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The candidates have spent a record amount of money. They've stumped hard in a city that isn't easy to campaign in — 470 square miles sliced up into neighborhoods divided by a web of freeways.

Yet despite nearly $20 million in spending in the March primary alone, turnout is expected to be low next Tuesday in Los Angeles when voters go to the polls to pick a new mayor to replace the term-limited Antonio Villaraigosa.

As a result, City Councilman Eric Garcetti and his opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, are engaged in an all-out blitz for votes across the sprawling city.

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There has been talk this week of lowering the blood alcohol threshold for drunken driving from .08 to .05.

A simple idea: attack Obamacare tersely.

On the same day House Republicans scheduled their latest symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare, as part of their full-court press against the law they also took to Twitter to say, in three words, why they oppose the legislation.

Two seemingly common-sense, bipartisan food reforms have gotten mugged on Capitol Hill in recent days. If you're a loyal reader of The Salt, you've heard of them.

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The Justice Department's controversial decision to search phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors while investigating the source of a leak has not shaken his trust in Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, President Obama said Thursday.

He has "complete confidence in Eric Holder as attorney general," the president said at a joint White House news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

Update at 5:38 p.m. ET. One More IRS Official To Leave

Another official is out at the embattled agency.

The Associated Press reports that Joseph Grant, commissioner of the IRS' tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. The division scrutinized Tea Party groups when the applied for tax-exempt status.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. Obama Names New IRS Acting Chief

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Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is introducing legislation with other lawmakers Thursday that would change how the military handles sexual assault cases. The proposal would let military prosecutors — rather than commanders — decide whether to bring serious military crimes to trial.

It's the latest high-publicity move for a senator who was virtually unknown four years ago when she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Now, she's on some lists for possible candidates for vice president — even president.

Joint Finance Committee Actions Wednesday

May 15, 2013

Among items the Legislature's budget committee approved Wednesday:

-- Adding 61 positions to Dept. of Revenue to collect delinquent taxes (estimated at $1 billion)

-- Spending $2 million federal to set up private deer hunts

-- Reducing wolf hunting license fees from $100 to $47 (residents) and $500 to $249 (non-residents)

-- Relaxing Wisconsin's chronic wasting disease testing protocols and allowing elk importation

-- Assigning the Dept. of Revenue to manage unclaimed funds, removing that duty from state Treasurer

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The state legislature last night voted 19-14 in favor of a several changes to the Milwaukee County board.

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