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June 22, 2011 | By Melanie Hicken and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
Budget problems have officials in some cities debating whether they can still afford to finance floats in the Rose Parade. West Covina says it won't have a float because it cannot raise enough money. Glendale could follow suit if the City Council votes to cease its $130,000 commitment to build the annual float — ending the city's status as the second-longest-running entrant. The potential funding cut comes amid an $18-million budget gap at City Hall. Photos: Early years of the Rose Parade "It's a great thing, and the community does take pride in it," Mayor Laura Friedman said of the city's floats at a recent budget meeting.
May 19, 2011 | By Donald Cohen
Since 2003, the California Chamber of Commerce has published an annual hit list of bills it labels job killers. The list has included state legislation to protect consumers, workers and the environment, and to raise revenue to fund public services or support middle- and working-class families. No politician — Democrat or Republican — wants to be known as someone who kills jobs, so many of them will avoid supporting any bill so labeled. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used the list as a to-do list for his veto pen. His Democratic predecessor, Gray Davis, vetoed some of its top targets.
May 2, 2011 | By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times
California's authority to enact automotive air pollution standards that are stricter than federal law has withstood legal challenge after a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Assn. did not have legal standing in the case. Under the 1970 Clean Air Act, California may request waivers of federal standards to enact its own, stricter laws — a right granted because the state had its own pollution laws before the federal government's.
March 27, 2011 | By Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau
A Democratic congressman is seeking an investigation into whether government money was used by three security contractors involved in a proposal to track and harass liberal critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia plans to send letters Monday to the Defense and Justice departments, as well as the head of the intelligence community, requesting a review of the companies' federal contracts. All three firms are government contractors with security clearance.
March 23, 2011 | Steve Lopez
Anybody out there know what it would cost each and every Californian to keep teachers teaching, firefighters fighting fires and crooks in jumpsuits? We keep hearing about Gov. Brown's proposal to extend several temporary tax increases for another five years ? the sales, vehicle and income tax hikes approved by former Gov. Schwarzenegger ? but we don't hear much about the price. So I asked State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) over the weekend and one of his staffers sent me the breakdown.
March 14, 2011 | By Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a prospective GOP presidential candidate, used a speech to Chicago business executives Monday to excoriate President Obama's economic and energy policies, but stopped short of criticizing the Democratic incumbent's cautious approach to Libya. Speaking to the political action committee of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Barbour contended that the American public has told the White House that "bigger government means a smaller economy. " Barbour said control of federal spending cannot be possible without changes in major entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
March 10, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
At least two dozen solar, wind and other energy projects currently tangled in bureaucratic and environmental red tape could give California a multibillion dollar boost if they were to move forward, a new report says. The study, commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, estimates that building and operating 31 stalled energy projects in the state would create 142,100 jobs annually and pump nearly $60 billion into the economy. The report was unveiled as gas prices continued to climb and calls for cleaner sources of energy have been rising.
March 6, 2011 | By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is blasting a campaign mailer sent out by an independent political action committee that listed more than a dozen dead community and religious leaders as endorsing Councilman Bernard C. Parks' reelection campaign. Ridley-Thomas, who ran against Parks for the Board of Supervisors in 2008 and has endorsed his challenger Forescee Hogan-Rowles in Tuesday's council race, said Friday that he was appalled by the literature sent to 8th Council District voters by the Los Angeles Jobs PAC, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
February 26, 2011 | By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown picked up endorsements for his budget plan from two Los Angeles-area business groups Friday while attempting to mollify persistent skeptics of the proposal. Both the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Valley Industry & Commerce Assn. announced support for the governor's spending blueprint, which includes the renewal of billions of dollars in annual income, sales and vehicle taxes for five years, contingent upon voter approval. Brown has said that without the additional revenue, he would close the state's $25-billion deficit with spending cuts alone.
February 16, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
An executive for a small computer security firm tried to distance his company from the activities of a related partnership that has become a focal point in a burgeoning private spying scandal. Jim Butterworth, vice president of HBGary Inc., said Tuesday that the suburban Sacramento developer of anti-malware and other computer protection software was a victim, not a perpetrator, in the scandal. Its computer system was hacked and thousands of sensitive e-mails and documents were stolen, he said.
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