The open pit mine at Molycorp Minerals' rare earths mining and processing facility in Mountain Pass, Calif. The mine is expected to produce 40,000 tons of rare earth minerals each year after a $500 million expansion project. Courtesy of Molycorp Minerals hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Molycorp Minerals

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, shown in a 2008 file photo, leaves office with a mixed record. He's won praise for his precedent-setting environmental activism and criticism for his failure to tame the state's fiscal mess as promised. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada greets supporters after speaking at a rally held by members of the Hispanic community in Las Vegas on Oct. 16. Reid got about 90 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to a poll of likely voters taken right before the election. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julie Jacobson/AP

Texas-based Valero Energy -- which owns gas stations across the country, like this one in Sacramento,Calif. -- has contributed about half of the roughly $10 million behind California's Proposition 23 campaign. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown (R) speaks as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (C) Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg  Whitman (2nd-L) look on during a discussion moderated by NBC's Matt Lauer (L) during the Women's Conference 2010 in Long Beach. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Sal Russo, Tea Party Express founder, in his Sacramento, Calif., "war room" in March. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (right) talks to his opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, as moderator Mitch Fox from PBS looks on after their political debate Thursday at the Vegas PBS studios. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Whitman, during Tuesday night's debate. Hector Amezcua/Associated Press hide caption

itoggle caption Hector Amezcua/Associated Press

Yossele Rosenblatt is recognized as the greatest cantorial singer of all time. John Springer Collection/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption John Springer Collection/Corbis

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina celebrates her Republican primary win on June 8. Now she's campaigning against incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Fiorina argues that Boxer has failed as a leader — but critics point out it was Fiorina who was fired from Hewlett-Packard. David McNew/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David McNew/AP

California residents protest Proposition 16 outside the California Public Utilities Commission offices in San Francisco last month. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Risberg/AP

Traffic passes on Interstate 15 along the eastern Mojave Desert in California. Reed Saxon/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Reed Saxon/AP

The Tea Party Express gathered in Searchlight, Nev. — hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — for the first stop on a three-week tour that will end in Washington, D.C. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ethan Miller/Getty Images