Rachael Bale

Rachael Bale is researcher and reporter for The Center for Investigative Reporting and occasional contributor to KQED News and The California Report. A California native, she has a bachelor's degree in political science from Reed College and a master's degree in journalism from American University.

Bell Corruption Case Ends in Mistrial, Rumors of Misconduct

Amid a flurry of cryptic and accusatory notes from the jury, Judge Kathleen Kennedy declared a mistrial Thursday on the remaining undecided charges in the Bell corruption trial. “It seems to me all hell has broken loose,” Kennedy said on Thursday according to The Los Angeles Times. “I’m getting the sense that the lines of communication … Continue reading Bell Corruption Case Ends in Mistrial, Rumors of Misconduct →

Video: Newsom on Same-Sex Marriage

As San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom made headlines worldwide when he ordered the city clerk's office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Between Feb. 12 and March 11, 2004, nearly 4,000 same-sex couples got married at City Hall despite a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Now, Newsom discusses why he gave the order and how reaction in the LGBT community was not all positive. He also revisits his notorious "whether you like it or not" line, which he concedes gave opponents of same-sex marriage measure a powerful weapon in their 2008 campaign for Proposition 8.

Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court: What You Need to Know

In California's June 2000 primary, 61 percent of the electorate voted "yes" on Proposition 22, a measure that amended state law to read, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized " in the state. The state Supreme Court overturned the law in 2008 as discriminatory, opening the way for same-sex couples to get legally married in the state. About 18,000 gay and lesbian couples took advantage of the chance to tie the knot. But the door that had been opened to same-sex couples slammed shut in November 2008, when voters passed Proposition 8. The measure, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, passed with 52 percent of the vote. Gay-marriage advocates immediately filed challenges with the California Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, and in May 2009, the court upheld Prop. 8, another blow against same-sex marriage.

Mixed Verdict In Bell Corruption Trial

The verdict is in for six former officials of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell standing trial for ripping off public funds. After 18 days, the jury in the case returned a mix of guilty and not guilty verdicts against former members of the City Council who were discovered to have awarded themselves huge salaries … Continue reading Mixed Verdict In Bell Corruption Trial →

Protesters Demand Help for City College of San Francisco (Photos)

Hundreds of people marched to San Francisco City Hall Thursday afternoon demanding support for City College. Protesters asked the city to commit to funding the school and to reverse cuts to classes, programs and staff. The school faces a Friday deadline to demonstrate to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that it has … Continue reading Protesters Demand Help for City College of San Francisco (Photos) →

Oakland City Council Approves Campaign Sunlight Ordinance

Update: The Oakland City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to require all local candidates and committees to file their campaign finance reports online. The ordinance goes into effect immediately. The bill’s sponsor, Councilwoman Libby Schaff, says it will increase political transparency and save the city money. City Attorney Barbara Parker and City Clerk Latonda Simmons … Continue reading Oakland City Council Approves Campaign Sunlight Ordinance →

San Francisco Bay Area: Nation’s Capital for ‘Megacommuting’

Are you a “megacommuter”? The symptoms are getting up before dawn for a marathon trip in car or train or bus or vanpool to get to work. Then repeating the process when the day is over and maybe getting home after dark. In the Bay Area, the megacommuter is not a rare breed. The Census … Continue reading San Francisco Bay Area: Nation’s Capital for ‘Megacommuting’ →