Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.26.10

Sheriff's watchdog won't investigate Baca's help for a donor, but wait until you see why. Plus women prefer Brown and Boxer, Whitman goes the litmus test route, Soros to help Prop. 19 and the county's new bike-commuting health director.

  • Wow, quote of the day: The public watchdog that oversees the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Monday it would not investigate allegations that Sheriff Lee Baca improperly used department resources to benefit one of his political donors, since the department does not have a policy against special treatment for campaign contributors. "In the real world there are realities that exist…the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In many ways we live in an unequal society," said Michael Gennaco, the head of the Office of Independent Review. LAT
    Plus: A Times editorial says of Baca, "It's always disgraceful when a politician uses the power of office to do special favors for big campaign donors, but when those favors involve criminal probes by people carrying guns and badges, it's even more outrageous." Editorial
  • The Republican woman with the best chance to win on Nov. 2 is now Carly Fiorina, not Meg Whitman. Fiorina and Sen. Barbara Boxer will be all over the airwaves the rest of the way. SF Chronicle, California Watch, National Journal
  • Women skeptical of the Republican candidates are the reason that Jerry Brown is ahead and that Boxer is doing as well as she is, the Times-USC poll found. LAT
  • Whitman, sounding a bit desperate, said she would apply a litmus test to all judges: support the death penalty or no appointment. LAT
  • Political gossip was big at Maria Shriver's Women's Conference. Carla Marinucci/Chronicle
  • Good lede from Jon Ortiz in the Bee: "If money talks, then it's shouting at the top of its lungs in the California insurance commissioner's race." Sacto Bee
  • Billionaire George Soros endorsed Proposition 19 on Monday and plans to make a major financial contribution to the marijuana legalization measure's campaign. LAT, Forbes, WSJ
  • The California Democratic Party unveiled a Facebook app that identifies friends who don't vote and encourages users to remind them to vote. LAT
  • Former President Jimmy Carter stopped in Monday at St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City. DN
  • Times columnist Sandy Banks writes about her daughter becoming political and idealist at San Francisco State. LAT
  • Dr. Mitchell Katz, the new head of the county Department of Health Services, plans to keep seeing patients and wants to continue bicycle commuting as he did in San Francisco. ZevWeb
  • The California high-speed train project will receive at least $731 million from a $902-million grant the federal government awarded on Monday for rail improvements across the state. LAT, SF Chronicle
  • An LAPD official makes the case for putting a skate park beside the Watts Towers. LAT
  • KCET has received a $1 million grant from the Ahmanson Foundation to help the conversion from PBS to an independent public television station. Via release
  • Leo Cullum, a cartoonist whose blustering businessmen, clueless doctors, venal lawyers and all-too-human dogs and cats amused readers of The New Yorker for the past 33 years, died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 68 and lived in Malibu. NYT

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

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