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Recode Daily: Democrats take the House, San Francisco votes for a homelessness tax on big business

Plus: Foxconn is trying to bring Chinese engineers to staff its under-construction facility in Wisconsin; Bill Gates wants the world to have better toilets; people raised $70,000 to send pizza to voters waiting in line.

Voters line up to cast their ballots at a polling station beside a sign that reads, “Vote here.”
Voters line up to cast their ballots at a polling station set up at Noonday Baptist Church for the midterm elections on Nov. 6, 2018, in Marietta, Ga.
Jessica McGowan / Getty Images

Democrats took back the House while Republicans built on their majority in the Senate in one of the hardest-fought, most expensive midterm elections in U.S. history. The two parties each posted wins on Election Day, with Democrats taking over at least 26 seats in the House to give them the majority as Republicans held onto important Senate seats in high-profile contests in Florida and Texas. Here’s what the Democrats’ takeover of the House could mean for President Trump. And for the latest on all the races, visit’s election results page. [Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns / The New York Times]

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San Francisco voters passed Proposition C, a first-of-its-kind tax measure that has divided the tech community and sparked a national debate about the industry’s responsibility to fix the city’s homelessness crisis. Supported by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and opposed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Stripe CEO Patrick Collison, Prop. C will raise the city’s gross receipts tax by an average of .5 percent on annual gross receipts over $50 million that companies like Square, Lyft and Salesforce generate. The new funds will bring in an estimated $250 million to $300 million a year — twice what the city currently spends on an annual basis to help the homeless in tech’s de facto capital. [Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]

Even before ballots were counted from yesterday’s elections, Google and Facebook emerged as clear winners, reaping windfalls from political advertising after a season of controversy over online political speech. Political ad spending is on course to set a record, exceeding expenditures in the 2016 presidential election year, totaling up to $9 billion. Facebook said it took in $354 million from more than two million ads; Google alone sold about $74.7 million worth of ads that mentioned federal candidates or incumbents. Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke was the biggest political spender on Facebook, placing $7 million in ads; President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee was the No. 2 spender at $3.4 million, and the Trump presidential campaign spent an additional $2.6 million. [Todd Shields, Gerry Smith and Sarah Frier / Bloomberg]

Facebook blocked approximately 115 user accounts for “inauthentic behavior” just hours before the polls opened yesterday. U.S. law enforcement officials alerted the social media company to suspicious behavior that was potentially linked to a foreign entity. Facebook said it needs to conduct further analysis to determine if the accounts were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency — an organization special counsel Robert Mueller named in a February indictment for allegedly attempting to sway U.S. public opinion — or to another foreign group. Meanwhile, Facebook said that by the time it blocked the Trump reelection campaign’s racist anti-immigration ad, between three million and five million people had likely already seen it in their Feeds. [Jesus Rodriguez / Politico]

Google’s top trending search term in the U.S. on the morning of Election Day was the Spanish translation of “where to vote,” which could suggest that a number of Hispanic-Americans were looking to get out the vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections. The company’s GoogleTrends Twitter account wrote Tuesday morning that “Dónde votar” had surged to the top of the U.S. Google trending search terms list, while other election-related searches including “polling place,” “voting” and “Election Day” dominated other top spots on the trend list. [John Bowden / The Hill]

Foxconn is considering bringing in workers from China to help staff a large facility under construction in southern Wisconsin as it struggles to find engineers and other workers in one of the tightest labor markets in the U.S. Wisconsin pledged $3 billion in tax and other “performance-based” incentives to help lure Foxconn, and local authorities added $764 million; Foxconn, the Taiwanese supplier to Apple, promised the state it would invest $10 billion and build a 22-million-square-foot liquid-crystal display panel plant, hiring 13,000 employees, primarily factory workers along with some engineers and business support positions. [Yang Jie, Shayndi Raice and Eric Morath / The Wall Street Journal]

Bill Gates believes the world needs better toilets. So he held the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing, a chance for companies to showcase their takes on the simple bathroom fixture, including toilets that could separate urine from other waste for more efficient treatment, or that recycled water for hand-washing and sported solar roofs. The reinvented toilets on display are a culmination of seven years of research and $200 million given by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Gates pledged $200 million more yesterday in an effort get companies to see human waste as a big business — he said improved sanitation could end 500,000 infant deaths and save $233 billion annually in costs linked to diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene. [Sui-Lee Wee / The New York Times]

Top stories from Recode

How Amazon’s proposed HQ2 and HQ3 locations compare with Seattle and the U.S. overall. Crystal City and Long Island City have high office vacancy rates and are both cheaper places to buy homes than Seattle. [Rani Molla]

On Election Day, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower is blasting Facebook for still not doing enough. Christopher Wylie knows a bit about voter manipulation. [Kurt Wagner and Theodore Schleifer]

American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed? Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein talks about his new book, “Can American Capitalism Survive?” on Recode Decode. [Kara Swisher]

This is cool

People raised more than $70,000 to send pizza to voters waiting in line.

Polling places ran out of “I voted” stickers, so voters made their own.

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