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Kirk Siegler

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.

Siegler grew up near Missoula, MT, and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado.  He’s an avid skier and traveler in his spare time.

California has a new law in affect this year that bars employers from forcing employees to hand over their social media passwords. Some companies have been asking for these passwords to keep tabs on employees.

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We may have avoided the fiscal cliff for the moment, but most Americans will still feel a dip in their take home pay this year. That's because payroll taxes that fund Social Security were not on the negotiating table this week in Congress. They are resetting back up to where they were at the end of 2010. It's an increase of two percentage points.

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Cargo started moving again on Wednesday at the nation's largest ports. An eight-day strike by clerical workers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is over. Melissa Block talks with Kirk Siegler from the port, where clerks, longshoremen and truckers are all glad to be back on the job.

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Now, let's talk next about Colorado, where Republicans edged ahead in early voting, the same early voting that was key to Democratic success back in 2008. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC has our story.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Early voting at polling stations like this one in downtown Denver ended this past Friday, but yesterday there was a steady stream of voters dropping off their mail-in ballots.

PAMELA MALONE: Well, I was just turning in my vote before the final last hours...

How do you reach an audience of more than 200,000 people a day in an important swing state without buying an expensive TV ad?

If you're Sid Overton, you build a blimp and fly it alongside one of Colorado's busiest freeways.

"It says, 'Romney For President. He Creates Jobs,' " Overton told KUNC.

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

Watching the first 20 minutes of Saturday Night Live's season premiere in Denver, I counted at least four ads by the Obama campaign and liberal groups backing the president. Just one ad countering their message was aired in the same span by the Romney campaign.

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Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states — such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.

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