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Ethics Reform

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1989
Common Cause wishes to extend its sincere thanks and appreciation to state Assembly members Lucy Killea and Robert Frazee who, together with five of their colleagues, played a leadership role in the drafting of a comprehensive package of ethics-reform proposals designed to restore public confidence in state government. As members of the bipartisan Assembly Select Committee on Ethics, Killea and Frazee had to make unpopular decisions affecting the activities of other legislators.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Trying to counter ethics scandals in which lawmakers stand accused of voter fraud, bribery, money laundering and other misdeeds, Democratic leaders Thursday proposed sweeping changes to state political laws aimed at restoring public confidence in the Legislature. The proposals, which Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to embrace, would ban lawmakers and other state officials from accepting such gifts as spa treatments, golf games and tickets to Lakers games. Officials could take other gifts, but only if their worth totaled $200 or less annually from any source - down from the $440 now allowed.
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NEWS
June 10, 2011 | By Robin Abcarian
In summer 2007, Sarah Palin scored a bipartisan victory when the Alaska Legislature approved her ethics reform package. By December, she was proposing a three-year plan for education funding and was astonished when the Alaska speaker of the House, John Harris, a fellow Republican, disparaged it -- and her ethics package -- in a story that ran Dec. 7, 2007, in the Juneau Empire. "It ain't going to happen," Harris told the newspaper about the education proposal. "The Legislature is not going to give up their ability to fund education year to year.” Palin fired off an email to three of her top aides , Frank Bailey, Ivy Frye and Kris Perry: "I just read the article...
NEWS
June 10, 2011 | By Robin Abcarian
In summer 2007, Sarah Palin scored a bipartisan victory when the Alaska Legislature approved her ethics reform package. By December, she was proposing a three-year plan for education funding and was astonished when the Alaska speaker of the House, John Harris, a fellow Republican, disparaged it -- and her ethics package -- in a story that ran Dec. 7, 2007, in the Juneau Empire. "It ain't going to happen," Harris told the newspaper about the education proposal. "The Legislature is not going to give up their ability to fund education year to year.” Palin fired off an email to three of her top aides , Frank Bailey, Ivy Frye and Kris Perry: "I just read the article...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 7, 1989
While we heartily agree that our elected officials should act in an ethical manner in carrying out their public duties, we are disappointed that the Los Angeles citizens ethics panel has chosen to ignore a necessary solution to the present chaos at City Hall--limited terms of elected officials. The proposal was presented to the panel on several occasions. Remember, Councilman Ernani Bernardi proposed and put on the ballot a Charter amendment to restrict campaign contributions. It passed by an overwhelming majority and is now part of the City Charter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 1990
A coalition of public interest and community groups filed an ethics-in-government ballot proposal Wednesday, offering a potential alternative to an ethics reform package under consideration by the Los Angeles City Council. John Phillips, chairman of the political watchdog organization California Common Cause, said the coalition, dubbed the Clean Government Committee, supports the council's June ballot measure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 1990 | JANE FRITSCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bristling at the implication that they may be corrupt, Los Angeles City Council members on Wednesday threw out the $1.5-million annual funding for a proposed ethics commission and began picking away at other provisions of a sweeping ethics reform proposal. "Because the mayor said he used bad judgment, we are all tarred with being crooks," said Council President John Ferraro. "We have to prove our innocence before we're accepted, and I don't like that. I don't like that at all."
NEWS
January 26, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The state Senate unanimously passed a legislative ethics reform package, including a ban on honorariums and gifts valued at more than $250 from special interests and strengthening of prohibitions against conflict of interest. The proposal is linked to voter enactment in June of a separate ballot proposition approved by the Legislature last year that would create a new state agency to set lawmaker salaries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1989 | ALAN C. MILLER, Times Staff Writer
The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee was following a tradition of inaction when it decided last week not to investigate whether Assemblywoman Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) violated ethics rules by intervening with authorities on behalf of herself and her daughter for traffic offenses. The decision came out of the committee's first meeting in four years. Under the Legislature's narrowly drawn Code of Ethics, the panel can only consider cases when a lawmaker's action allegedly results in direct personal gain "which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest."
NATIONAL
September 14, 2008 | Dan Morain and Erika Hayasaki, Times Staff Writers
Seeking to win this swing state's five electoral votes, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin made her first solo campaign stop in the lower 48 states Saturday, promising ethics reform, lower taxes and energy self-sufficiency. Palin, greeted by chants of "Sarah, Sarah," spoke to about 3,500 people for about 20 minutes. She was interrupted frequently by cheers and applause. And she led the audience in the now-familiar refrain: "Drill, baby, drill." "In a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to expand opportunity for new energy development," the Alaska governor said, promising she and John McCain would push to "drill now to make this nation energy-self-sufficient."
OPINION
July 16, 2007
HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi's promise that this Congress would be "the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history" remains unredeemed because the House and Senate, both of which passed ethics reforms, haven't reconciled their differing approaches. If a conference committee isn't impaneled soon, objectionable practices -- including the "bundling" of campaign contributions by lobbyists -- will go on.
OPINION
January 7, 2007
Re "Pelosi takes the helm in triumph," Jan. 5 Republicans who underestimate the new speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), do so at their own peril. Pelosi is a lot sharper than your average Democrat and is only in politics for one reason -- to make America a better place. She is independently wealthy and doesn't have any favors that she has to repay to get reelected. She is a true public servant. MARC PERKEL San Bruno, Calif. This current noise about Pelosi's determination to bring ethics reform to the House is, when you poke beneath the surface, totally laughable.
OPINION
September 2, 2006 | Richard L. Hasen, RICHARD L. HASEN specializes in election law at Loyola Law School. He writes the Election Law Blog (electionlawblog.org).
WOULD YOU like fries with those term limits? The Los Angeles City Council has placed Measure R on the November ballot, which, if passed, would ease the current limit of two terms for City Council members, allowing them to run for a third four-year term. In addition, the measure would impose new restrictions on lobbyist campaign contributions and enact a host of other "good government" provisions.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2006 | Mary Curtius and Richard Simon, Times Staff Writers
In choosing Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio as the new House majority leader Thursday, Republicans sought to put a new face on a party reeling from scandals and worried about maintaining its congressional majority. In an upset, Boehner won a tense closed-door vote that went to a second ballot. Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the acting majority leader, had been favored to win the election.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2006 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
Issuing a sweeping call for ethical reform in medicine, a group of leading physicians and scholars said doctors shouldn't accept drug samples, junkets or even ballpoint pens from drug or medical-device companies. In today's Journal of the American Medical Assn., or JAMA, 11 experts warned that the financial ties between physicians and drug and device vendors are undermining scientific integrity and patient care.
NATIONAL
January 24, 2006 | Richard Simon and Tom Hamburger, Times Staff Writers
Skyboxes are suddenly empty. Trips have been canceled. Members of Congress and their aides are insisting on paying for their own meals -- if they're willing to be seen in public with a lobbyist at all. Even before new ethics rules have been put in place, the political corruption scandal sweeping down Washington's famed K Street corridor is disrupting life for those on both ends of the influence trade. Jon Doggett, vice president of public policy for the National Corn Growers Assn.
NATIONAL
January 15, 2006 | Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger, Times Staff Writers
With the taint of scandal hanging over the capital and threatening Republican candidates in upcoming elections, both parties are in a race to seize the mantle of reform and to win credit from voters for cleaning up government.
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