State of The Union: High Volume, Low Yield

OBAMA-SOTU

WASHINGTON – Here’s a little secret about the State of the Union address that President Barack Obama will deliver next week: He’ll give Congress a long list of requests but few likely will be approved. That’s just the reality of a politically divided government. Take a look at what happened after last year’s speech. Congress […]

White House Seeks to Help Expand Education Opportunity

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WASHINGTON – Thirty years ago, one year of tuition, room, and board at a nation’s four-year, degree-granting institution cost $8,756 on average (or $3,499, when adjusted for inflation). As of 2010, that figure had almost tripled to $22,092 – and that’s just for one year. To meet this economic hurdle, 39.6 million Americans have turned […]

Group Seeks Independent Statehood For African Americans

These advocates for Independent Statehood for African Americans are seeking local support. Shown left to right are Devon Muhammad, Debra Sanau Barnes, and Leon Muhammad. OBSERVER photo by Antonio R. Harvey

SACRAMENTO — There is a national petition floating about that is asking Black Americans, whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slavery, to establish a separate state or territory of their own. The organizers who are pushing the movement say it not about hate, disdain or rebellion. But the formal request is to help African […]

Senate Democrats Vote to End Filibuster

Sen. Majority Leader Reid

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Barack Obama’s current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans’ ability to block final votes. The 52-48 vote to undercut venerable filibuster rules on presidential appointees capped more than a decade of struggle in […]

White Candidate Accused of Fooling Black Voters

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HOUSTON – Bruce Austin, a longtime member of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, said he lost the recent November election because of deception on the part of his opponent. Small business owner Dave Wilson beat Austin by 26 votes. Wilson received 50.1 percent of the vote for the HCC District 2 race. Austin, […]

For Obama, Budget Fight Has High Stakes for Agenda

President Obama & BP crop

WASHINGTON – For President Barack Obama, the outcome of the fiscal fights with Republicans this week could have broad consequences for his stalled second-term agenda. A favorable deal for the White House that ends the partial government shutdown and lifts the debt ceiling could give Obama an opening to try to marginalize tea party lawmakers […]

Bill Gives Calif. Youthful Offenders Second Chance

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SACRAMENTO — Criminals serving long prison sentences for offenses they committed as teenagers would have an earlier chance for freedom under a bill working its way through the Legislature. The bill by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, expands on legislation signed into law last year that gives a second chance to inmates who committed murder before […]

Fair Political Practices Commission Opens Investigation into The Anti-Arena Campaign

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SACRAMENTO – The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), which regulates California political campaigns and campaign finance law has confirmed that they have opened an investigation into the funding behind the campaign to kill the proposed downtown arena. Representatives with the FPPC stated that an investigation into the complaint filed by DowntownArena.org has been opened, but […]

Civil Rights Leaders Meet with President Obama on Voting Rights

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WASHINGTON – The Voting Rights Act is down, but not out and civil rights leaders joined President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. at the White House Monday to discuss renewed efforts in the fight against voter discrimination. In a statement released after the meeting, Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and president of […]

#STOPthelies Campaign Launches Signature Withdrawal Effort

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SACRAMENTO – Signature campaigns are nothing new; but signature withdrawal campaigns are. Amidst mounting examples of misleading tactics being used by signature gathers on a petition to force a public vote on the proposed downtown arena, scores of Sacramento City voters have been asking how they can get their names off the petition. “It’s an […]