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NEWS
April 17, 2012 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON -- The General Services Administration official who was the first to bring attention to excessive spending taking place at a 2010 conference in Las Vegas testified Tuesday to support the government's investigation and subsequent dealings with the agency. Deputy Commissioner Susan Brita told those attending Tuesday's House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing that "I share your anger and disappointment in GSA's conduct. " Brita initially informed Robert Peck, the former commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, of her concerns about the need for the conference, and has since aided in Inspector General Brian Miller's examination of the GSA. Peck was one of two deputies fired from the GSA following the resignation of the agency's administrator, Martha Johnson.
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NEWS
June 5, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has suspended two employees for accepting free items during a conference in 2010, the first example of agency personnel facing disciplinary action connected to recent investigations of wasteful spending on employee meetings. A congressional source identified one of the suspended employees as Fred Schindler, a 15-year veteran of the tax agency who serves in a senior role relating to IRS implementation of President Obama's healthcare law. The source was not able to immediately identify the second individual.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2010 | By Michael J. Mishak and Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman was spending more each day on her campaign by early summer than her Democratic rival, Jerry Brown, had spent all year, according to disclosure statements filed with the state Monday. The reports, which cover the candidates' expenditures in the five-week period ending June 30, show that Whitman spent $19.7 million in that short span, or $531,378 per day — most of it after the June 8 primary election. Brown, who had no major opposition in the primary, has spent $377,000 since the beginning of the year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- Businesses, unions and other interests set a record last year for what they spent lobbying California's government: more than $285 million, according to disclosures required by the state this week. Their expenditures were up 6% from the year before and just above the previous record of $281.7 million, in 2008. The California Teachers Assn. spent the most last year, $6.5 million, as schools were battling potential funding cuts and lawmakers acted on bills involving charter schools and other education issues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2010 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Facing new poll results that show Meg Whitman with a 24-point lead in the Republican gubernatorial primary, rival Steve Poizner on Monday slammed the former EBay chief, saying she has tried to buy the nomination by spending an "obscene amount of money." "When people really sit down to fill out their ballots or go into the election booth, I think they're going to be disturbed by the fact she hasn't voted for 28 years straight, and then all of a sudden she spends $90 million, four times more than anyone's ever spent ever in the history of Republican primaries in gubernatorial politics — four times more than me," Poizner said in an interview after speaking at a Memorial Day observance in Rancho Palos Verdes.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2013 | By Meg James
U.S. advertising spending during the first quarter of 2013 was flat compared to the year-earlier period, reflecting television network ratings woes and caution amid mixed signals on the economy. Marketers during the January-March period spent $30.2 billion, according to a quarterly advertising analysis released Tuesday by Kantar Media. That represented a decline of less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2012. Spending was surpressed, in large part, because the major broadcast TV networks, including Fox, NBC and ABC, were suffering from falling ratings.
BUSINESS
February 8, 2012 | By Matt Stevens, Los Angeles Times
Romance doesn't come cheap - at least not on St. Valentine's Day. A dozen red roses usually cost about $60, according to the Society of American Florists. But with Valentine's Day coming next week, most people will pay about $80, the trade group said. And although restaurant prices don't change, people tend to eat at more upscale restaurants for those Valentine's dates. Romantic couples will spend an average of $146.52 on Valentine's dinner dates, according to restaurant ratings guide Zagat, compared with about $70 on a typical meal for two. "On Valentine's Day, budgets go out the window," Zagat spokeswoman Tiffany Herklots said.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
A record number of foreign visitors helped boost overall tourism spending in the U.S. last year 8.1% to $1.2 trillion, the Commerce Department said. Last year's 62.3 million foreign visitors marked an increase of 4% from the previous year. Foreign tourists spent a record $153 billion here, much of it in the last three months of the year, according to new Commerce data Wednesday. American travelers account for the vast majority of tourism spending in the country. But Commerce Secretary John Bryson touted the increase in foreign visitors, which he said makes travel and tourism the nation's top service export.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
The Great Recession apparently did not keep Americans from enjoying the great outdoors. From 2005 to 2011, spending in the U.S. on outdoor recreation grew by 5% annually to $646 billion, according to a report released Wednesday by the Outdoor Industry Assn., a trade group for outdoor retailers and manufacturers. During tough economic times, many Americans turn to outdoor activities, such as camping, as inexpensive alternatives to other diversions, such as foreign travel, according to industry experts.
HEALTH
November 22, 2010 | By Karen Ravn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Chances are, given the time of year and all, you're about to go shopping (and shopping and shopping and shopping and shopping). But beware. It won't be just a walk in the mall. Shopping is a far more complex undertaking than you probably realize, according to researchers who delve into the intricacies of consumers' buying habits. "We have a difficult time controlling our shopping behavior," says Alexander Chernev, associate professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. "It's influenced by lots of forces we usually don't take into account.
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