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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2012 | Patrick McGreevy
State Assemblyman Warren Furutani looked out over a sea of red -- protesting oil industry workers wearing scarlet T-shirts -- and saw trouble for his plan to raise $2.5 billion for universities with a tax on crude. The Central Valley workers had packed a legislative hearing to oppose the idea. Their shirts said "Save Our Jobs" and oil companies had spent close to $5,000 to bus them to the Capitol from Bakersfield. The bill died, one of many victories for an industry that paid $12 million to an army of lobbyists last year to do its bidding.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - The most shameful habit of California legislators arguably is their annual summer shakedown of lobbyists. But it finally may be ending, at least in the Senate. Senate leaders - rocked by the corruption scandals of two fellow Democrats - are hoping to quash the unsavory practice of coercing campaign contributions from special interests while high-stakes bills are pending in the Capitol. Outgoing leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and his designated replacement, Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
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NATIONAL
June 3, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A onetime top aide to former Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to defraud the House as part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. John Albaugh, 41, admitted accepting perks from lobbyists in exchange for official favors. More than a dozen former officials and lobbyists have pleaded guilty in the scandal, as has Abramoff himself.
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.
NATIONAL
June 23, 2003 | Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper, Times Staff Writers
It was the kind of legislation that slips under the radar here. The name alone made the eyes glaze over: "The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002." In a welter of technical jargon, it dealt with boundary shifts, land trades and other arcane matters -- all in Nevada. As he introduced it, Nevada's senior U.S.
NEWS
June 1, 1994 | DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Playing private detective for a day, state Sen. Tom Hayden's staff captured Gov. Pete Wilson's director of fish and game and one of his top deputies on videotape as they fished during business hours last week with a lawyer who is trying to loosen the state's endangered species protection laws.
NATIONAL
July 14, 2004 | Walter F. Roche Jr. and Ken Silverstein, Times Staff Writers
In the months and years leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, they marched together in the vanguard of those who advocated war. As lobbyists, public relations counselors and confidential advisors to senior federal officials, they warned against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, praised exiled leader Ahmad Chalabi, and argued that toppling Saddam Hussein was a matter of national security and moral duty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1995
By definition, lobbyists are seeking to benefit their clients regardless of whether they are representing the the oil industry, military contractors, dairy industry or the "loosely defined" left. The never-ending cycle of advocacy-congressional benefits (funding, subsidy, tax break, federal contract, etc.) applies to all equally. Rep. Robert Dornan's one-sided rhetoric (Column Right, July 6) blinds him from the logic of his ideas. We need to stop the gravy train. Change the focus.
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
May 7, 2009 | Evan Halper and Michael Rothfeld
In 2005, California real estate mogul Terry Fancher wanted to entice public pension systems to place hundreds of millions of dollars in investment funds he managed. Bypassing seasoned Wall Street advisors such as Morgan Stanley or Credit Suisse First Boston, he turned to Darius Anderson, a young and ambitious Sacramento lobbyist known in the Capitol for his political connections and fundraising prowess.
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 -- An attorney who aided an investigation that resulted in fines against lobbyist Kevin Sloat said the settlement of the matter approved Thursday by the state Fair Political Practices Commission falls short and fails to address some of the most serious allegations involving elected officials. “It's not sufficient,” attorney Jesse Ortiz. “I think Mr. Sloat should be held accountable for all of his actions and not just some of them, which is what the FPPC decided to do.” Ortiz represents Rhonda Smira, a former employee of Sloat's lobbying firm who sued the lobbyist, claiming she was wrongly fired after complaining about illegal gifts and campaign contributions being made by the firm to a large number of members of the Legislature.
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 7, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom are among 40 elected officials being notified by state ethics authorities that contributions they received from a lobbyist were improper. Lobbyists are not permitted to donate to, or arrange donations for, candidates for state office under California's campaign finance laws. Representatives for Brown and several other officials issued statements Friday saying their clients had no knowledge that lavish expenses for fundraisers from which they benefited in the past four years were paid for, at least in part, by a lobbying firm.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - A prominent lobbying firm in Sacramento faces fines for failing to report fund-raising expenses that benefited about 40 state legislators and other officials, according to Capitol sources. The firm, Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, reached a tentative agreement with staff of the state Fair Political Practices Commission to pay the fines involving violations of California's political disclosure rules, according to sources familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly.
NEWS
December 26, 2013 | By Ted Rall
After learning that elected officials in the state of California collected more than $200,000 in gifts during 2012 -- which doesn't include the $6.7 million in donations solicited by officials on behalf of their favorite charities and causes  -- the group Common Cause issued a report calling for tighter limits on this potentially corrupting influence. One suggestion: "Apply the $10-per-month limit on gifts from lobbyists to also include gifts from the lobbyists' clients. Currently, clients can give up to $440 per year to public officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - It just can't be, what they're saying about state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon - that he took $60,000 in bribes during an FBI sting operation. Nobody these days could be that stupid. Right? Pocketing the money from essentially a stranger who turns out to be an undercover agent? I mean, only 25 years after a highly publicized FBI sting in the Capitol resulted in the convictions of 14 politicos - legislators, staffers, lobbyists - in what became known as Shrimpscam.
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