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Campaign Contributions

June 11, 2012 | By Matea Gold, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
The Federal Election Commission gave the go-ahead Monday evening to using text messages to donate money to federal candidates and committees, a move advocates hope will boost the participation of small contributors and counterbalance the influx of massive donations. In a rare instance of bipartisan agreement, the six-member panel unanimously approved a proposal by two political consulting companies - one Republican and one Democratic - to work with a third-party aggregator to collect donations by text.
April 16, 2014 | By Jean Merl and Richard Simon
Campaign contributions are flowing briskly to candidates in some of California's hottest congressional races, including two of the most vocal proponents of getting money out of politics. Incumbents in races in the Sacramento area, Central Valley, Bay Area and Riverside and Ventura counties each have raised more than $1 million to fend off vigorous challengers. And in San Diego County, freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters and his main opponent, Republican Carl DeMaio, were nearly neck and neck, with Peters taking in nearly $1.8 million to DeMaio's almost $1.5 million.
September 26, 1997
Congratulations on your series on campaign contributions and political favors ("Big Business, Big Bucks," Sept. 21-23). We are told that all that the donor wants is "access." That is just political doublespeak for "action." Are the American people so naive as to believe that the money does not speak louder than their individual votes? If Sen. Fred Thompson's committee had the guts to follow up on your articles, it would attract much more public interest. At least you have pointed the way. Now we have the best president and Congress that money can buy. Only by fully exposing what campaign contributions can buy will the present corrupt system be changed.
April 3, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Wednesday, conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court continued their project of undermining reasonable attempts by Congress to limit the corrupting influence of money in election campaigns. The same 5-4 majority that lifted limits on corporate political spending in the Citizens United decision struck down long-standing limits on the total amount a citizen can donate during an election cycle. As in Citizens United, the majority held that the restrictions violated 1st Amendment protections for political speech.
February 18, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
A Senate Republican leader has proposed eliminating limits on campaign contributions to state candidates, arguing the restrictions are ineffective. Sen. Ted Gaines, chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, introduced legislation to repeal major portions of the Proposition 34 that put a $4,100 limit on contributions by individuals to candidates for the legislature and a $27,000 limit on contributions to candidates for governor. The measure would have to be acted on by the state voters.
August 5, 2012 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Campaign contributions - As November draws closer, campaign-related telephone calls are sure to increase. Some thieves are using the opportunity to scam those with an interest in politics, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent consumer alert. Several people have contacted the BBB to report that they have received suspicious calls from people who said they were raising money for political campaigns. People interested in making donations should visit candidates' official websites, which will include links to safely contribute, the BBB said.
February 14, 2013 | By David Zahniser and Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
A donor to the mayoral campaigns of City Controller Wendy Greuel and council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry was fined $170,000 on Thursday by the Los Angeles Ethics Commission for laundering dozens of campaign contributions. Peter Barker, president of Orange County-based Barker Management, admitted he had reimbursed employees or their spouses for 68 contributions given to an array of city campaigns over 12 years, including the mayoral bids of Greuel, Garcetti and Perry. The practice, known as campaign money laundering, enabled him to bypass city contribution limits.
Glendale resident Gareth Neumann is hoping to change the state's political campaign and election process by getting a reform initiative he authored approved by voters next November. Neumann needs to gather nearly 400,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. The initiative, titled "Candidates. Campaign Finances. Gifts," would amend a section of the California Political Reform Act by limiting campaign contributions from any source to $25.
Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) has amassed nearly $121,000 in campaign contributions to bolster his reelection bid, while none of his potential rivals have raised even the $1,336 filing fee to qualify for the ballot. Gallegly, who plans to seek a fifth term, raised $93,546 in the last six months of 1993, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission. Gallegly's receipts included $14,000 from special-interest political action committees.
August 30, 1995
In the first half of 1993, incumbents in the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives raised $31.5 million in campaign contributions, the highest total reported in the 20 years that records had been kept. If money in such huge amounts has become the lifeblood of modern politics, as apologists for uninhibited fund raising maintain, it has also become ineradicably identified in the public mind with the distortion and corruption of the political process.
April 2, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
A refresher course in avoiding illegal corruption is being planned for state senators and their staffs. That can't hurt. But it's unlikely to clean up any dirty legislators. Illegal corruption is not a redundancy. There's also legal corruption. Legislators, members of Congress and local politicians everywhere are influenced by campaign contributions from private interests, whether the money comes from unions, insurers, oil companies or casino-operating Indian tribes, to name just a handful of corrupting cash cows.
April 2, 2014 | By David G. Savage and David Lauter
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court struck another major blow against long-standing restrictions on campaign money Wednesday, freeing wealthy donors to each give a total of $3.6 million this year to the slate of candidates running for Congress. Rejecting the restriction as a violation of free speech, the 5-4 ruling struck down a Watergate-era limit that Congress wrote to prevent a single donor from writing a large check to buy influence on Capitol Hill. It was the latest sign that the court's conservative majority intends to continue dismantling funding limits created over the last four decades.
March 26, 2014 | By Times Staff Writers
The public corruption case against state Sen. Leland Yee reads like a bad crime novel with off-the-books firearms deals made in parking lots and confessions whispered in a booth at a karaoke bar. All told, 26 people were identified as having violated federal statutes in the complaint. It was unclear how many were in custody. They were accused of participating in a free-ranging criminal ring that dabbled in a spectrum of activity, from illegal marijuana "grows" to a scheme to transport stolen liquor to China.
March 7, 2014 | By Catherine Saillant and Abby Sewell
The field of contenders became clearer Friday for Los Angeles County government's June election, the first in decades that will have no incumbent on the ballot, as a period for candidates to file papers closed. Term limits are forcing out two county supervisors, and the sheriff and the assessor chose not to seek reelection amid corruption scandals involving their agencies. Topping the list of contenders seeking to replace Zev Yaroslavsky as a western county representative on the Board of Supervisors are former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver, a former Santa Monica mayor and a member of the Kennedy political dynasty.
February 25, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The state ethics agency on Tuesday made public a warning letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, 10 days after it was provided to the chief executive as a caution for accepting improper contributions from a lobbyist. The state Fair Political Practices Commission sent warning letters to 37 politicians indicating the expenses covered at fundraisers by lobbyist Kevin Sloat violated the ban on contributions from lobbyists. Brown was warned about two fundraisers organized by the California Democratic Party and held at Sloat's house in 2012 to benefit the Brown for Governor 2014 campaign and committees supporting his Proposition 30. "At those fundraisers, he (Sloat)
February 20, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers would be prohibited from raising campaign funds for more than three months at the end of each legislative session under legislation proposed Thursday by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). The blackout on fundraising would apply to the 100 days before the end of each session, the last day of a session and the seven days after a session concludes. The proposal is part of a package of bills offered by Padilla that he said are aimed at strengthening the state Political Reform Act. Padilla would also end the practice of politicians maintaining campaign committees and raising money for more than one office at the same time.
February 20, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - California's political ethics agency signed off Thursday on a $133,500 fine for a lobbyist who made improper campaign contributions to elected officials, but the attorney whose lawsuit triggered the investigation is not satisfied. The lawsuit, filed in December by a former employee of the lobbyist, described the contributions in detail and alleged that she was wrongly fired for complaining to her boss about them. California's Fair Political Practices Commission investigated the contributions and fined the lobbyist, Kevin Sloat, for some of what the employee described: providing expensive wine, liquor and cigars at lavish fundraisers held at his home for lawmakers' campaigns.
February 11, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The state ethics agency's proposed $133,500 fine of lobbyist Kevin Sloat for making improper campaign contributions to lawmakers has become an issue in the race for secretary of state. One candidate for that office, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), was one of some 40 lawmakers and other officials who received warning letters saying that Sloat's payment of expenses at fundraisers amounted to improper campaign contributions. However, none of the lawmakers faces a penalty after investigators for the state Fair Political Practices Commission concluded they did not know some expenses for wine, liquor and cigars were paid by Sloat.
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