California Democrats win big on US election day

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It was a big win for California Democrats on Tuesday's election when President Barack Obama won 59.1 percent of the votes, while in the U.S. Congressional elections, Republicans won only eight of 53 Congressional districts.

In the U.S. Senate bid, Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein won 61.4 percent of the votes over her Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken.

Judy Chu, the first Chinese-American woman in the U.S. Congress, defeated her Republican contender Jack Orswell with 63.4 percent.

Jay Chen, the only Chinese American Democratic challenger in southern California, lost to his Republican incumbent Edward Royce.

In the California State election, the control by Democrats in the state capital tightened as Democrats won a two-thirds super-majority in both houses of the state legislature.

Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, also had his share with a victory on his 6-billion-dollar-a-year tax initiative to rescue California schools and the state's finances.

Brown has campaigned heavily for Proposition 30 as a way to restore fiscal sanity and to stave off deep cuts to public schools and universities. The initiative calls for a quarter-cent increase to sales taxes for four years and a seven-year tax hike on California's highest earners.

This is rare in California since voters in the state have not approved a statewide tax increase since 2004.

With Democrats securing a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the state Legislature, Brown should have an easier time pursuing his broader agenda.

That makeup would allow Democrats to pass budgets and make other spending decisions without any Republican opposition.

However, voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 38, which would increase income taxes for most Californians to raise funds primarily for schools and early childhood education.

Labor unions have achieved their goal to defeat Proposition 32, which would have reduced their political influence by barring unions from using paycheck deductions for political purposes.

Californian voters also voted against Proposition 34, which would have replaced the death penalty with life in prison without parole.

But voters favored Proposition 36, which would change the three-strikes sentencing law. California's current "Three Strikes" law imposes a life sentence for almost any crime- including petty theft- if a defendant has two prior convictions for crimes designated as "serious" or "violent" by statute.

Meanwhile, voters supported Proposition 35, which promoted increased punishment for sex trafficking of a minor.

In Los Angeles County, veteran prosecutor Jackie Lacey became the county's first female and first African American district attorney after defeating Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson.

Lacey had the support of District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is retiring after three terms, and the support from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

On local issues, Los Angeles County voters approved a measure which mandates condom use in the making of adult films within the county.

But a measure to fund transportation projects by extending a countywide sales-tax increase for an additional 30 years remained just shy of the two-thirds vote required for approval.

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