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Tuesday, June 2, 1998

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  • California Gubernatorial Race

    With elections taking place in almost 10 states, today will be one of the busiest primary days of the year. In a test of the strength of religious conservatives, governor Fob James Jr. of Alabama will battle serious opposition in the Republican primary. In Iowa, both parties are choosing nominees for the open governor’s seat, a post that will be significant in the year 2,000 given Iowa’s pivotal role in the presidential primary season. Voters also go to the polls in Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

  • Labor Referendum (Proposition 226)

    Yesterday on Democracy Now! we featured a debate on one of two referendums that California voters will weigh in on that could have national consequences — Proposition 227, which would abolish bilingual education programs. Today we’ll hold a debate on Proposition 226, which, if passed, would force labor unions to get permission from individual members before spending their dues on political campaigns — a move that both sides agree could be repeated in other states if California takes the lead. Supporters of 226 say this will hobble what they depict as corrupt "union bosses" that they way are unwittingly financed by workers. But opponents say it is simply a big business ploy to crush the political power of unions, which often come out against Republican candidates.

  • Rainy Blue Cloud Greensfelder

    We’ve talked about the millionaires running for the governor’s seat in the California primaries, now we’ll turn to a smaller, local election in Nevada City that could signal a departure from politics-as-usual. At 19, Rainy Blue Cloud Greensfelder is one of the youngest candidates to run for office in California. She is running for a seat in the City Council. She has gained some notoriety for her unusual hair style and color, as well her body piercing and her membership in a Punk Rock band — "Sentiment". But despite her youth, Rainy Blue Cloud has a long and impressive history of community activism. When she was 12 years old, she organized a protest march against the Persian Gulf War at her school. She started a Food Not Bombs program in Nevada City which aids indigent and homeless people, and fought against the "Public Conduct Ordinance", which would target young people congregating at street corners and sidewalks. She is running on a platform that includes advocacy for the arts, the environment, and civil rights. But Rainy Blue Cloud has proved she can play real politics as well — she has raised more money than any other candidate in Nevada City History.