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NEWS
April 30, 2000
There are hundreds of special interest groups in the country that have an impact on presidential races and other major contests. Here's a quick look at some of the most influential groups. Contribution figures are for donations to parties and candidates since January 1999. * Sources: Campaign Study Group, Federal Election Commission, organization Web sites, staff and wire reports.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2014 | By Jean Merl
On the biggest political stage of the election season in California, the 17 candidates competing to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman struggled to stand out Sunday at a forum that was long on issues and short on time. Some common priorities emerged among those hoping to occupy the seat that Waxman, a Beverly Hills Democrat, is giving up after four decades: traffic woes and public transportation needs, ways to improve public education and a desire to get special-interest money out of politics - espoused even by some with the biggest war chests.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 1992 | LYNDA NATALI, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
City Council candidate Harold Lindamood was surprised when he received the detailed questionnaires asking his opinions on abortion. It was not likely that topic would be tucked into the Cypress City Council agenda, among trash fee hikes and weed abatement. Why would someone even ask, he wondered. "They don't have anything to do with city elections," said Lindamood, a test pilot making his first try at elected office. "Basically I put them in a pile. . . . I didn't fill them out."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
You'd think this would be a simple problem to fix: The unfair low limits on pain and suffering awards in California medical malpractice suits. But few things of genuine importance are simple in California's innately pugnacious Capitol. There's greed, ill will, stubbornness, hubris, vindictiveness, indifference ( doesn't affect me ), cowardice - all the human traits that politicians bring to Sacramento from the citizenry they represent. And too often these characteristics aren't tempered with people's counter-attributes of fairness, compromise and common sense.
NEWS
September 7, 1989 | GEORGE SKELTON, Times Sacramento Bureau Chief
Showing frustration and impatience, Gov. George Deukmejian declared Wednesday that special interests are "hard at work and winning" in the state Capitol as the Legislature scurries to adjourn for the year next week.
NEWS
April 21, 1988 | RICHARD C. PADDOCK, Times Staff Writer
Supporters of a June ballot measure that would impose strict limits on campaign contributions charged Wednesday that Gov. George Deukmejian and the top legislative leaders of both parties who oppose the initiative raised more than $20 million in the last three years from special interest groups.
NEWS
September 13, 1991 | PAUL JACOBS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Among the bills that have won approval in these final days of the legislative session is one that would specifically make it a crime to cheat at cards in a state-licensed card club. Another would make criminals out of those possessing soft-drink crates taken from a supermarket. Yet another measure would expand wagering to four new racetracks that stage steeplechases, show jumping and barrel races. And there is legislation that would reduce the permits needed by a Los Angeles oil refinery.
NEWS
June 17, 1999 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Line item 6440-122 of California's new budget scarcely attracts notice. It is, after all, a mere $4 million in an $82-billion spending plan. But it has significance for Rick Rollens and his wife Janna. It's Rollens' handiwork, and that of a few other parents who share the same special interest--finding the causes of and cure for autism, which afflicts their children.
OPINION
June 27, 1999 | Bruce J. Schulman, Bruce J. Schulman teaches American history at Boston University. He is the author of "Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism."
The machinery of American democracy ground to a halt recently. Despite overwhelming public support for new restrictions on firearms, the National Rifle Assn. and its allies again stymied gun-control legislation on Capitol Hill. In the past, cataclysmic events and national crises allowed the nation to surmount organized interests and enact much-needed, much-demanded reform.
NEWS
June 22, 1987 | Associated Press
The Democratic Party must avoid being labeled again as a captive of special interests if it hopes to win the presidency in 1988, former Virginia Gov. Charles Robb said today at a party strategy session on next year's Super Tuesday primaries. Robb, a founder of the Democratic Leadership Council, which is sponsoring the two-day summit ending today, said he hopes the council will "shift the political debate from more parochial issues to those issues of central concern to all Americans."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 7, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - While much of the country is gearing up for the holidays, political forces in Sacramento are girding for battle. Already, special interests are lined up with plans that could shape next year's general election ballot. They are considering propositions to increase medical malpractice awards, hike tobacco taxes and give local governments the right to scale back public employee pensions, among other ideas. Each of the proposals could spawn campaigns costing tens of millions of dollars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - In politics, there's sleaze that can send a slimeball to prison. There also is legal bribery. Lots of it. "Campaign contributions provide a fig leaf for legalized bribery," says campaign finance expert Robert Stern, who helped write California's political reform act four decades ago. "Ninety percent of campaign money comes from people who want something from government. And often they get it. Nobody gives campaign money to incumbents who have no real [reelection]
BUSINESS
October 11, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Now that the medical device industry appears to be on the verge of snaking out from under its Obamacare-related tax , another industry lobby has stepped up to the plate with the words, "Us too!" We're talking about the health insurance industry, which has launched a campaign to kill a premium excise tax that will start being collected next year. As with the medical device tax, this is an example of pure special pleading. The Affordable Care Act is shot through with fees and taxes affecting almost all stakeholders in healthcare, largely because conservatives in Congress insisted that the law pay for itself.
OPINION
May 23, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
As Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti assembles his new administration, it is interesting, and encouraging, to note the odd confluence of circumstances that will leave him beholden less to factions or special interests and more to the people of Los Angeles. Garcetti may be the most politically progressive mayor Los Angeles has seen in recent history. He has been a friend to organized labor, including the city's public employee unions. But the biggest city unions, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the unions representing Department of Water and Power workers, firefighters and police officers all cast their lots with Controller Wendy Greuel, helping to raise and spend millions of dollars for her campaign and for independent campaigns backing her. Greuel came up short, and they came up short with her. Money sometimes makes the difference, and in fact the independent expenditure groups led by labor were relatively successful at electing many of the candidates on their slate to the City Council.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
L.A.'s 9th City Council District is among the poorest in the city, taking in a stretch of South Los Angeles where the median household income is less than $30,000 per year. Yet despite persistent economic woes, the district has become a hot spot for expensive campaign contributions in this year's election, with special interests from across the state spending big in the race to replace termed-out Councilwoman Jan Perry. Labor unions, businesses, billboard companies, healthcare interests and others have spent $900,000 on unlimited "independent expenditures" for state Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Let's welcome the governor back home. It must be sobering. The work has been piling up. The real, difficult work. Actually, it was piling up even before Gov. Jerry Brown departed on a weeklong "trade and investment" mission to China with 90 lobbyists, business execs and pals - who kicked in enough extra money to pay for him and his aides. As I previously wrote, if this was really worth the governor's time and energy - if the state actually did benefit, and it probably did - then the state should have paid for it, not a horde of favor-seeking special interests.
BUSINESS
November 4, 1990 | IRWIN J. KELLNER, IRWIN L. KELLNER is chief economist at Manufacturers Hanover in New York
The anguish spawned around the country during negotiations between the President and Congress over ways to cut Washington's budget deficit leads me to wonder if people realize just where the funds come from. There are many who think that government money--especially federal money--comes from some mysterious, inexhaustible source. At least that's the way it seems to me, in view of the arguments they pose against cutting their special-interest programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Gov. Jerry Brown's trip to China isn't being paid for by taxpayers. The governor isn't footing the bill either. Instead, the cost is covered by the roughly 90 people traveling with Brown, some of them representing special interests. It's one of several things about the governor's trip that rubs George Skelton the wrong way. "It just looks unseemly - a pack of lobbyists and other favor-seekers paying big bucks to traipse after the governor, schmoozing and gaining invaluable access," he writes in Thursday's column.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - You know things are going splendidly for a governor when he can arrange a weeklong jaunt through China and not have to pay a cent himself - or even dip into the public till. The fact that it's sort of a 75th birthday bash for Gov. Jerry Brown and that the roughly 90 invitees - mostly special interests, but also some longtime chums - are willing to pay $10,000 each, plus trans-Pacific airfare, is particularly impressive. Oh, OK, it's a "trade and investment mission.
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