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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.