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This week on “The Tavis Smiley Show”

Friday, October 31 – Friday, November 7

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Ken Rudin

Lawrence Norden

Allyson Hobbs

Christine Eibner

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jocelyn Kiley

George Johnson

Dan Emmett

Christina LaMontagne

Walter Mosley

Control of the U.S. Senate is at stake in Tuesday’s mid-term elections, with predictions that Republicans are poised for a takeover. Ken Rudin, founder of the blog and podcast Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie, looks at the pivotal contests.

In a report on key issues for the midterm elections, the Pew Research Center found that Republicans are seen as more capable on matters like terrorism, immigration, and the economy, while Democrats enjoy a more positive image overall. Jocelyn Kiley, associate director of political research at Pew, shares poll data on the issues.

While PACs and individual donors will play a large role in the midterm elections, outcomes will be influenced to an extraordinary degree by what is known as “dark money”. Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, discusses his research findings.

Sports commentator George Johnson looks back at the 2014 World Series and examines the first rankings issued under the new college football playoff system.

In her new book, “A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life”, Stanford University professor Allyson Hobbs looks at the history of fair-skinned African Americans who left families, friends and communities to forge new lives as white people.

In a Vox.com article, retired Secret Service agent Dan Emmett chalks up the recent security lapses at the White House to poor leadership within the Department of Homeland Security. He offers his insights into what’s plaguing the Secret Service.

A year ago this month, the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act went online. With the 2015 open enrollment period commencing soon, Christine Eibner, senior economist at the RAND Corporation, assesses the status of the online exchanges.

In this week’s “Five Things You Should Know About…”, Christina LaMontagne, health finance expert for NerdWallet.com, offers tips on negotiating medical bills.

Jennifer Rodriguez, executive director of the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, discusses a new program called “Just Beginnings”, which reaches out to young incarcerated fathers and teaches them the skills they need to build strong relationships with their children.

Mystery writer Walter Mosley shares his latest work, “Rose Gold”, the latest in his series of novels featuring Los Angeles private investigator Easy Rawlins.