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November 6, 2009 | Patrick McGreevy
The state Legislature is quietly seeking to block a steep cut in lawmakers' salary and perks. Executives of the Assembly and Senate have asked the state attorney general to determine whether the scheduled 18% pay reduction and additional 18% cuts to living expenses and car allowances are illegal. The lowered benefits are due to kick in next month, while base pay is set to be slashed from $116,000 to $95,000, starting with lawmakers elected starting year. Senate Secretary Greg Schmidt, who co-signed the letter requesting the legal opinion, said the Legislature's top attorney has said the citizens commission that ordered the reductions lacked the power to cut the per diem and car allowances.
October 22, 2003 | Catherine Saillant, Times Staff Writer
Ventura County supervisors agreed Tuesday to eliminate a controversial retirement perk for six elected department managers, unswayed by protests that doing so could create inequities in pay among county administrators. The 3-2 vote will not affect the pensions of the current officeholders -- Dist. Atty. Greg Totten, Sheriff Bob Brooks and four other elected managers -- because their benefits are already vested. But it would apply to their successors in office.
May 26, 1991
Best Perks honors go to Charles W. Fries, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Fries Entertainment. The total value of his perk package was $205,400 in 1990, which is good by top executive standards but not outstanding. His perks include a limousine, a driver, as well as another "prestige" car every other year. And Fries Entertainment is building a private screening room in his house at a cost to the company of $122,000.
July 14, 1992
In an effort to keep council members' perks in check, the city has passed a new law that would require any extra expenditures that are not part of the regular budget to be approved by a full council vote. Now, council members will be forced to justify their spending requests at a public meeting attended by local residents. "If you bring it up in public it keeps everyone honest," said Councilman Jim Potts, who proposed the ordinance last month after a controversy involving cellular telephones.
February 27, 1992 | From Associated Press
The attorney general's office is investigating Stanford University's nonprofit bookstore after revelations that managers received pricey perks such as a hot tub-equipped vacation home and fancy cars. Stanford law professor Robert Weisberg, who serves on the board of the campus bookstore, said Wednesday that the directors also have ordered an independent investigation into "alleged financial irregularities."
April 5, 1992 | DANA PARSONS
I first heard the following banquet-circuit gag from a football coach, but its origins must have been in politics. The coach was recalling the time that someone had asked him for the definition of a successful coach. That's easy, he said: The successful coach is one who, while being chased out of town by an angry mob, makes it look like he's leading a parade. If I didn't know better, I'd think Anaheim Mayor Fred Hunter was at that banquet, quietly taking notes.
Ask anyone familiar with Don R. Roth's style of politicking and they'll generally describe a "good ol' boy" who enjoys all the benefits that come with playing hard in the game of the government. At least once every month in 1991, the 71-year-old Orange County supervisor accepted gifts from lobbyists or business interests, ranging from wealthy real estate developers to an Anaheim maker of trash cans.
August 21, 1986
By a 356-61 vote, the House adopted an amendment to keep intact a wide range of perquisites for former Presidents. The measure trimmed only $58,000 from a $1.23-million outlay for ex-Presidents in fiscal 1987. Although appearing as budget- cutting, this actually was a maneuver to block a proposed deep cut into the outlay for Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and Lady Bird Johnson, the former First Lady.
August 18, 1989 | From Associated Press
While Claude Pepper lived, his office was a five-room suite, among the best on Capitol Hill. With Pepper gone and no successor in place, his staff is winding up his work in two storerooms with an air shaft for a view. "Our quarters are so cramped, we figured the animal rights people would be protesting," said Rochelle Jones, longtime press secretary for the Florida congressman. The experiences of Pepper's staff undoubtedly differ little from those of Reps.
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