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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 1996
I cannot begin to trust any Washington politician until every lobbyist is run out of town or prosecuted for felony bribery. WILLIAM H. CHRISTIANSEN Los Angeles
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BUSINESS
April 20, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - After nearly four decades as a Washington lawyer and lobbyist for the cable and cellphone industries, Tom Wheeler was eager to revive long-stalled initiatives as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. But within weeks of taking charge in November, he ran into unexpected turbulence in pushing for a review of the ban on using cellphones on airplanes. Consumers howled that airline cabins would fill with annoying chatter. Opponents petitioned the White House to tell regulators that cellphone use should stay grounded.
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NEWS
November 29, 2012 | By Patt Morrison
Dad's a politician! Junior's a lobbyist! Sounds like it has potential for a sitcom -- or maybe a conflict of interest? KCET's SoCal Connected has put a stronger lens in its news microscope to scrutinize the public-political relationship between L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe and his son Matt, a lobbyist whose firm's clients sometimes wind up with financial dealings with the Board of Supervisors, dealings that can be worth millions. Each of the five supervisors is responsible for a bigger population than some U.S. senators, which is one reason they've been referred to for years as “the five little kings,” even when there's a woman or two on the board.
OPINION
April 15, 2014 | Patt Morrison
George Steffes was a boy standing on Wilshire Boulevard when Dwight D. Eisenhower rolled by in a motorcade, and he was mightily impressed. But that's not what got him into politics. He went to 5 o'clock Mass one day in 1966 and ran into an acquaintance who was working on Ronald Reagan's gubernatorial campaign. Steffes volunteered. He went to Sacramento as Reagan's legislative aide and has been there ever since. He helped to found the first multi-person lobbying firm in Sacramento, Capitol Partners, where he's now “senior advisor,” no longer running the firm day to day. Almost 50 years in Sacramento have given him a long view of its roller-coaster politicking, including low points like the recent indictment of state Sen. Leland Yee. The ride has left him a bit queasy.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Former Disney and News Corp. lobbyist Preston Padden is fronting a new organization for TV station owners interested in participating in the Federal Communications Commission's efforts to buy broadcast spectrum that it can auction off to wireless companies. So far, few broadcasters have publicly expressed a desire to sell either some or all of their spectrum. The FCC wants the spectrum because it fears there is a shortage looming given the explosion of mobile devices, especially in big cities.
NEWS
August 28, 2013 | By Carla Hall
The death of Sister Sheila Walsh, believed to have been the first Roman Catholic nun in the nation to be a full-time registered lobbyist, reminded me of how many other activist nuns have contributed so forcefully and significantly to the causes of the poor (or, as Sister Sheila preferred, the less stigmatized “people living in poverty”), the homeless, the victims of warfare. Nuns dedicate their lives to service in the name of God, and that service can be -- and should be allowed to be -- more than pastoral.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2009 | Matt Schudel
Anne Wexler, a well-connected political power broker who founded the first major Washington lobbying firm to be led by a woman and who was considered one of the capital's most influential lobbyists, died Friday of cancer at her home in Washington. She was 79. Wexler began her unlikely rise in Democratic Party circles as a Connecticut housewife who joined the PTA and a local zoning board. By 1978, she had carved out an important role in the Carter White House and used her skills at compromise and negotiation to win support on Capitol Hill for the administration's agenda.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
BUSINESS
November 1, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California's 10 biggest-spending special interest groups paid lobbyists about $57 million to lobby the Legislature, the governor's administration and other state agencies. The biggest spender during the two-year legislative session that recessed Sept. 30 was the Western States Petroleum Assn. The group, which represents international oil giants and small, independent producers, reported expenses of $8.5 million. Quiz: How much do you know about California's economy?
BUSINESS
December 15, 2009 | By Joe Flint
Walt Disney Co.'s Preston Padden, who has been one of the entertainment industry's biggest lobbyists in Washington for more than three decades, is retiring as executive vice president of worldwide government relations at the media giant. Padden, 62, will leave his post in January to later become a senior fellow and adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School. He will continue to advise Disney on strategic issues in the interim. Disney didn't name a replacement and said it was hiring a search firm to identify candidates.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By Joe Flint
The broadcasting industry's top lobbyist said the Federal Communications Commission needs to work closer with the industry rather than trying to undermine it through regulatory measures that favor would-be competitors. "Over the past five years, there has been an increasingly singular focus by the federal government on broadband," said National Assn. of Broadcasters President and Chief Executive Gordon Smith in a Monday speech at the association's annual convention in Las Vegas.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Hoping to get pot legalized in Nevada, an investment firm specializing in the fast-growing marijuana industry invited the ballot initiative's backers to pitch 150 financiers at a Las Vegas symposium. Within 10 minutes, they raised $150,000. Political contributors are not the only ones taking notice of the new realities of the marijuana business, said San Francisco-based ArcView Chief Executive Troy Dayton, who estimated his group would pump about $500,000 into pot this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday became the fourth client to drop the firm Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates as its lobbyist in Sacramento since the company was hit by record fines for making improper campaign contributions to dozens of elected state officials. Others who have dropped the firm in the last month include the San Francisco 49ers Football Co., Verizon Communications and Accenture. Together, the four clients represented $734,0000 of the $4.7 million paid to the lobbying firm last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- Responding to the fallout over a six-figure ethics violation fine for one of Sacramento's top lobbyists, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) is proposing a measure that would prohibit lobbyists from hosting fundraisers at their home.  Kevin Sloat and his firm agreed Monday to pay a record administrative fine of $133,500 to the Fair Political Practices Commission, after the ethics agency found that the lobbyist had made improper, non-monetary campaign contributions to lawmakers when he provided expensive wine, liquor and cigars at fundraisers hosted at his home.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 1993
I was somewhat amused by the June 28 article "Looking Out for County Is His Job," in which Congressman Elton Gallegly questioned the need for Ventura County to pay $30,000 a year to retain a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. An example of one accomplishment of lobbyist Roger Honberger was to get a Camarillo flood control project to the top of the list for federal funds to be sent to the county as part of President Clinton's economic stimulus package....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Kamala Harris will formally announce her plans to seek a second term as state attorney general on Wednesday morning in San Francisco. Her announcement will come at a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. at City Hall, where she'll be handling paperwork for her reelection campaign. Harris, a Democrat, served two terms as San Francisco's district attorney before winning a tight race in 2010 to become California's first female and and first nonwhite attorney general.
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