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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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
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.
NATIONAL
January 18, 2009 | Andrew Zajac
President-elect Barack Obama says he does not want to use special interest money to pay for inaugural events, but the lobbyists are coming anyway. The calendar is chock-full of parties and receptions, brunches and breakfasts -- not to mention lunches, dinners and prayer services. Many, and perhaps most, are designed to bring those who need influence into contact with those who wield it.
NATIONAL
December 21, 2009 | By Andrew Zajac
David Nexon had a big problem. An early version of national healthcare legislation contained a $40-billion tax aimed squarely at members of the medical device trade association he represents. Nexon, a former advisor to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), went to work. He marshaled 14 people like himself -- lobbyists who were once congressional aides, many of them from staffs of congressional leaders or committees that had a hand in crafting the healthcare overhaul. When Senate Democrats unveiled their bill in mid-November, Nexon's handiwork was evident.
OPINION
June 25, 2011
The California Legislature has strict deadlines for proposing bills, moving them out of committee and getting them to the other house. And there are easy ways to abuse or circumvent those rules. For example, a lawmaker whose bill went down to defeat early in the session can revive it simply by stripping language from a more successful piece of proposed legislation that is headed to a vote and inserting the language from the bill that didn't make it the first time around. This tactic often seems sneaky and underhanded.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2001 | PATRICK McGREEVY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Elected officials would be barred from voting on issues involving lobbyists who serve as their paid political advisors under a proposal Tuesday by the president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. Citing concerns about undue influence by insiders, Commission President Miriam Krinsky also proposed that lobbyists be prohibited from raising money for elected officials. At a meeting Tuesday, the commission directed its staff to draft a written report on both plans.
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)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Jean Merl
Democrat Ro Khanna, who is mounting a same-party challenge this year to longtime Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), has launched his first television ad, the Khanna campaign announced Tuesday. In the ad , Khanna, who formerly worked in the U.S Commerce Department, promised to refuse campaign donations from corporate interests and lobbyists.  He has, however, received contributions from tech industry executives. "Isn't it time that Congress started living like the rest of us," Khanna asks in the ad.  He also promises to limit the influence of lobbyists and to fight against "special interest paid travel and the gold-plated pension" for members of Congress.
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 -- 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 2, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- Businesses, unions and other interests set a record last year for what they spent lobbying California's government: more than $285 million, according to disclosures required by the state this week. Their expenditures were up 6% from the year before and just above the previous record of $281.7 million, in 2008. The California Teachers Assn. spent the most last year, $6.5 million, as schools were battling potential funding cuts and lawmakers acted on bills involving charter schools and other education issues.
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.
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