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Political Campaigns

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.
April 20, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Does the 1st Amendment allow states to make it a criminal offense to disseminate false statements about a political candidate? Should citizens who fear that their free speech will be chilled by such a law be permitted to challenge it even if they aren't in danger of imminent prosecution? Only the second question will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, but it is inextricably linked to the first one. If the court rules that the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, may not challenge Ohio's criminalization of false political speech, that law and similar ones in other states will remain on the books.
March 21, 2004 | Edwin Chen, Times Staff Writer
At a rally marking the kickoff of his reelection campaign, President Bush on Saturday unleashed a blistering attack on John F. Kerry's domestic and foreign policy positions while portraying himself as a decisive leader who would keep America safe during troubled times. Returning to the heart of the state that delivered him the White House in the disputed 2000 election, Bush was greeted by a crowd of some 10,000 supporters at the Orange County Convention Center here.
April 20, 2014 | By Peter H. Schuck
Campaign finance reformers are worried about the future. They contend that two Supreme Court rulings - the McCutcheon decision in March and the 2010 Citizens United decision - will magnify inequality in U.S. politics. In both cases, the court majority relaxed constraints on how money can be spent on or donated to political campaigns. By allowing more private money to flow to campaigns, the critics maintain, the court has allowed the rich an unfair advantage in shaping political outcomes and made "one dollar, one vote" (in one formulation)
May 2, 2012 | By David Horsey
A political campaign is about the worst time to have a discussion about economic realities. The party that is out will speak of nothing but looming disaster while the party that is in will be singing nothing but “Happy Days Are Here Again.” And, since our current political system is in a permanent campaign mode, economics never escapes the warp of politics. The truth is, it is easy for politicians to pick and choose among the facts to support whatever best serves their campaigns because economic news can be good and bad at the same time.
April 26, 2012 | By Karin Klein
No matter how you feel about Meg Whitman, head of Hewlett-Packard, former head of eBay, you'd have to concede that one of her biggest contributions to the California economy was as candidate for California governor. She lavished about $160 million on her failed campaign, and we'd have to guess that most or all of that was spent within the state. It might be hard to get the engine of California's economy revving again, but we do get a good, if short-term, cough out of political campaigns, and the most recent proof of this is the spending on Proposition 29, the initiative that would impose an extra dollar-per-pack tax on cigarettes and use most of the proceeds on medical research for cancer and cardiovascular and lung diseases.
May 21, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez and Ben Welsh
Members of the union representing Los Angeles firefighters voted down a proposal to increase dues to finance aggressive political campaigns, union leaders said Tuesday. The leadership of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City wanted members to pay $38 per paycheck in union dues, up from $19, to increase the amount of money in the group's political action committee.  The organization represents about 3,200 members from the rank of firefighter to captain. VIDEO: Firefighters union urges dues hike for political campaigns Union President Frank Lima said Tuesday that the proposal was rejected in a close vote by more than 800 members who casted ballots.
March 3, 2013 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
A few years ago, campaigning in Cudahy and Bell was an ugly affair. Fliers smeared rival candidates as "terrorists," allegations of voter fraud ran rampant and, in some cases, death threats were made against political contenders. But high-profile corruption scandals in each city over the last two years have led to what residents hope is an unprecedented change: cleaner campaigns. "There's no intimidation factor," said Denise Rodarte, a member of the grass-roots group Bell Assn.
February 18, 1990
How much is an election worth? Apparently quite a bit, since Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder has already raised $159,000 for her 1990 reelection campaign. By the time the campaign is over, much more will probably be spent by the wealthy landowners, builders and developers who wish to see Wieder remain in office in order to preserve their political advantage. In a county that has real problems housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, coping with drug abuse, building affordable housing, providing health care, educating the young and caring for the elderly, expenditures of this magnitude on political campaigns seem nothing less than obscene.
February 28, 1995 | RUSS LOAR
The City Council tonight will review a proposal to revise the city's ordinance governing political campaigns. The new plan is intended to close loopholes in existing regulations. The proposed ordinance, more than a year in the making, would raise limits on campaign contributions, prohibit multiple campaign committees and create new regulations in areas ranging from the transfer of campaign funds to campaign loans.
April 13, 2014
Re "No 'witch hunt' at Mozilla," Column, April 9 It is no wonder that bullying is a major problem at schools. Kids learn from adults. Brendan Eich was bullied into resigning as chief executive of Mozilla. Because he donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign, he was bullied by people whose personal views differed from his. The "face of a company," as Michael Hiltzik calls a CEO, should refer to the business' product or mission statement. Last time I checked, a CEO has responsibility for the overall success of an organization, and Eich is smart enough to know and abide by that.
April 3, 2014 | By Jessica A. Levinson
Thank you, Supreme Court. Before your decision Wednesday in McCutcheon vs. FEC, Americans were confined to giving a measly total of $48,600 in campaign contributions to federal candidates (enough for about nine candidates) and a total of $74,600 to political action committees. That means individuals were subject to aggregate contributions limits totaling a mere $123,200. Of course, individuals could, and still can, give unlimited sums to independent groups, such as so-called super PACs and other nonprofit corporations.
March 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
If it is true that state Sen. Leland Yee consorted with criminals and did them political favors in return for campaign cash, it is indeed "sickening," as Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said. But this newest scandal, along with the indictment of Sen. Ronald S. Calderon on bribery and corruption charges in February, is merely an extreme example of the long-standing and pervasive pay-to-play culture that permeates the Capitol. Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, was swept up in an FBI sting targeting a gangster known as "Shrimp Boy" and faces federal charges related to public corruption and conspiracy to illegally import firearms.
March 23, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
If there were fairness in this world, Rita Rizzo would be a media star. Rizzo, 60, owns a management consulting firm for nonprofit groups and government offices in Akron, Ohio, with her husband, Lou Vincent, 64. Vincent, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, has gone without health insurance for 10 years. "We got 30 denial letters," Rizzo told me last week. Three years ago, Rizzo got a hip replacement. Her own insurance premiums were going to rise by $500 a month, to about $800, so she chose instead to triple her deductible to $6,000 to keep the increase to a mere $150 a month.
March 17, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last November, the Internal Revenue Service asked for public comments on proposed rules to rein in political activity by tax-exempt "social welfare" groups that don't disclose their donors. The agency has gotten an earful of negative reaction, not only from conservatives who long have accused the IRS of political bias, but also from some liberal and civil-liberties groups. (The Republican-controlled House has voted to delay the rules for a year.) A few of the criticisms are justified and easily addressed.
February 25, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A prominent New York real estate developer and socialite told investigators he has no idea who shot him at his expansive Long Island estate, police said. Gary Melius, 69, remained in stable condition Tuesday about 24 hours after a masked gunman fired three rounds as he entered his car at Oheka Castle, authorities said. Melius was hit in the head, but got the attention of a family member, who drove him to a hospital. Melius lives on the estate, described by property managers as the nation's second-largest private home.
February 19, 2007 | Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer
You know it's a real Oscar race when every campaign has a slogan. Everyone loves "The Queen." Get on the bus for "Little Miss Sunshine." No film moved you more than "Babel." "The Departed" is Martin Scorsese at his best. "Letters From Iwo Jima" was directed by Clint Eastwood, which, although technically not a catchphrase, is pretty much shorthand for Oscar gold these days.
With union ranks depleted and labor protections under attack in the Republican-controlled Assembly, state labor leaders are preparing to wage what they say will be their most aggressive political effort in years, perhaps ever, in California.
December 19, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- John Cox, a San Diego County real estate mogul, hates the way the California Legislature operates, so he wants to make it bigger. Much bigger. Cox heads the Rescue California Foundation, which on Thursday was cleared by the state to circulate petitions for a proposed ballot measure that would expand the Legislature from 120 members to 12,000 members, each elected from neighborhood legislative districts of 5,000 (for Assembly) to 10,000 (for Senate) residents. Under his plan, 100 legislators would be elected in each of the current legislative districts and would send one representative from each district to Sacramento to participate in working groups to draft bills and hold hearings.
October 31, 2013 | By Steve Chawkins
Robert Shogan, a former Los Angeles Times national political correspondent who covered Washington for more than 30 years and wrote more than a dozen books on topics as diverse as the New Deal, violence in West Virginia's coal fields and the nature of presidential leadership, died Wednesday at a hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 83. The cause was pneumonia, family members said. Shogan was seen by his colleagues as a consummate reporter who managed to secure the trust of Washington insiders without becoming one himself.
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