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Open Government

November 15, 2002 | Stuart Pfeifer, Times Staff Writer
In a showdown that pits open government against privacy concerns, courts throughout California are grappling over whether to open police reports to the public after prosecutors file them in court. News outlets and open-government advocates argue that once a judge sees a police report, the document should become public, available to anyone. Police and prosecutors, wanting the reports kept under wraps, say opening them to public view would jeopardize the safety of crime victims and witnesses.
October 22, 2004 | Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writer
Gossip about the mayor and council members. Top 10 lists of the "hottest" men and women in City Hall. A blistering missive from an irritated councilman. And, amid the froth, the occasional in-depth discussion of municipal issues. In less than two months, the mysterious "4th Floor Blog" became a must-read among the ambitious, well-dressed folks who prowl the fourth floor of City Hall setting policy for Los Angeles and worrying about their place in its power structure.
September 13, 2011 | By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
Readers who type "Central Basin Municipal Water District" into Google News get a series of upbeat articles. One story hails the benefits of Central Basin's new recycled water system. Another piece praises the agency's legal battle over groundwater rights. Others catalog the successes of its conservation programs. What the average reader doesn't know is that Central Basin is paying nearly $200,000 in taxpayer money for the glowing coverage. In a highly unusual move, the water district hired a consultant to produce promotional stories "written in the image of real news," according to agreements reviewed by The Times . The articles appear on a professional-looking news website called News Hawks Review . The site is indexed on Google News, carries its own advertisements and boasts an "experienced and highly knowledgeable" staff of editors and reporters.
July 28, 1995 | From Times Wire Services
Foreign companies have been nearly shut out of Japan's construction market, despite an agreement that was to open up government contracts to outside bidders, a U.S. official said Thursday. Of the 410 government construction projects awarded in Japan last year, only four contracts were awarded to foreign companies, according to the U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
December 27, 2002
Everyone cheered last year when state officials offered to buy two large but ratty tracts of land downtown and make them parks. In a city with far too little green space, especially in its urban core, the 32-acre Cornfield next to Chinatown and the 30-acre Taylor Yard in Cypress Park will make a big difference. Community leaders and environmental activists had pried these properties away from commercial developers in a David-and-Goliath struggle and then leaned on Gov. Gray Davis to buy them.
County leaders vowed Friday to keep local courts operating even as they gear up to fight an anticipated court order to provide as much as $13.9 million that judges said is needed to avert a shutdown of some courtroom operations. New budget numbers released by the county Friday indicate that only one of Orange County's six courthouses has enough money in its salary and benefits fund to pay employees through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
When she was sworn into office 100 days ago, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina made a symbolic gesture, ordering the removal of metal detectors from the entrance to the board's chambers. "If they could lock up the front doors, if we could do everything in closed session, I think there is a majority on this board that would like it that way," Molina said in an interview last week.
July 21, 2009 | Tom Hamburger and Peter Nicholas
As the watchdog of the government's massive bailout of the financial sector, Neil M. Barofsky had a simple question: What had the nation's banks done with all their bailout money? Can't be answered, said the Treasury Department, because of the way banks move money internally. The department declined to put the question to the banks.
May 9, 2013 | By Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
A judge ruled on Thursday that The Times could not be stopped from reporting on testimony from the top manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a deposition for an open-government lawsuit. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin said that in asking the court to deny Times reporters access to the testimony and a prohibition against articles about it, the commission sought “essentially a gag order.” “This is a public matter,” Lavin said of the lawsuit brought against the commission by The Times and a 1st Amendment group, Californians Aware.
June 3, 2001 | ERIC COHEN, Eric Cohen, former managing editor of The Public Interest, is a resident fellow at the New America Foundation
At various points in U.S. history, issues and events come along that make old ideologies obsolete, that make existing coalitions untenable, that make the contradictions within parties too pressing to ignore. When this happens, the old assumptions about politics no longer hold. The old battles begin to make little sense. The genetic revolution--like slavery, civil rights and the Cold War before it--is such an event. In time, it may overshadow them all.
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