Ina Jaffe

Ina Jaffe is a National desk correspondent based at NPR West, NPR's production center in Culver City, Calif.

Covering California and the West, Jaffe has reported on nearly all of the major news events, elections, and natural disasters in the region. Currently, she covers issues related to aging. She also reports on regional and national politics, contributing election coverage in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

In addition to captivating and informing listeners, Jaffe's reports have garnered critical acclaim. Her 2012 investigation into how the West Los Angeles VA made millions from renting property while ignoring plans to house homeless veterans won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. A few months after the story aired, the West Los Angeles VA broke ground on supportive housing for homeless vets.

Jaffe's 2011 series on rising violence in California State Psychiatric Hospitals was also honored with a Gracie Award as well as awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the American Bar Association. Her three-part series on California's Three Strikes sentencing law won the ABA's Silver Gavel Award in 2010, as well as the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Jaffe was the first editor of Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon which made its debut in 1985.

Born in Chicago, Jaffe attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and DePaul University receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in philosophy, respectively.

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3:28am

Mon September 10, 2012
Around the Nation

Los Angeles VA Has Made Millions On Rental Deals

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 7:59 pm

The 388-acre campus of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Los Angeles was donated to the federal government more than 100 years ago for use as a home for disabled veterans, but is no longer used for that purpose. In 2007, Building 209, pictured here, was designated as a place to house disabled homeless vets. It is currently abandoned.
Nancy Pastor for NPR

Most Los Angeles residents only know the Veterans Affairs medical center in West Los Angeles as something they glimpse from their cars when they're on traffic-choked Wilshire Boulevard. From the road it looks like a park, but within the grounds is the largest medical facility in the VA's health care system.

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6:27am

Sun April 29, 2012
Around the Nation

After L.A. Riots, An Effort To Rebuild A Broken City

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 12:33 pm

A fire burns out of control at the corner of 67th St. and West Blvd. in South Central Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Hundreds of buildings burned when riots erupted after the verdicts in the Rodney King case were announced.
Paul Sakuma AP

The Los Angeles riots began 20 years ago Sunday, when a jury acquitted four police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1992.

While the ashes were still smoldering, then-Mayor Tom Bradley announced a new organization that would repair the shattered city, Rebuild L.A. Its mission was to spend five years harnessing the power of the private sector to replace and improve on what was lost. While it created a lot of hope, it created even more disappointment.

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4:40pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Presidential Race

Why Does Saul Alinsky Inspire Such Passion?

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 11:17 am

Professional organizer Saul Alinsky in 1966, on Chicago's South Side, where he organized the Woodlawn area to battle slum conditions. Newt Gingrich has referred to Alinsky numerous times in recent speeches.
AP

At a campaign event in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday morning, Newt Gingrich dropped a name that he has been using a lot lately.

"I believe in the Constitution; I believe in the Federalist Papers. Obama believes in Saul Alinsky and secular European socialist bureaucracy," Gingrich said.

In Saul Alinsky? Who is this Alinsky guy and why does Gingrich seem to mention him every chance he gets?

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12:01am

Wed December 21, 2011
Violence At California's Psychiatric Hospitals

How Do You Hold Mentally Ill Offenders Accountable?

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 10:35 am

In California, prison inmates who have committed serious crimes and have been diagnosed with a major mental illness can be forced to serve their parole in a state hospital. At Atascadero State Hospital, shown above in this 1999 photo, there are more than 600 such patients. "As a group," says the hospital's director, "the mentally disordered offenders are the most aggressive."
Reed Saxon AP

Part of an ongoing series

Mental health and law enforcement officials in California are trying to find ways to hold violent psychiatric patients accountable without punishing people for being sick. It's a response to escalating violence in the state's mental hospitals, where thousands of assaults occur annually. Only a tiny fraction of them, however, result in criminal charges.

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12:01am

Tue December 20, 2011
Violence At California's Psychiatric Hospitals

In Calif. Mental Hospitals, Assaults Rarely A Crime

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 2:16 pm

Metropolitan State Hospital employees and supporters gathered outside the hospital in Norwalk, Calif., this summer to protest repeated assaults at the hands of mental patients, and what they called dangerous working conditions.
Nick Ut AP

Part of an ongoing series

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4:17pm

Thu December 1, 2011
Election 2012

GOP Candidates Step Up Attacks On Each Other

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 7:02 pm

From left, GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney participate in the Fox News/Google GOP debate at the Orange County Convention Center in September. Since then, the candidates have gotten tougher on each other.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Once upon a time, the Republican presidential contenders seemed to be mostly on the same page. They agreed on who the real enemies were — as Newt Gingrich explained at a debate in September.

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5:13pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Politics

An Inside Look At The 'Dark Art' Of Politics

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain wipes his brow during a discussion on health care Wednesday in Washington. The former head of the National Restaurant Association has been under fire in recent days over sexual harassment allegations and his response to them.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

No one seems to be talking about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan this week — including Herman Cain. Instead, he's had to deal with allegations that he committed sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.

On Wednesday night, he accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign of planting the story. Perry's campaign flatly denied it, and Cain has backed off.

Regardless, some political consultants have seen the invisible hand of opposition research during this campaign season — what's known as the "dark art of politics."

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9:01pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Environment

Six Miles Offshore: The Wreck Of Montebello

An unmanned ROV (remotely operated vehicle) is launched 900 feet underwater to study the wreckage of the SS Montebello.

Robert Schwemmer NOAA/USCG

A task force is evaluating the risk posed by a sunken oil tanker, the SS Montebello. It went to the bottom after being attacked by a Japanese submarine during World War II. State and federal officials want to know if the ship is still carrying its cargo of oil, and if that oil could escape.

At stake is a coastline known for its stunning scenery and wildlife sanctuaries. The task force was put together a couple of years ago at the urging of state Sen. Sam Blakeslee.

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2:25pm

Mon September 26, 2011
Politics

Political Ads Target TV, But Not Everyone Is Tuning In

According to a new survey, 31 percent of voters said they had not watched live TV in the past week. Young voters, according to the poll, are much less likely to watch TV in real time — or even on a TV.
iStockphoto.com

If you watched the Emmy Awards recently, you may have seen an ad inviting viewers to "fight" for President Obama's jobs plan.

"The next election is 14 months away," Obama says in the ad. "And the people who sent us here, they don't have the luxury of waiting 14 months."

Although the election is more than a year away, it's not keeping political commercials off of our TV screens. Yet, according to a new survey, the audience for those ads is shrinking.

Young People Aren't Watching Live TV

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6:05am

Sun September 18, 2011
Michele Bachmann

Can Michele Bachmann Get Her Groove Back?

Originally published on Sun September 18, 2011 10:26 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann arrives for a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Friday.
Chris Carlson AP

The presidential campaign has been a roller coaster for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

From a back-of-the-pack start, the Tea Party favorite won an upset victory in the Iowa straw poll. Then, Texas Gov. Rick Perry got in the race and eclipsed her as a media headliner, and Bachmann's star fell. After a feisty debate appearance last week that put her back on an upswing, Bachmann headed to southern California to try and get her groove back.

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4:00am

Thu September 8, 2011
Politics

Perry, Romney Capture Spotlight At GOP Debate

Transcript

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, Im David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And Im Steve Inskeep.

Just a few months ago, many Republicans seemed to assume that their candidate for president would be a long shot in 2012.

GREENE: But now President Obama is looking more vulnerable, so Republican candidates attended a debate last night, knowing that one of them could have a real chance to win.

INSKEEP: First, of course, they battle each other. Former front-runner Mitt Romney faced with the current front runner, Rick Perry.

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12:01am

Fri August 19, 2011
Politics

For Debt Panel's Becerra, No Egos While Negotiating

California Rep. Xavier Becerra was one of six Democrats chosen to join six Republicans on a panel tasked with finding a way to cut about $1 trillion from the federal deficit.
Kris Connor Getty Images

As politicians go, California Rep. Xavier Becerra has a relatively low profile considering that he's been in Congress for 18 years. He's the vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the former head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the first Latino to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

When the Democrats had the House majority, Nancy Pelosi appointed him to the new post of assistant to the speaker. And earlier this month, she chose him to join the supercommittee tasked with finding a way to cut $1 trillion from the federal deficit.

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3:00pm

Sun August 7, 2011
Politics

Downgrade Illustrates Washington's Dysfunction

Originally published on Mon August 8, 2011 6:24 am

When Standard & Poor's downgraded the United State's credit rating, it said that the "effectiveness, stability and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened." In other words, S&P was down on Washington's dysfunction, distrust and gridlock. The reactions to S&P's move — at least the reactions seen on TV — suggest that the ratings agency may have had a point.

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