NPR: 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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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

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
Politics

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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12:01am

Fri July 15, 2011
Violence At California's Psychiatric Hospitals

Violence At Calif. Mental Hospitals: 'This Is The Norm'

Thousands of assaults occur each year at California's state psychiatric hospitals. Last October, a patient allegedly murdered a staffer at Napa State Hospital. Employees there demonstrated, demanding greater safety.

Now, the protests have spread to Metropolitan State Hospital near Los Angeles, where about 100 workers recently spent a broiling hot lunch hour marching in front of the place where they work.

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8:00am

Sat July 9, 2011
Remembrances

Former First Lady Betty Ford Remembered For Her Candor

During the 1976 campaign, Betty Ford was more popular than her husband, President Gerald Ford. Ford, who died Friday, had been a supporter of feminist causes, and her support for abortion rights riled many conservatives during the campaign of her husband, who died in 2007. NPR's Ina Jaffe reports

9:44pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Remembrances

Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies At 93

Former first lady Betty Ford has died at the age of 93.

During her life she helped change the way Americans think and talk about breast cancer, women's rights and substance abuse.

But, before she became a first lady, an advocate for women's rights and an inspiration to people struggling with addiction, Betty Ford was a dancer.

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4:16pm

Fri July 1, 2011
The Candidates' Guide To Campaigning

In Nevada, GOP Hopefuls Should Head For The Hills

In September 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama disembarks from his campaign plane in Reno. Mayor Bob Cashell says presidential candidates should spend a little more face time in his town.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

It's officially summer vacation time. But if you're a candidate running for president, you'll spend your summer shaking hands in early voting states. Here, a look at the required stops and must-see attractions in Nevada.

Las Vegas may be in the middle of a desert, but once you're on the Strip, you can pretend you're anywhere. Just pick a hotel: Paris, New York, Monte Carlo. Republican candidates generally go Venetian.

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8:00am

Sun June 19, 2011
Politics

Presidential Hopefuls Geek Out At GOP Conference

Several Republican presidential contenders spoke on Saturday at the RightOnline conference, a gathering of conservative technology activists. NPR's Ina Jaffe was there.

6:16am

Fri June 17, 2011
Politics

Liberal Bloggers: Obama 'Not Our Boyfriend Anymore'

President Obama took his licks from progressives who are meeting in Minneapolis at the Netroots Nation Convention, the annual gathering of liberal bloggers and other social media activists.

The panel that drew one of the biggest crowds at Netroots Nation so far was called "What To Do When The President's Just Not That Into You."

"It's like the president's not our boyfriend anymore," Joan McCarter, an editor at the Daily Kos website, said during the discussion.

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7:16am

Sun May 8, 2011
The Spark

From Pulpit To Politics, Huckabee Heeds The Call

There are at least a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. NPR is profiling some of them to find out what first sparked their interest in politics.

But for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, there may have been no spark. Though he spent years as a Southern Baptist minister, he always considered politics his calling.

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3:40am

Mon April 18, 2011
Around the Nation

Hiring May Ease Violence At Calif. Mental Hospital

Earlier this month, NPR reported on the dramatic increase in violence at California's state psychiatric hospitals. At Napa State Hospital, an employee was killed last year, allegedly by a patient. Now, less than six months later, there has been another death at the hospital in Napa. This time, though, it was a patient who died.

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4:30am

Fri April 8, 2011
Around the Nation

Violence Surges At Hospital For Mentally Ill Criminals

Second of a two-part series

Atascadero State Hospital, on California's central coast, was built from the ground up to treat mentally ill criminal offenders.

Violence is on the rise at the hospital, and according to state and federal documents, it's gotten worse since 2006 — the same year the state signed an agreement with the federal government to put in a detailed new treatment plan.

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4:55am

Thu April 7, 2011
Around the Nation

At California Mental Hospitals, Fear Is Part Of The Job

First in a two-part series

The tipping point for major change is often tragedy. That may be the case in California at the state psychiatric hospital in Napa, where an employee was killed last October, allegedly by a patient — one of thousands of violent acts committed at the hospital that year.

Donna Gross, a psychiatric technician who had been working at Napa State Hospital for 14 years, was walking on hospital grounds late in the afternoon when she ran into a patient named Jess Massey.

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