go.
In California, only about 5 million ballots had been cast in the midterm elections as of Monday night. That’s roughly 23 percent of voters.
If you haven’t voted yet, polls open today at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Find your polling place here. 👉 SOS.ca.gov
Not registered? In California, you can register and vote on Election Day at your county elections office or a community voting center. The votes still count, but they are processed only after officials have confirmed eligibility. CapRadio
Tip: California lets you track when your ballot is mailed, received, and counted. ballottrax
With Democrats almost certain to win the governorship, legislative supermajorities in Sacramento, and most congressional seats, California’s midterm election cycle has offered little in the way of suspense. Here are five things political reporters in California said they would be watching closely:
Competitive congressional contests
California could be a deciding factor in which party controls the House of Representatives. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has highlighted five of the state’s districts that could go either way. L.A. Times
Los Angeles Mayor
Rep. Karen Bass, who would be the first female mayor of Los Angeles, has seen her lead over the real estate developer Rick Caruso dwindle to within the margin of error. L.A. Times | N.Y. Times
Will a Republican win statewide office for the first time in 16 years? Lanhee Chen, a young fiscal wonk at Stanford University, has pledged to inject discipline into California’s enormous spending. S.F. Chronicle | A.P.
The Roe effect
Supporters are confident that voters will back Proposition 1, which would enshrine abortion rights in California’s Constitution. But they want it to win big to send a national message. S.F. Chronicle
Measure O in Sacramento
Voters in the state capital will decide on a contentious law that would ban homeless encampments from public property as long as the city offers available shelter space. CapRadio
Other election happenings:
- In Culver City, a local measure would allow people as young as 16 to vote in city and school board elections. No other municipality in the U.S. has the issue on its ballot this year. L.A. Times
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the top House Republican, previewed his plans if the Republicans win the House on Tuesday: secure the border, cut back on government spending, and launch rigorous investigations into the Biden administration. CNN
- A hotly contested House race in Orange County, where the Republican has accused the Democrat of being a Communist, has become a microcosm of Asian American identity clashes. Washington Post
- Election Day is expected to be mild and dry across much of the U.S. — except in the West. A fierce storm system is expected to peak Tuesday, prompting worries that voting could seem more daunting. L.A. Times | Washington Post
In her first televised interview since her husband was attacked, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the episode would influence her decision about whether to stay as leader of House Democrats after the election. “I never thought it would be Paul,” she said, appearing visibly emotional in an interview with Anderson Cooper. Many people in Pelosi’s party have said they expect her to step down if Democrats lose the House majority this week. N.Y. Times | Politico
A thing young people do now: hunt down vintage photo booths to satisfy a craving for more authentic selfies. In Los Angeles, teenagers and 20-somethings who grew up with instant high-quality digital photography at their fingertips have been trekking to the home of photographer Bryant Eslava, who has a Photomatica booth in his apartment. The maker of the booths, based in San Jose, said business was skyrocketing. Wall Street Journal
Kim Gyuseok, a designer from South Korea, has made a hobby out of creating “oversimplified” versions of state and national flags. His redesign of California’s Bear Flag, above, was a hit in an online vexillology group. Reddit
California Sun: The sad saga of the bear said to be depicted on California’s state flag.
The Klamath River’s annual salmon runs have been a central part of Karuk life for centuries. Now the fish are disappearing. Tribal leaders blame the descendants of white settlers upstream, who draw from the river to irrigate their crops. They were furious in August when a group of ranchers shrugged off the threat of fines and drained water from a Klamath tributary. “It’s just like a kick in the teeth,” said Arron Hockaday. “Because to me, it’s like they just didn’t care.” Sacramento Bee
California water officials planned to fine the ranchers who took water $4,000 — a slap on the wrist. CalMatters
The latest out of Twitter headquarters:
- Monday brought fresh evidence that Twitter will never be the same: Elon Musk has seriously discussed charging most or all users a subscription fee to use Twitter. Platformer
- Musk on Monday urged “independent-minded voters” among his 115 million Twitter followers to vote Republican on Tuesday. The move was certain to intensify the partisan divide over his takeover of the platform. Washington Post
- The Atlantic’s Charlie Warzel: “Musk’s now-deleted Paul Pelosi tweet was perhaps the most expensive tweet ever: It may have cost Twitter billions in advertising revenue.”
California reaches its westernmost point along the northern end of the Lost Coast, where the nature is wild and the humans are scarce. The King Range mountains plunge into the sea from 4,000 feet overhead; seals and driftwood crowd the shore; and the turquoise waters of the Mattole River spill into the Pacific. Getting there requires a long, winding ride through Mattole River Valley past the tiny town of Petrolia. But the reward, as Sunset Magazine once put it, is “too lovely to be believed.” Sonoma Magazine | BLM.gov
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has spent three years investigating an allegation that one of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s harshest critics, Sheila Kuehl, took bribes. But a Los Angeles Times review found that the investigation is based on the testimony of just one person, who brought her complaint to at least four law enforcement agencies but found a receptive audience only at the Sheriff’s Department. The Times found no evidence to support her allegation. L.A. Times
Ernie Lazar, who pursued an “unusual hobby” of filing as many as 10,000 Freedom of Information requests about extremist groups, died at his home in Palm Springs on Nov. 1. While unknown to the general public, Lazar was hero of researchers, making his vast digital library culled from the F.B.I. and other sources available at no cost to historians, authors, and journalists. “Over the past 30 years, literally no one has made greater use of the Freedom of Information Act than Ernie Lazar,” said David J. Garrow, a historian. Lazar was 77. N.Y. Times
“A mile from the entrance to California’s Joshua Tree National Park, a neo-primitive structure composed of three cubes stands out from the barren desert landscape like a Modernist mirage.”
The Monument House, designed in 1989 as a playful vacation retreat, has been featured in the popular photography project “Accidentally Wes Anderson.” It was recently opened for short-term rentals. N.Y. Times Magazine
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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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