Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsVoter Improvement Program
IN THE NEWS

Voter Improvement Program

FEATURED ARTICLES
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2005 | Matea Gold, Times Staff Writer
A nonprofit organization founded by Los Angeles labor chief Miguel Contreras and other union officials has successfully tapped Hollywood studios, energy companies and other large corporations for hefty donations to finance its activities over the last eight years. Through the Voter Improvement Program, union officials have found a legal end-run around a federal law that prohibits employers from giving money to organized labor.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2005 | Matea Gold, Times Staff Writer
A nonprofit organization founded by Los Angeles labor chief Miguel Contreras and other union officials has successfully tapped Hollywood studios, energy companies and other large corporations for hefty donations to finance its activities over the last eight years. Through the Voter Improvement Program, union officials have found a legal end-run around a federal law that prohibits employers from giving money to organized labor.
Advertisement
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2009 | Paul Pringle
The former president of the union that represents Los Angeles County government workers has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud and tax charges in connection with an alleged scheme to collect illicit consulting payments from a labor-related nonprofit, officials said Thursday. Alejandro Stephens, a longtime leader of the Service Employees International Union local, signed an agreement to plead guilty to one count of filing a false income tax return and two counts of mail fraud, the U.S. attorney's office said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 2009 | Howard Blume
Officials have closed a federal investigation into Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar's consulting work for a now-defunct nonprofit linked to organized labor. Huizar had received about $30,000 from the Voter Improvement Program for consulting services he performed in 2003 and 2004 while serving as an elected board member for the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to Huizar's public disclosure forms and sources close to the investigation. Huizar announced Tuesday that investigators had cleared him of further review, and sources with knowledge of the probe confirmed it. In a brief statement, Huizar said, "I will continue to hold myself to the highest ethical standards."
OPINION
March 23, 2005
It's no secret that Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) is friendly with the labor union movement in Los Angeles County. He came to politics through union activities. And Nunez won the speakership in part through his ability to raise campaign contributions from unions. There's nothing wrong with that. That history, however, has led him to something that is clearly wrong, even if it is technically legal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2009 | Howard Blume, Scott Glover and David Zahniser
Federal investigators are examining whether a labor-affiliated nonprofit improperly funneled consulting fees to Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and former Board of Education member David Tokofsky, according to sources close to the probe. The inquiry is looking into payments of about $30,000 each to Huizar and Tokofsky by Voter Improvement Program Inc., a nonprofit headed by former local labor leader Miguel Contreras, who died in 2005.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2000 | NANCY CLEELAND and GINA PICCALO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When a local ballot measure in Santa Monica draws $1 million in corporate backing and sets off an explosion of grass-roots opposition, you know there's something bigger going on. In fact, Proposition KK, the so-called living wage initiative, is viewed by partisans across the country as a battle between free market forces and a wave of labor-backed social activism.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2005 | Peter Nicholas and Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writers
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dismissed criticism of his $8-million consulting deal with a magazine publisher Thursday, saying through a spokesman that the work takes up little time, poses no ethical conflicts and may even be saving taxpayers money. Schwarzenegger believes that questions about his company's five-year agreement are "much ado about nothing," Rob Stutzman, the governor's communications director, said. As governor, Schwarzenegger has refused to accept his $175,000 salary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2005 | Peter Nicholas and Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writers
Two days before he was sworn into office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger accepted a consulting job paying an estimated $8 million over five years to "further the business objectives" of a national publisher of health and bodybuilding magazines. The contract pays Schwarzenegger 1% of the magazines' advertising revenue, much of which comes from makers of nutritional supplements. Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have imposed government regulations on the supplement industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2005 | Matea Gold, Times Staff Writer
It was the first day of hearings on a controversial $11-billion plan to modernize and expand Los Angeles International Airport. In the gilded chamber of the Los Angeles City Council, airline representatives, residents and business leaders bustled around the marble columns. One man stood out. It wasn't just his demeanor -- the contented look of someone anticipating a big victory.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|