CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2013 |
Three weeks after being sworn in as a new representative for South Los Angeles, Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price announced his support for a new liquor permit at a market in the north end of his district. Two weeks later, Price backed alcohol sales at a supermarket in Councilman Gil Cedillo's district. And this month, Price voted to let a Central Avenue grocery store in his district sell liquor until 2 a.m. All three businesses had hired the Katherman Co., a well-established, City Hall advocacy firm, to help navigate the city's serpentine permitting process.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- A prominent government affairs firm and its high-profile employees have agreed to pay $40,500 in in fines for failing to register the workers as lobbyists. The fines will be paid by California Strategies LLC and Jason Kinney, former lawmaker Rusty Areias and Winston Hickox, who are partners in the firm. The state Fair Political Practices Commission investigators concluded that Kinney, Areias and Hickox qualified as lobbyists but failed to register with the state and disclose their lobbying activities.
August 28, 2013 |
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.
August 3, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- Corporations, unions, local governments and other interests spent $137 million to influence legislation and regulation at the California Legislature and state agencies in the first half of this year. Professional trade and general business groups paid about $6 million to lobby, followed closely by labor unions with $5.7 million. The healthcare industry spent $4.2 million, local governments $2.1 million and trial attorneys and utilities accounted for $700,000 each.
August 1, 2013 |
All but a few macho holdouts among the let-men-be-men faction agree that Anthony Weiner is not worthy of becoming mayor of America's biggest city, but there is a perennial threat to our democracy that is far larger than the turgid tweets of the former congressman from New York. That threat is the ongoing whoredom of members of Congress who remain in office. It is no secret that our senators and representatives expend a significant amount of time and effort every week of the year soliciting campaign donations from lobbyists for corporations and other special interest groups and from fat cat donors who have interests of their own. Most who take the cash will insist that they are not selling their votes and, in most cases, that may be technically correct.
May 3, 2013 |
Silicon Valley has wielded its growing political clout at the state Capitol to kill a digital privacy bill that would have given consumers access to information about them being collected online. Had the Right to Know Act become law, California would have been the first state to take direct aim at an online industry that stockpiles and trades in a wide range of personal data about nearly every adult in the United States. In a major defeat for consumer groups and privacy watchdogs, AB 1291 will instead become a two-year bill, effectively putting it into a deep freeze until next year.