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January 17, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
Annette Bening has taken on what some might consider the most challenging role of any actor's career: persuading Californians to send the tax collector more money. The California Arts Council -- the government agency that oversees the state's arts grant program -- announced Wednesday that Bening will be the spokeswoman for its latest effort to boost its meager budget, with the extra money earmarked for arts education. A bill passed last year places a special checkoff box on state income tax forms, labeled the “Keep Arts in Schools Fund.” Taxpayers can voluntarily check the box and write in how much they'd like to add to their tax payment or subtract from their refund, resulting in a heftier payment or a lighter reimbursement.
January 16, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
On Thursday the Huntington Library announced a significant donation: a collection of Evelyn Waugh books, manuscripts and correspondence. The gift will make the Huntington the second leading center of Waugh studies in the world. Waugh, born in 1903 in London, was one of the best-known satirists of the early 20th century. His first novel was "Decline and Fall" in 1928, followed by the novels "Vile Bodies" (1930), "Black Mischief" (1932), "A Handful of Dust" (1934), and "Scoop" (1938)
January 16, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - State authorities have yet to receive $15 million in penalties they imposed on campaign groups after a headline-making investigation into secret political donations. The money is owed to California's general fund, where it could support government programs. Two Arizona nonprofits paid $1 million in fines for their role in hiding the source of political cash sent to California in 2012. But the two campaign groups that received and spent the money were ordered to pay $15 million and have sent nothing - seven weeks after the Nov. 30 deadline.
January 13, 2014 | By David Wharton
Her shoes are made special, with scores of tiny spikes to grip the ice, and they never seem to last long enough. The steel runners for her sled cost more than $6,000 and the airlines charge $100 each way to carry her equipment to international races. When American bobsled pilot Jazmine Fenlator sat down and calculated her expenses leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics - eight months of training and competition - the numbers added up quickly. "I'm in debt," she said. "People don't realize.
January 13, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Preliminary figures show that 2013 may have been the biggest year ever for charitable donations, according to a Dallas-based group that mines economic data to come up with its numbers. More Americans donated money for human needs and disaster relief services both here and abroad in 2013, making it the fastest growing category of generosity. The Atlas of Giving said that charitable donations from the U.S. reached $416.5 billion. PHOTOS: The ten biggest California companies That would be up 12.9% from $368.8 billion in 2012, according to Rob Mitchell, the group's chief executive.
January 9, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The head of a criminal probe into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups and tea party supporters personally donated a total of $6,750 to President Obama's election campaign and the Democratic National Committee, spurring Republicans to call for her removal. Republicans said Thursday that political contributions by Barbara Bosserman, a prosecutor in the Justice Department's civil rights division, raised questions about her objectivity and the integrity of the investigation into the IRS. "It is unbelievable that the department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government's systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the president's policies," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista)
December 30, 2013 | Times wire services
Dallas billionaire and heavyweight GOP political donor Harold Simmons, who gave tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has died. He was 82. Simmons, born to two school teachers in East Texas, became one of the richest men in the country with interests ranging from energy to chemicals. His spokesman Chuck McDonald said Simmons died Saturday in Dallas but did not disclose the cause. Simmons made his fortune as a Texas corporate raider nicknamed the "Ice Man" after structuring leveraged takeover bids using junk bonds in the 1970s and '80s.
December 30, 2013 | By Herb Smith
This is the season of giving, when we give to the people we love as well as to people we have never even met. And the gift you may think of as insignificant and of little consequence to a charity is often the very thing that will make all the difference to people in need. It turns out that nonprofit organizations receive most of their annual contributions during the final quarter of the year. A cynic would attribute this surge to the imperatives of the tax code, and others to some amorphous, benevolent, seasonal spirit.
December 29, 2013 | By Times staff and wire services
Andrew Jacobs Jr., a former longtime Indiana congressman known for turning down pay raises and PAC donations as well as for being an early opponent of the Vietnam War, died Saturday at his Indianapolis home. He was 81. He had been in declining health for some time, said Gary Taylor, a family friend and former campaign manager. A Democrat, Jacobs served in the U.S. House of Represenatives from 1965 until a reelection defeat in 1973. He succeeded in another House election and served again from 1975 until his retirement in 1997.
December 26, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Jon Kitna became a high school math teacher once his 15-year NFL career ended. Here's an equation he will soon laying on Lincoln High in Tacoma, Wash.: Take whatever amount you have in your treasury and add about $55,000 or so. Kitna , who has also served as the Abes ' head football coach for the past two seasons, re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys this week to serve as an emergency backup quarterback since starter Tony ...
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