San Francisco Votes To Raise Minimum Wage To $15

11/05/2014 01:13 am ET | Updated Nov 05, 2014

San Francisco will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the course of three years after residents voted in the pay hike Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The city’s minimum wage will increase to $12.25 per hour in May 2015 and to $13 per hour in July 2016. From there, the wage will go up by one dollar every year until July 2018 when it lands at $15 per hour, bringing the annual pay for a minimum-wage employee working full time to $31,000.

When announcing the measure in June after convening with activists, business representatives and city leaders, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) said the city's current $10.74 minimum wage "doesn't cut it."

The wage hike is a major step in addressing the city’s extreme economic inequality, triggered in part by the growth of Silicon Valley technology companies and the influx of their high-paid employees pricing out lower-income residents. One study this past summer found that the city’s income disparity was comparable to that of developing countries in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa.

San Francisco is already the city with the highest minimum wage, and passage of the wage increase will help it keep that placement. In the same month the city’s ballot measure was introduced, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance gradually raising that city's minimum wage to $15, set to start taking effect in April 2015.

11/05/2014 8:27 AM EST

Christie: GOP Wins Show Focus On Leadership

The AP reported Wednesday:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says Republican victories in governor's races across the country show voters want leaders who will "get things done," rather that fighting over ideology.

Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a possible 2016 candidate for president, said he was gratified by GOP wins in Democratic-leaning states such as Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois, as well as victories in key swing states like Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Christie said voters "elect and re-elect governors to get things done."

Christie, who campaigned for GOP candidates across the country, said the winners deserve the credit, not him. He said elections are "always about the candidate."

Christie spoke Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "Good Morning America" and Fox News Channel.

11/05/2014 7:46 AM EST

President Obama To Address Midterm Results In Afternoon Press Conference

President Barack Obama will speak to the press Wednesday afternoon to address his party's resounding loss in the 2014 midterm elections, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest. He is expected to strike a tone of compromise and accountability following a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate and many of the nation's gubernatorial offices.

Obama tried reached out to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is widely expected to be the next senate majority leader and who also won re-election Tuesday night, and left a message, CNN reported.

The president's press conference will take place at 2:50 p.m. Eastern time from the East Room of the White House.

Igor Bobic

11/05/2014 6:57 AM EST

Indictment, Dog Killing, Infidelity Overcome By GOP Candidates

How bad was it for Democrats? Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican facing a 20-count indictment won in New York and another known for outbursts of rage and killing a beagle, Mike Bost, won a seat in President Barack Obama's home state of Illinois that had been Democratic for 70 years.

Down in Tennessee, Rep. Scott DesJarlais' past infidelities and pushing of abortion on a mistress continued to not matter to voters, who handed him a landslide victory.

There were a couple of bright spots for Democrats, or at least the more moderate crowd. Florida Rep. Steve Southerland lost to Democrat Gwen Graham after holding an all-male fundraiser and joking about Graham in lingerie. And in Louisiana, GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, dubbed the "Kissing Congressman" after he was caught on tape smooching a staffer, finished far back in the field in his contest.

-- Michael McAuliff

11/05/2014 5:24 AM EST

Expect A Delay In Results

11/05/2014 5:07 AM EST

Alaska Becomes 4th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

In yet another major pushback against the war on drugs, Alaska legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, joining Oregon and Washington, D.C. -- both of which legalized cannabis only hours before. Alaska becomes the fourth state in the U.S. to legalize retail marijuana, along with Oregon, Colorado and Washington state.

Voters approved Measure 2, which legalizes the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana. Adults, age 21 and older, may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants (with no more than three being mature) for personal use. The measure also legalizes the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia, such as devices used for smoking or storing the plant.

“The folks trying to keep marijuana illegal are relying on the same scare tactics today that they have relied on for decades, but voters just aren’t falling for it anymore," Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement early Wednesday morning. "The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums."

Read more here.

-- Matt Ferner

11/05/2014 4:28 AM EST

Ah, Politics... Chicago-Style

11/05/2014 3:40 AM EST

Sarah Palin To GOP: You Didn't Build This

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took to Facebook last night to issue a hearty congratulations -- and warning -- to her GOP brethren:

Thank you, wise voters! Tonight is a big victory for We the People! Credit is due to the victorious candidates. Your message to President Obama is undeniably received, though he'll try to ignore it.

...

The Democrats got mauled today, deservedly so. To prohibit that from happening to the GOP in 2016, it must learn the lesson from the last time Republicans held the Senate majority. This time they must not retreat, and it's our responsibility to hold them accountable. Will they fight for reform that aligns with the limited government planks of the Republican platform, or will they return to the big government cronyism and status quo favored by the permanent political class? Will they drain the swamp or decide the D.C. cesspool is really just a jacuzzi they can't wait to jump on into and shake us off?

If GOP leadership returns to business as usual, then this majority will be short lived, for We the People say, “once bitten, twice shy.”

Click here to read the full statement.

11/05/2014 2:55 AM EST

Alaska Approves Minimum Wage Increase

11/05/2014 2:39 AM EST

Alaska Rep. Don Young Projected To Win 22nd Term

The Associated Press is projecting that Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) will win re-election as Alaska's only member of Congress.

--Sam Levine

11/05/2014 2:36 AM EST

Voter Turnout In The U.S. Is Always Awful.. And This Year Was No Different

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