"Concern should drive us into action, not into a depression." -- Karen Horney

Marin Voice: Legislation aims to neutralize big money in politics

Marin Independent Journal, by Greg Brockbank, 5/9/15

"The public is increasingly dismayed by the torrent of political ads bombarding airwaves and mail boxes at election time. The year 2016 is expected to be a record-breaking year, with estimated expenditures of $3.5 billion..."  Full story

California bill should expose 'dark money' behind campaigns

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 4/28/15

"The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed their right to spend unlimited amounts, as a matter of free speech. But it did not give them a right to hide their true identity."  Full story

‘Disclose Act’: antidote to dismal voter turnouts?

Los Angeles Daily News, by Thomas Elias, 4/2/15

"... All of which means that although the latest version of the DISCLOSE Act would still leave plenty more to be done, it would be a big step toward voters??™ understanding the political process and leveling a playing field that now tilts markedly toward large corporations..."   Full story

Why did labor oppose transparency?

East Bay Express, by Robert Gammon, 9/10/14

"Ever since organized labor killed legislation late last month that would have improved transparency in political campaigns in California, many rank-and-file Democrats and good-government advocates have been angry and bewildered."  Full story

DISCLOSE Act would let voters know who's paying for campaign ads

Los Angeles Daily News, by Thomas Elias, 12/16/13

"That's what made the DISCLOSE Act the most important bill the Legislature considered in the past year, more so than fracking regulations, prison changes, drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants or anything else. It will be again in 2014."  Full story

Exclusive: California Grand Jury Probing Shadowy Money Groups

Daily Breeze, by Peter H. Stone, 7/17/13

A grand jury is now involved in a high-stakes California probe that is looking into whether a PAC and three so-called dark-money groups—including one with ties to the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch—broke a campaign disclosure law by funneling $11 million from secret sources to influence ballot initiatives in the state’s 2012 election.  Full story

Tom Elias: 'DISCLOSE Act' is year's most vital bill

Redding Record Searchlight, by Thomas Elias, 6/3/13

"That reality makes SB 52, the so-called DISCLOSE Act sponsored by Democratic state Sens. Mark Leno of San Francisco and Jerry Hill of San Mateo County, the single most important measure state lawmakers will consider this year."  Full story

California campaign finance reform bills pass Senate

Independent Voter Network, by Alex Gauthier, 5/30/13

Following a series of votes Wednesday and earlier this week, Senate bills 2, 3, 27, and 52 are on their way out of the California Senate and into the Assembly. Each measure would amend the Political Reform Act of 1974 in different ways.  Full story

States Try to Tackle Secret Money in Politics

Los Angeles Times, by Matea Gold, Chris Megerian and Mark Z. Barabak, 5/2/13

Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have proposed legislation to force such groups to disclose their donors. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a measure Thursday requiring independent groups that make election-related donations or expenditures of $6,000 or more . . . to disclose information about their top donors.   Full story

California's Dark-Money Investigation Is Making Conservatives Sweat

Center for Public Integrity, by Andy Kroll, 4/15/13

. . . [S]ome conservatives are nervous that more details—such as the identities of actual donors—could be publicized. "This case has got very, very deep and significant implications," says a conservative lobbyist with knowledge of the investigation. "A lot of folks are going to have their dirty laundry hung out, and it's not going to be pretty. Why would money go through such a circuitous route if not to conceal the donors?"  Full story

Suggested changes to San Jose election laws fall flat

San Jose Mercury News, by John Woolfolk, 3/29/13

Craig Dunkerly of the California Clean Money Campaign said the city should work to improve disclosure of political donors instead of lifting the campaign contribution caps. "Lifting contribution limits will simply move us backwards to the days when candidates were forced to court large donors at the expense of interaction with average voters," Dunkerly said.  Full story

California Officials Turn Up The Heat On Secretive 'Dark Money' Groups

Huffington Post, by Peter H. Stone, 3/24/13

"The involvement of Noble’s group in the California funding chain seems representative of the role it has played in the last two elections. Since its creation in 2009, the center has been a conservative cash conduit with very deep pockets. During the 2010 elections, it funneled almost $55 million to two-dozen other dark money outfits, including the American Future Fund, Americans for Tax Reform and Americans for Job Security. . . . Asked whether the Koch brothers, the company or any of its consultants had any role in funding the fight against the tax hike initiative [Prop. 30], Tappan did not respond."   Full story

Following the (Dark) Money with Matea Gold

NPR, by BillMoyers.com Staff, 3/19/13

" . . . if there is a push for disclosure on one level you kind of run into a wall to find out who the original source is. And that’s exactly what happened in California this year when a group donated $11 million to influence ballot initiatives, and when California regulators tried to follow the trail back they ran into three different (c)(4)s that had been kind of the daisy chain of sources but never the original donor."  Full story

Russ Feingold on the Path to Campaign Finance Reform

Public Campaign, by BillMoyers.com Staff, 3/16/13

"Our agenda is to make it clear to people that we can overturn this [Citizens United] decision. But in the meantime, we can pass disclosure laws. You know, eight to one, the same Court in Citizens United said of course there should be disclosure . . . So getting that through Congress, passing disclosure at the state level, as in California. They’re very close to it."  Full story

Chevron super PAC donation spurs complaint

San Francisco Chronicle, by David R. Baker, 3/6/13

"Chevron's donation supplied roughly 22 percent of the money raised by the super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund for the 2012 election cycle, according to Public Citizen. The fund spent its money on ads attacking Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives."   Full story

Koch World reboots

Politico, by Kenneth P. Vogel, 2/20/13

"The investigation is trying to unmask the original source of a mysterious $11 million donation that was funneled through a key Koch conduit . . . to a California political committee boosting a 2012 ballot measure to restrict union political activity and opposing a separate proposition to raise taxes."   Full story

FPPC pulls thread on laundered money

Sacramento Bee, by Dan Morain, 2/12/13

"With Washington divided, there's no chance of fixing federal campaign finance law. There are, however, bills in California to force more disclosure. If ever there were an argument for disclosure, the curious case of the laundered $11 million is it."  Full story

Non-political nonprofit's spending spikes in election years; "Americans for Job Security" spent millions bashing Obama

Center for Public Integrity, by Dave Levinthal, 2/7/13

"Following an investigation . . . the Alaska Public Offices Commission concluded in a 2009 report that 'Americans for Job Security' has no purpose other than to cover various money trails all over the country.”  Full story

Privatization Group Tied To California Dark Money Millions

TPM Cafe, by Eric Lach, 2/6/13

"An engineering trade organization that advocates for privatizing government work has been tied to the group behind the $11 million dark money donation that prompted a legal showdown in California last fall."  Full story

Nonprofit spends big on politics despite IRS limitation: American Future Fund has conservative roots

Center for Public Integrity, by Michael Beckel, 1/28/13

"An innocuously named nonprofit, the Iowa-based American Future Fund, proved to be one of the biggest backers of Proposition 32. It is not required to publicly disclose its donors. Its investment in California was part of a nationwide, political advertising spree in 2012 that exceeded $29 million."   Full story

COURSEY: Small steps toward campaign transparency

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, by Chris Coursey, 1/2/13

Last year, two attempts to pass what's known as the California DISCLOSE Act fell just a couple of votes short in the Assembly. . . . Now, Democrats have the votes to get it passed. . . . All it does is require campaign advertising — broadcast, print, online — to prominently include the names of its top three funding sources.  Full story

Lawmakers try to curb anonymous political donations in California

Los Angeles Times, by Michael J. Mishak, 12/29/12

State lawmakers are moving to curb anonymous political donations in California after a national election in which nonprofit groups secretly poured hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns. . . . State Sens. Mark Leno and Jerry Hill have introduced SB 52, which would require the top three funders of political ads to be identified in the spots . . .  Full story

Hill, Leno push for disclosure in political ads

Palo Alto Online, by Gennady Sheyner, 12/21/12

Political advertisements would have to clearly identify their top three funders under legislation that state Sens. Jerry Hill and Mark Leno introduced Thursday, Dec. 20.  The DISCLOSE Act, which stands for Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections, would also require campaign websites to identify the top funders of political ads.  Full story

California Democrats seek to shine light on mystery donors

Oakland Tribune, by Steven Harmon, 12/20/12

SB 52, the DISCLOSE Act, would require that the top three contributors to political ads identify themselves on the ads and on the campaign's website. Sens. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, are its co-authors.  Full story

California Democrats propose stricter campaign disclosure laws

Sacramento Bee, by Capitol Alert, 12/20/12

Earlier today, state Sens. Mark Leno and Jerry Hill announced that they have introduced legislation that would require broader disclosure of a campaign's major funding sources in political ads.  Full story

The push for more campaign disclosure

Orange County Register, by Martin Wisckol, 12/14/12

Craig Preston wants campaign advertisements to includes the names – and where applicable, company logos – of the three biggest donors.   Full story

Viewpoints: Change the campaign disclosure game

Sacramento Bee, by Trent Lange, 11/25/12

"It took weeks of legal suits and an emergency ruling by the California Supreme Court to compel Americans for Responsible Leadership to reveal its hidden funding sources... We need to restore sanity and transparency to our elections by passing the California DISCLOSE Act."   Full story

Steve Lopez: Time to disclose the political funny money

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 11/7/12

"Oh, the games we play in politics, where money flows like never before, thanks in part to the Citizens United decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates of anonymous spending...  Trent Lange, director of the California Clean Money Campaign, figures the shenanigans might help in the nonprofit's next attempt to require full disclosure of donors to political causes."  Full story

Break the grip of wealthy interests controlling California's ballot measure system

San Jose Mercury News, by Daniel G. Newman, 11/7/12

"In the wake of the $372 million contributed to California ballot measures to date, including scandalous anonymous donations, a stronger version of the Disclose Act will return to Sacramento with more strength and citizen support..."  Full story

California Supreme Court forced revelation of $11m

Palo Alto Online, by Elaine Elbizri, 11/5/12

"... It also illustrates how badly we need to pass the California DISCLOSE Act next year to strengthen our disclosure laws and to make sure that political ads have to show who really pays for them."  Full story

Advocacy Group Names Government Accountability Champions

Monterey County Weekly, by Arvin Temkar, 11/2/12

A nonprofit campaign reform group has named several assembly members and state senators as "champions" of campaign reform legislation.  California Clean Money Action Fund endorsed five bills that would tighten disclosure and accountability requirements in campaigns. The nonprofit released a scorecard that reviews legislators' votes for the bill.  Full story

Pavley asks that 'demonstrably false' TV ad be pulled by stations

Ventura County Star, by Timm Herdt, 9/28/12

A perfect example of why we need the California DISCLOSE Act:  False ads attacking Senator Fran Pavley that hide that they're being paid for by business interests like the National Association of Realtors, Anthem Blue Cross, Chevron and Philip Morris.
  Full story

Campaigns on California ballot measures raise $150 million

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 8/7/12

A whopping $150 million has been raised by campaigns for and against statewide ballot measures in California so far this year, according to the state campaign finance watchdog agency.  Full story

Elias: Vote against transparency explains GOP plight

Ventura County Star, by Thomas Elias, 3/29/12

"Nowhere was that more obvious than in a late-winter legislative vote on a bill known as the California Disclose Act, a project of the California Clean Money Campaign, whose central tenet is that voters should be informed about who is spending big money to influence government policy, and how much...."  Full story

California lawmakers raise unlimited funds for personal causes

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 3/12/12

Some state elected officials solicit for charity foundations they personally founded.  "Pouring big bucks into a lawmaker's pet cause enables special interests to sidestep campaign contribution limits and make a positive impression on those whose votes they need."  Full story

Evil lurks in Super PACs

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 2/29/12

"... One of the more compelling arguments in favor of disclosure is a simple question, and it can be addressed to both legislators and campaign donors:  What do they have to hide?"  Full story

Fletcher touts stronger campaign finance rules

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Christopher Cadelago, 2/20/12

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, on Monday announced a new version of the California DISCLOSE Act.  Full story

Lawmakers, listen up: Voters want more disclosure

Capitol Weekly, by Michelle Romero, 2/6/12

"Last week, California legislators had a chance to take a small but crucial step toward improving transparency and accountability in California’s increasingly dysfunctional political process. They failed, but this fight is far from over:  Results from The Greenlining Institute’s just-released voter survey show that voters demand action."  Full story

Bouquets and Brickbats: No light shed on financing

San Luis Obispo Tribune, Editorial, 2/3/12

"So much for transparency. Assembly Bill 1148 — more commonly known as the California DISCLOSE Act — died in the Assembly this week, just two votes shy of the necessary two-thirds majority... Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian voted against it, although he said he strongly supports more transparency in campaign finance laws."  Full story

Lynne Plambeck: We need openness in campaigns

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, by Lynne Plambeck, 1/27/12

"Many local residents will be visiting and calling our local legislator, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, to urge him to vote for this important issue. You can participate in this action by contacting his local office and urging his support for the California DISCLOSE Act..."  Full story

Groundbreaking Political Advertising Disclosure Bill Moves to Assembly Floor

California Progress Report, by Trent Lange, 1/27/12

"... with overwhelming bipartisan support from a public that is engaged and cares deeply about transparency and disclosure, we’re hopeful that enough Democrats and Republicans will come together to do the right thing and pass it on Tuesday."  Full story

DISCLOSE Act moves through Assembly

Berkeley Daily Planet, by Richard Knee, 1/13/12

The Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee gave a 5-0 thumbs-up Monday to the California DISCLOSE Act (Assembly Bill 1148), which would require political ads on the web, radio and TV, and in print to identify who paid for them.   Full story

States push back on Citizens United ruling

San Francisco Bay Guardian, by Lisa Carmack, 1/12/12

With the upcoming anniversary of the Citizens United decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed corporations to make unlimited campaign contributions, California Assembly member Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) is pushing a bill to ensure that corporate entities making political donations are required to at least disclose those contributions.   Full story

More than 80 Testify for Brownley's Campaign Bill

The LookOut news, by Lookout Staff, 1/10/12

More than 80 speakers on Monday testified in favor of a bill by Santa Monica Assembly member Julia Brownley that requires political ads to identify their top three funders - AB 1148, the California Disclose Act.   Full story

More Light Please: Campaign for California Bill To Force Disclosure of Corporate Campaign Contributions

Huffington Post, by Alex Brant-Zawadzki, 1/10/12

The local campaign for AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act was kicked off in San Francisco to bring more light into the state's political processes.? The goal of DISCLOSE is to shine a light on the real money and influence in California politics.  Full story

A California Model For Campaign Finance

NBC4-TV, 8/7/11

The Center for Governmental Studies recommends new approach to the way state candidates fund their campaigns.  "Public Campaign Financing in California" urges replacing large contributors with small donors and public campaign financing.  Full story

DISCLOSE Act to shed new light on funding sources for California political ads

California Independent Voter Network, by Alan Markow, 6/23/11

DISCLOSE Act, AB 1148 would mandate a clear statement of sponsorship in political ads funded by wealthy individuals or big corporations. Under AB 1148, the largest funders of an ad would have to appear in the ad, identify themselves, and say that they "helped pay for this message and approve it."   Full story

Times endorsement: Yes on Measure H

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 2/18/11

"Measure H deserves a yes vote...  If there is a group whose contributions present the single biggest potential conflict for city candidates, it is the people or companies that stand to receive direct financial benefits from the decisions that those candidates would make once they reach office..."  Full story

Democrats seek more disclosure in campaign donations from corporations

Los Angeles Times, by Lisa Mascaro, 9/23/10

US Senate Democrats are trying to advance a long-stalled Disclose Act bill requiring corporations to more fully disclose political donations.  It addresses a Supreme Court ruling in January that struck down century-old prohibitions against political spending by unions and corporations.   Full story

Environmentalists stunned by failures of key measures in Legislature

Los Angeles Times, by van Halper, Marc Lifsher and Patrick McGreevy, 9/2/10

Environmentalists were counting on big gains in Sacramento this summer, with a governor eager to burnish his green credentials in his final months in office. Those hopes fizzled because of strong industry lobbying campaigns.    Full story

On The Money: Pay To play?

CBS 13 Sacramento, 8/31/10

An out-of-state company that contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Capitol politicians – has secured an exclusive contract with the State – worth nearly $700 million.
  Full story

Prop. 15 Would Test Public Campaign Financing

Associated Press, by Associated Press, 5/10/10

In a year when candidates' wealth and spending has often overshadowed their policy ideas, Californians will have a chance to start changing the way campaigns for statewide office are financed.  Full story

Campaign finance ballot measure kickoff planned

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, by Guy Kovner, 4/10/10

Cloverdale Mayor Carol Russell will join Santa Rosa Mayor Susan Gorin, Petaluma City Councilman David Glass, state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and other politicians today at a Sonoma County campaign kickoff for Proposition 15.  Full story

Campaign finance reform kickoff in San Mateo

Contra Costa Times, by Bay Area News Group, 4/4/10

Supporters of a ballot measure seen as a first step toward public financing of elections in California will hold a "passion-raiser" this afternoon in San Mateo.  The event serves as a local kickoff for the California Free Elections Act, which will appear on the June ballot as Proposition 15.  Full story

Despite Legislature's unpopularity, there's no shortage of candidates

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 3/28/10

California voters will go to the polls to fill 100 state legislative seats, nearly a third of which will have no incumbent on the ballot. A combination of term limits, legislators seeking other offices and lawmaker fatigue has set the stage for political fights up and down the state.  Full story

Will Whitman's beaucoup bucks mean beaucoup votes?

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 3/28/10

"The numbers are astronomical.  Some might say obscene.  Billionaire Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for governor, could have bought an atoll with what she's spent on her campaign...  In 11 weeks ending March 17, she spent $27 million, most of it on TV and radio ads. That brought her to a total expenditure of about $46 million since entering the race."
  Full story

Superior Court judge sides with Prop. 15 supporters in voter-manual dispute

Los Angeles Times, by Paul Sullivan, 3/16/10

A ballot measure proposing to change the way California secretary of state campaigns are financed cannot be described by opponents in the voter manual as a move that will "raise your taxes" -- because for the general public, it won't, a Sacramento judge ruled Monday.  Full story

Local voters discuss Proposition 15

Ventura County Star, by Stephanie Hoops, 3/15/10

About 130 people who met Sunday at the Camarillo Library to hear about a movement to begin public financing for elections by voting and getting active for Proposition 15.  Full story

Judge orders change in Prop. 15 ballot arguments

Oakland Tribune, by Josh Richman, 3/15/10

Ballot arguments against Proposition 15, which would create a pilot project for public financing of campaigns, must be changed so they don't imply the measure will raise voters' taxes, a Sacramento judge ruled Monday.  Full story

Campaign financing, not texting, is the real lobbyist problem in Sacramento

San Jose Mercury News, by Derek Cressman, 3/12/10

"... If Perez is serious about curtailing the power of special interest lobbyists, he should focus on the real source of power, not the technologies used to exercise that power. Ultimately, that means a shift from private financing of campaigns to one of public financing. Passage of Proposition 15 is the first step in that shift. "   Full story

State interest groups spent $1 billion in past decade to influence elections

Ventura County Star, by Timm Herdt, 3/11/10

Over the past 10 years, the 15 most active interest groups in California have spent a combined $1 billion to influence state elections and lobby for their interests in Sacramento.  “This kind of spending gives people very little faith that the system works,” said Jay Kapitz of Oak Park, co-chairman of the Ventura County Yes on Proposition 15 campaign.  Full story

David Sweet: Campaign finance ruling is a call to action

Santa Cruz Sentinel, by David Sweet, 2/28/10

"It was a bad day for California, for our county, and for American democracy as a whole. The corporate stranglehold on electoral politics, and through that on most legislation in Washington and Sacramento, has already made the "will of the people" a mockery...  But it need not, if we citizens start taking campaign finance seriously..."  Full story

California Assembly Speaker-elect Perez has ties to deep pockets

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy and Jack Dolan, 2/28/10

Incoming Assembly Speaker John P?rez has a financial pipeline to billionaire developers and white-shoe investors who rank among the most politically active power brokers in the state.   Full story

Take out the money

San Francisco Bay Guardian, by Steven T. Jones, 2/19/10

Prop. 15, the California Fair Elections Act, takes direct aim at the corrupting influence of money in elections, creating a pilot public finance program in the secretary of state races for 2014 and 2018. The measure, which has broad support from politicians and good government groups in the Bay Area, is modeled on successful programs in Maine and Arizona.  Full story

Clean money campaign launches in SF

San Francisco Bay Guardian, by Steven T. Jones, 2/19/10

The campaign for Prop. 15, the California Fair Elections Act, kicks off in San Francisco this Sunday afternoon. It’s an appropriate city to launch this effort, given San Francisco’s leadership on electoral reform, from our pioneering ranked choice voting system to our low political contribution limits to the public financing available in the races for mayor and the Board of Supervisors.  Full story

Lobbying for campaign reform

East Bay Express, by Robert Gammon, 2/17/10

It's no secret that special-interest money has corrupted our political system... This June, however, good-government advocates hope they can finally convince voters to agree to publicly financed campaigns that would lessen the influence of Big Money.  Full story

Campaign for publicly-funded elections kicks off in Oakland

Oakland North, by Ayako Mie, 2/9/10

While corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups may have gloated over the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that decreed that the government has no power to ban corporate spending in political campaigns, if Californian voters pass Proposition 15 in the June 8th election, they may have another chance to set limits on corporate election spending.   Full story

Agran backs Fair Election effort

Orange County Register, by Sean Emery, 2/1/10

Councilman Larry Agran helped backers of the California Fair Elections Act raise local support for the statewide ballot measure on Saturday, becoming one of a handful of local politicians to speak in favor of the proposal at a pair of weekend events.   Full story

California Fair Elections Act will boost fairness, candidate diversity

TheLiberalOC.com, by Deborah White, 1/31/10

"But that’s not why the California Fair Elections Act caught my attention enough to compel me to attend a kick-off campaign meeting this past weekend...  At the meeting I attended, three-term Assemblyman Hector De La Torre explained, at great lengths, how the onerous, time-consuming task of raising money detracts from spending time legislating..."   Full story

Solutions already at hand for campaign-spending excesses

Sacramento Bee, by Daniel Newman, 1/23/10

"Research by MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit that reveals relationships between campaign donations and legislative votes, has repeatedly shown that politicians' relentless fundraising has a payoff to interest groups that provide the funds. We find that on issue after issue, how lawmakers vote aligns with the interest groups that fund their campaigns."  Full story

Politicians rely on county parties to funnel contributions, avoid campaign limits

California Watch, by Chase Davis, 1/2/10

Politicians and their supporters routinely funnel money through county-level political party committees around the state, avoiding strict limits on campaign giving and hiding the source of millions in donations, a California Watch analysis shows.  Full story

PG&E ballot measure is a stealthy power play

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Hiltzik, 12/28/09

The proposed Taxpayers Right to Vote Act illustrates what California's initiative process has come to. It's a plaything of powerful interests using deception to line their pockets.  Full story

What we can do as a nation

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, by Carole Lutness, 12/23/09

"It is acknowledged by many Democrats and Republicans that our political system has been hijacked by large contributors..."  Full story

Money doesn't always buy the office

Los Angeles Times, by Cathleen Decker, 12/20/09

Two candidates for governor, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, will have put in almost $40 million, nearly what the sitting governor. Whitman, has talked of a $150-million campaign.
  Full story

Lobbyists can't kill measure before it passes, judge says

Sacramento Bee, by Andy Furillo, 12/17/09

A lobbyist group's lawsuit to kill a ballot measure that wants the influence industry pay for an experiment in public campaign financing has been kicked out of Sacramento Superior Court.  Full story

True health care reform requires campaign finance reform

California Progress Report, by Zenei Cortez, 12/7/09

"One important lesson we can learn from the year long debate on healthcare reform is that big special interest money is still corrupting our political process and our democracy... It's long past time to reclaim our electoral process so that our officials serve voters, not the biggest industry donors."  Full story

FPPC may clamp down on gifts to public officials' families

Sacramento Bee, by Susan Ferriss, 12/1/09

"Clearly, lobbyists get special access with these gifts. It buys them access that regular people don't have," said Trent Lange, president of the board of the California Clean Money Campaign, which supports public financing of elections.  Full story

Westly among those fined by California's ethics watchdog panel

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Rothfeld and Patrick McGreevy, 12/1/09

The former Democratic candidate for governor admits to 32 counts of campaign finance law violations and is fined $104,500. Members of the state commission that regulates boxing are also cited.  Full story

Lobbyists sue to block campaign-finance ballot measure

Sacramento Bee, by Andy Furillo, 11/8/09

California lobbyists have filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court to stop the vote on the California Fair Elections Act.  They've already had a similar case dismissed in Federal Court, and Loyola Law School professor Richard Hasen said they lobbyists can expect another tough legal time in state court.  Full story

Voters may be ready for publicly financed campaigns

Contra Costa Times, by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, 10/24/09

AT LAST, a governance reform Californians like.  A poll last week found that nearly two-thirds of voters would say yes to a June 2010 ballot measure that would dip our collective toes into public financing of campaigns.  Full story

Complaint filed against alleged Duvall mistresses

Sacramento Bee, by Capitol Alert, 10/14/09

A government watchdog group filed today a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission against the lobbyists who reportedly engaged in extramarital affairs with ex-Assemblyman Mike Duvall.   Full story

Money puts democracy in danger in East Valley - and rest of U.S.

Los Angeles Daily News, by Al Sheahen, 9/28/09

"For starters, we can wake up and vote yes on the California Fair Elections Act in June 2010. This modest measure creates a pilot project to provide voluntary public financing for candidates running for secretary of state..."   Full story

End of Session money rains down on candidates

Fair Political Practices Commission, Press Release, 9/16/09

Incumbent lawmakers solicited a combined $1.26 million—per contributor—at more than 325 political fundraisers held in Sacramento during 2009, according to information released today by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s campaign finance watchdog.   Full story

Amid budget crisis, California legislators still wined and dined on lobbyists' dime

Sacramento Bee, by Phillip Reese, 9/13/09

A Bee analysis of gifts to legislators over 18 months ending in June found that while the state suffered through another budget crisis, California's legislators and leaders ate about 8,000 free meals, pocketed about 2,000 free event tickets and accepted enough flowers to open their own shop, all courtesy of lobbyists.   Full story

Californians agree: State government doesn't serve them

Los Angeles Times, by Cathleen Decker, 9/13/09

A PPIC poll showed that, overwhelmingly, Californians believe their state government is servicing the few -- say, those represented by lobbyists -- over the needs of the many.  Full story

Duvall incident spotlights politicians' perks in capital

Los Angeles Times, by Eric Bailey and Michael Rothfeld, 9/11/09

For many who join the select club of 120 known as the California Legislature, everything changes. Once inside, they find an army of lobbyists and corporate executives at their disposal, more than eager to shower them with food, drink, travel and -- in some cases -- sex.  Full story

'Fair elections' backers rally in Palo Alto

Palo Alto Online, by Jay Thorwaldson, 9/3/09

The big-money power of lobbyists too often drowns out the voices of the general public and muffles voices of legislators fearful of losing campaign contributions, speakers at a "clean government" movement warned Sunday at a Palo Alto meeting that was as much a pep rally as an informational session.  Full story

Rewrite Sacramento's pay-to-play rules

San Francisco Chronicle, by Trent Lange and Richard Holober, 8/27/09

"Voters will have the chance to shake up business as usual by passing the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot...  The California Fair Elections Act is based on the simple notion that elected officials should be accountable to the voters, not donors and special interests..."
  Full story

Janis R. Hirohama: Fair Elections Act is first step from abyss

Sacramento Bee, by Janis R. Hirohama, 8/22/09

"The League of Women Voters, one of the state's oldest government reform organizations... will continue to champion sensible reforms such as the California Fair Elections Act, which will appear on the June 2010 ballot to reduce the influence of the special interests that use money to buy power in Sacramento."   Full story

Campaign funding bill will open doors to the non-rich

San Jose Mercury News, by Liz Figueroa, 8/20/09

"As a Latina who was first elected to public office more than 25 years ago, I am proud to see how far we have come in my lifetime and reminded of how far we have to go...  That's why I'm supporting the California Fair Elections Act, which will appear on the June 2010 ballot."   Full story

Latino leaders promote a measure that would limit private donations to candidates

Agencia EFE, by Agencia EFE staff, 8/14/09

Latino leaders met today in Los Angeles to explain the benefits of the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot to the Latino community of Southern California.   Full story

Lobbyists Had Say During California Budget Talks

Sacramento Bee, by Kevin Yamamura, 7/27/09

Even during the wee hours Friday morning, as the Legislature slogged through a final budget vote, lobbyists worked lawmakers in Capitol corridors.  Full story

It's Business as Usual in Sacramento, Even as Deficit Grows

Los Angeles Times, 7/11/09

In June, as the hours ticked away on a budget solution, more than half of the 120 state lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, held fundraisers at wineries, golf resorts and Capitol-area watering holes.
  Full story

Pair of reports highlight campaign contributions

San Bernardino Sun, by Joe Nelson, 7/6/09

Despite the passage of Proposition 34 in November 2000, which placed caps on campaign contributions for California elections, state and legislative candidates have raised more than $1 billion since then.   Full story

Fair Elections: A fair shot at the California dream

Capitol Weekly, by Hector De La Torre, 6/25/09

"While running for office takes dreams, not to mention hard work, it also takes money... That’s why I’m supporting the California Fair Elections Act (CFEA), which will appear on the June 2010 ballot..."   Full story

Only Fair Elections can fix our broken system

Pasadena Star-News, by Trent Lange, 6/12/09

"The California Clean Money Campaign sponsored the California Fair Elections Act (AB 583) with the simple notion that Legislators should be accountable to the voters, not donors...  The California Fair Elections Act represents the change voters want and the reform California needs."   Full story

Jerry Brown Donations Tied to Businessmen He's Now Probing

Sacramento Bee, by Andrew McIntosh, 6/3/09

Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office has issued subpoenas in a widening public pension fund corruption probe, has received $52,500 in recent campaign contributions from relatives and a company of the two California businessmen he's now investigating.  Full story

Fair Elections Now Act Would Help Take Influence of Money Out of Politics

San Jose Mercury News, by Tom Ammiano, 5/16/09

"The Fair Elections Now Act, introduced in Congress on March 31, would go a long way toward eliminating the influence of special-interest money on elected officials...  In addition, there are important reforms happening at the state level.... the California Fair Elections Act, a measure that will appear on the June 2010 ballot..."   Full story

Derailing California's Money Train

Los Angeles Times, by Robert M. Stern and Molly Milligan, 4/20/09

"Over the last eight years, California politicians raised $1 billion -- $344,503 per day, or $14,354 per hour, 24 hours a day...  Why is this disturbing? Because money buys influence over legislation that donors support or oppose."  Full story

Political Donations are 'Staggering,' Thanks to Legal Loopholes, Report Says

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 4/14/09

California's political fundraising laws are so full of holes that candidates for state office have collected an average $344,503 a day -- more than $1 billion -- since contribution limits took effect eight years ago, state regulators say.   Full story

Political Fundraising Tops $1 Billion Despite Limits

Sacramento Bee, by Shane Goldmacher, 4/13/09

California politicians seeking and occupying seats in the Legislature and statewide office have raised more than $1 billion since 2000, despite a voter-imposed cap on campaign contributions, according to a critical new report by the state's campaign watchdog agency.  Full story

Cedillo Reports that His Campaign Donors Bankroll Lavish Meals, Travel and Shopping

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan, 4/11/09

Gil Cedillo, a Los Angeles state senator running for Congress, has spent more than $125,000 gathered from campaign donors over the last six years on shopping excursions, gourmet meals, entertainment and upscale hotels around the globe, public records show.  Full story

Lobbyists Gave California Lawmakers a Getaway During Budget Talks

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy and Eric Bailey, 3/16/09

In the midst of intense state budget negotiations, Democratic lawmakers stole away to an elegant wine-country lodge.  Soon after the trial lawyers and the unions representing firefighters and carpenters covered the $14,000 tab, their agendas advanced in Sacramento.  Full story

Comparing the 2009 California Reforms

California Progress Report, by Zack Kaldveer, 3/4/09

"The Secretary of State race makes an ideal test for public financing because voters understand that the person that oversees their elections should be completely free from any possible pressures - or even perceived conflicts of interest - due to private campaign contributions..."   Full story

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey Accepted $16,600 From Firms Borrowing From Husband's Company

Los Angeles Times, by Stuart Pfeifer, 3/3/09

California Assemblywoman Diane Harkey accepted $16,600 in political contributions from real estate developers who had received loans from her husband's business, now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Full story

Campaign Donations Add Luxury to California Politics

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy and Eric Bailey , 2/9/09

Some California lawmakers haven't let the state's financial calamity keep them from enjoying the good life; they've been using campaign cash for first-class travel abroad, expensive dinners, salon makeovers and visits to luxurious spas.  Full story

California Limits Politicians' Use of Funds Raised for Ballot Measures

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 1/16/09

The state's ethics watchdog agency enacted new rules Thursday to prohibit politicians, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, from using certain political accounts as "slush funds" to promote themselves.  Full story

Where Schwarzenegger Goes, Money Follows

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Rothfeld, 12/14/08

A review of Gov. Schwarzenegger's appearances and his fundraising this year shows that those who benefited from his giant profile frequently helped the governor as well, often contributing tens of thousands of dollars or more to his campaigns and causes.
  Full story

Open the Windows to the State Capitol

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Diaz, 12/6/08

"It should not take a lawsuit to open the windows into the legislative activity within the state Capitol. These are the people we elect, operating with the money we provide them, to perform the people's business..."  Full story

Special-Interest Spending Takes Off

Sacramento Bee, by Shane Goldmacher, 10/6/08

The deluge of independent spending by special interest groups keen on swaying the makeup of the Legislature has begun, as well-heeled groups have showered nearly $1 million in the last week on their favored legislative candidates.  Full story

Public Financing of Campaigns Gets a Toehold in California

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 10/6/08

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for shaking up the state's broken political system... AB 583 will take the first step, with voter approval, to public financing of state elections... If the pilot works — and we think it will — voters should consider expanding public financing to the Legislature and statewide offices."  Full story

Amid the Gloom, Legislators Have Some Notable Successes

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 10/6/08

"Clean money" -- The governor's staff didn't much care for it, but Schwarzenegger eagerly signed a bill that could lead to California's first public financing system for a state political race. The governor considers himself a reformer. And this is reform -- removing special-interest money from politicians' campaigns."  Full story

Voters to Decide Publicly Financed Campaigns

Sacramento Bee, by Shane Goldmacher, 10/4/08

Among hundreds of bills Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed this week was one to place a measure of the 2010 primary ballot that would create one publicly funded political campaign.  The Hancock legislation, AB 583, was one of the more heavily lobbied bills on the governor's desk.  Full story

Campaign Finance Reform Measure To Appear On California June 8, 2010 Ballot

California Progress Report, by Julie Rajan, 10/1/08

In what Center for Governmental Studies' President Bob Stern termed "the biggest political upset of the year in California", AB 583, the California Fair Elections Act (Hancock, D-Oakland), has now been signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger after having passed through the legislature on August 30th.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Signs Public Financing Bill

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Associated Press, 10/1/08

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that will give voters a chance to test public financing in future elections.  The measure by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, a Berkeley Democrat, is an attempt to weaken the influence of wealthy campaign contributors in state races.  Full story

Asking Governor Schwarzenegger to Sign AB 583

California Progress Report, by Keith S. Richman, M.D., 9/26/08

"As a recently termed-out Republican Assemblymember, I support AB 583 (Hancock), the California Fair Elections Act, that is currently on the Governor’s desk...  I believe that this is an historic opportunity for California to lead the nation in reform of the problem of special interest money in politics..."   Full story

Campaign Cash is Main Feature of End-of-Session Frenzy

Contra Costa Times, by Steven Harmon, 8/23/08

The prowl for campaign contributions has been particularly intense in the past few weeks. It is, after all, the traditional end-of-session frenzy, when budget negotiations are still roiling and lawmakers are tackling hundreds of bills, while lobbyists and their clients make their case, often supplemented — separately, of course — with a little cash.  Full story

California Democratic Leaders Doing Right Thing for Voters as AB 583 Moves to Senate Floor

California Progress Report, by Trent Lange, 8/19/08

As reports come in that lobbyists spent more than $143 million trying to influence legislation in Sacramento in just the first six months of this year, Californians are close to having the opportunity to vote on exploring a much-needed alternative to the way we finance election campaigns.   Full story

Sacramento's Fundraising Follies

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 8/18/08

"It was bad enough that members of the Senate and Assembly gave themselves a vacation in July, when the state budget was already past due. What really rankles is how they have spent their evenings since rolling back into Sacramento..."  Full story

Lobbyists Report Spending $143 Million in First Half of '08

Sacramento Bee, by Shane Goldmacher, 8/16/08

The business of lobbying is as big as ever in California – where special interests have already poured more than $143 million this year into efforts to schmooze, cajole and influence state lawmakers.  Full story

It's Our Turn

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 8/14/08

"Finally, after years of effort, Hancock's "clean money" bill is approaching the finish line. It cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 9-6 vote last week...  The full Senate should approve AB583."  Full story

Legislators and Lobbyists Get Ready for the Fundraising Dance

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 8/8/08

In just four days next week, at least 40 politicians and candidates are scheduled to hold fundraisers, soliciting donations over cappuccino, carnitas and cocktails, at cafes, art galleries and restaurants. Most events are within a few blocks of the Capitol and require a minimum donation of $1,000 to attend.   Full story

Hancock Eyes Lobbyists to Fund 'Clean Campaigns'

Capitol Alert, by Shane Goldmacher, 8/6/08

Attention all lobbyists. Loni Hancock wants to take your money.  The Berkeley assemblywoman, and backer of publicly financed campaigns, appears to have found a way to pay for her pilot project: hiking lobbyist fees.  Full story

Clean Money and Fair Elections Have a Fighting Chance in California

California Progress Report, by Trent Lange, 8/4/08

"... In opposition on the other side will be lined up representatives of the Institute of Governmental Advocates….i.e. the lobbyists.  The battle lines are drawn. Who will win the fight for the first step towards fairer elections in California -- the people or the lobbyists?"   Full story

Hancock Bill Would Hike Lobbyists' Fees

Contra Costa Times, by Steven Harmon, 8/4/08

Lobbyists will continue to dominate the influence-peddling game with or without campaign finance reform, but Assemblywoman Loni Hancock thinks they should at least pay their fair share for the privilege.   Full story

State Officials Let off the Hook for Some Campaign Law Violations

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 7/21/08

Since a shift in enforcement policy last year, more than a dozen elected state officials, including leaders of the Legislature and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, have been quietly let off the hook for some violations of campaign finance laws, receiving warning letters instead of publicly announced fines.   Full story

Perata Donor's Pet Road at Center of Probe

San Francisco Chronicle, by Susan Sward,Lance Williams, 7/21/08

The FBI is investigating state Sen. Don Perata's role in the hiring of a Washington lobbyist to push for a road project sought by a major Perata contributor, documents show.  Full story

The Trash is in the Mail

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Diaz, 5/25/08

"...  A more enduring solution would be to support Hancock's "clean money" proposal, which would set up a system of public financing and allow targets of independent expenditures to get matching funds, dollar for dollar, to counter such onslaughts."   Full story

Tribes Unite to Discredit Berkeley Lawmaker

San Jose Mercury News, by Josh Richman, 5/20/08

East Bay assemblywoman and state senate candidate Loni Hancock was attacked by an independent expenditure mailer by whose big casino plans in San Pablo she opposed — and even her main rival came to her defense.  Full story

Migden Fined $350,000 for Campaign Violations

San Francisco Chronicle, by Mattheew Yi, 3/19/08

State Sen. Carole Migden has been fined $350,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the largest penalty ever levied against a candidate for state office, for dozens of violations ranging from taking campaign funds for personal use to failing to itemize political expenses, the watchdog agency said Tuesday.  Full story

Senate Travel Perks for Sale?

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy and Nancy Vogel, 3/16/08

The California Senate offers special interests that give money to its charity the opportunity to travel with state lawmakers to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem, Tokyo and other foreign locales.   Full story

Legislature Pandering to Campaign Donors

Monterey County Herald, Editorial, 2/20/08

"... By taking their "no new taxes" pledge to an extreme that panders to campaign contributors, the Legislature is telling us that the pain created by California's budget crisis will not be shared..."  Full story

New Campaign-Spending Disclosure Rules Imposed on California Politicians

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel and Patrick McGreevy, 2/15/08

New rules imposed by the Fair Political Practices Commission will force politicians to publicly explain how meals, gifts and out-of-state travel paid for with campaign money are connected to political or governmental business.   Full story

Independent Expenditure Use Skyrockets to Skirt Donation Limits

San Jose Mercury News, by Steve Lawrence, 2/14/08

Developers, labor unions, corporations, Indian tribes and other interest groups are using "an orgy of independent expenditures" to skirt the campaign contribution limits voters adopted more than seven years ago, the state's chief elections watchdog said Thursday.   Full story

Southern California Officials Not on Board With Plan to Use Bond Money for Railroads

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 2/11/08

A proposal by the Schwarzenegger administration to use $170 million in voter-approved bond money for projects benefiting two private railroads is drawing ire from Southern California officials who want the funds for road improvements and other projects.  Since 2003, the two railroads have contributed $2.2 million to California political campaigns.
  Full story

How Special Interests Avoid Spending Limits

San Francisco Chronicle, by Erin McCormick, 2/11/08

More money is flowing into California's legislative campaigns than ever, despite contribution limits that voters approved eight years ago in an attempt to quash the influence of well-heeled special interests in state elections, according to an analysis by The Chronicle.  Full story

Prison Guards Shouldn't Get Raise, Report Says

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Rothfeld, 2/8/08

The prison guards have been among the most influential state employees in recent years by virtue of their union's dues-funded war chest.  In the last five years, the guards' compensation has climbed 34%, more than twice the rate for an average state worker.  Full story

Stanford's Lessig Tackling Even Bigger Battle

San Francisco Chronicle, by Ellen Lee, 2/1/08

Lawrence Lessig famously battled Mickey Mouse before the Supreme Court.  "Until we solve this problem of how money has its influence, there are a lot of problems we aren't going to be able to solve."  Full story

Million Dollar Donations Flow in Fights Over Calif. Initiatives

San Jose Mercury News, by Steve Lawrence, 1/31/08

Pushed by fights over gambling and term limits, Indian tribes, race tracks and labor unions are pouring million-dollar contributions into campaigns for and against propositions on Tuesday's presidential primary ballot.   Full story

Donor Money Talks, Often in a Whisper

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 12/29/07

There are many ways to get a politician's attention.  They still wine and dine, but they have found loopholes through which they also dispense money for a lawmaker's favorite cause, bestow lifestyle perks such as luxurious travel -- even provide them with outside income.  Full story

Nunez Sweetens Deal for Unions

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Rothfeld and Jordan Rau, 12/20/07

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez added several provisions to the legislation sweetening the deal for union members, including millions of dollars for better benefits and worker training.  The changes came soon after the unions donated more than $1 million combined to an initiative sponsored by Nu?ez that would extend numerous lawmakers' terms, including his own.   Full story

Who Foots Schwarzenegger's Bills?

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 12/11/07

"Instead of taking a salary, Schwarzenegger takes overseas trips that feature private jets and luxury suites. His purpose is ostensibly to promote California, but his expenses are paid by donors who want something from him, like a signature or a veto at bill-signing time..."  Full story

Judicial Campaign Task Force Focuses on Electronic Filing

Metropolitan News-Enterprise, by Kenneth Ofgang, 11/28/07

California has excellent campaign finance reporting laws but public access to reports filed by judicial candidates needs to be improved, members of a task force appointed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George said yesterday.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Succumbs to Special Interests

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 11/21/07

"In a world where dollars talk louder than votes, and big-money campaign donors broker power and buy policy, one man stands between rotting corruption and precious but endangered democracy...  So did our action star not really mean it when he said he would change the rules of the game?"  Full story

State Senator's Spending Probed

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 11/13/07

State Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco), a top Democrat in the state Senate is being investigated for allegedly using credit cards to charge $397,000 in political expenses without disclosing who was initially paid and for what, as required by campaign finance laws.  Full story

Card Clubs See Tribes' Influence and Raise

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 11/7/07

Watching anxiously as the state deals lucrative contracts to Indian gaming groups, a coalition of seven Los Angeles County casinos has anted up to increase its influence with legislative leaders, donating $1.3 million to lawmakers' pet causes in the last 18 months.
  Full story

Political Watchdog Nipping at Heels of State Campaign Finance

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 11/5/07

"California's lead political watchdog won't mention names, but he strongly feels that the way some Sacramento politicians are raising and spending special interest money is plain wrong..."  Full story

Speaker Nunez's Patronage for Sale

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 11/5/07

"Political support should not be for sale, even when the price is something laudable, like Christmas gifts or kids' soccer tournaments... The speaker, and the many lawmakers who engage in similar practices, stand on the wrong side of the line that divides conscientious constituent support and blatant, discredited political patronage."   Full story

Nunez Used a Charity to Funnel Donations

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel and Evan Halper, 11/2/07

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu?ez used a small charity as a conduit to funnel almost $300,000 from companies and organizations with business in the Capitol to events that helped him politically.  Full story

Nunez pick for accountants' board raises questions

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Rothfeld, 10/26/07

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez has appointed a former Democratic legislator, Rudy Burmudez, to the state board that regulates accountants, despite the ex-assemblyman's sponsorship of a controversial bill last year on behalf of the accounting profession.   Bermudez received nearly $50,000 over five years in contributions from accountants.   Full story

Gov. vetoes hospital disclosure proposal

Los Angeles Times, by Jordan Rau, 10/14/07

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a legislative proposal that could help California catch up with other parts of the nation by allowing patients to learn the safety and surgical success rates of specific hospitals and doctors.  His re-election campaign last year received $44,600 from the hospital association.  Full story

Political Funds Shouldn't Pay for Officials' Pleasure

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 10/11/07

"Lawmakers spend the money as if they're cashing in gift certificates, which essentially they are... If we had public financing of state political campaigns -- so the public bought the Sacramento politicians, rather than the special interests buying them -- then we could control the boondoggle slush funds..."  Full story

MacLaughlin to Head Task Force on Campaign Financing

Metropolitan News-Enterprise, by MetNews Staff Writer, 9/5/07

California Chief Justice Ronald M. George yesterday named Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William MacLaughlin to head a task force that will look into the financing of judicial campaigns in this state.   Full story

Nunez appointment raises eyebrows

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 7/20/07

SACRAMENTO — Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu?ez has appointed Los Angeles businessman William A. Burke to another term on the California Coastal Commission.  Nu?ez received $72,000 for his 2002 Assembly election campaign from Californians United, a political committee whose president at the time was Burke.   Full story

Mixed Messages in the Air

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 7/3/07

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger travels the world exhorting countries to act quickly to reduce harmful gas emissions, his administration is helping California's construction industry stall tough new air quality rules at home.  Construction companies and related industries contributed at least $1.3 million to the governor's reelection campaign.  Full story

Keeping It Clean

Ventura County Reporter, by Saundra Sorenson, 6/14/07

"...Seeking to create greater access to public office, AB 583 would provide public funding for state campaigns. In its current form as a proposed pilot program, the bill would provide such funding for the gubernatorial race in 2010, as well as the race for one seat each in the state Senate and Assembly..."  Full story

Clean Money Means Fair Elections

Ventura County Reporter, Editorial, 6/14/07

"...The clean election system works in Maine, it works in Arizona. Isn’t it time to make it work in the largest, most diverse state in the country?..."  Full story

Donations Can't Fail to Catch Nunez's Eye

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 6/4/07

The law bars them from donating more than $7,200 directly to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles). But nothing has prevented teachers, doctors, gambling enterprises, insurers and others from giving much, much more to a cause close to Nunez's heart.   Full story

Big Oil Buys Sacramento

Los Angeles Times, by Jamie Court and Judy Dugan, 5/14/07

"...Gasoline prices are stuck well above last year's record highs and about 50 cents above the national average. Yet state politicians are not saying or doing a thing, except for raking in political cash from the oil companies and flying around the world on their dime..."
  Full story

State Farm Donates To Governor's Fund

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas and Evan Halper, 5/12/07

"...An insurance giant that rarely gives to politicians has dropped $25,000 into a fund controlled by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, at a time when the company wants the governor's office to embrace its legislative agenda..."
  Full story

Schwarzenegger's Fundraising Questioned

San Jose Mercury News, by Kate Folmar, 5/9/07

"...Schwarzenegger is still raising money at a torrid pace, even though he's legally barred from seeking another term as governor. And much of that cash comes from special interests that have business before the state..."  Full story

Gov. On 'Apprentice' ; Trump Later Donates

Los Angeles Times, by Times Staff, 4/29/07

"...Billionaire Donald Trump gave $10,000 to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help pay off his campaign debts, a little more than a month after the governor guest-starred on Trump's TV show..."  Full story

Tribal Warfare

LA Weekly, by Marc Cooper, 4/25/07

"...A million six is how much a conglomerate of wealthy Indian gambling tribes spent on recent campaign contributions to key members of the state Democratic leadership, and it garnered an almost instant return.."
  Full story

California Rep. Doolittle Resigns Committee Post After Home Searched In Corruption Probe

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Erica Werner, 4/19/07

"...Rep. John Doolittle, whose house was searched by the FBI in an influence-peddling investigation, said Thursday he will step down temporarily from the House Appropriations Committee..."   Full story

Governor's Green Credentials Challenged

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 4/18/07

"...Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is being portrayed worldwide as the green governor, he may be forced to choose between environmentalists on one side and well-heeled political donors on the other..."  Full story

Assembly Panel Advances Public Funding Of Elections

San Jose Mercury News, by Steven Harmon, 4/18/07

"...The bill, AB583, would create a "Clean Campaign Fund," in which candidates could bankroll their campaigns with taxpayer dollars - and match privately funded opponents. It was approved on a 5-2 party-line vote out of the Assembly Elections Committee..."  Full story

Public Campaign Financing Re-Floated

Desert Sun, by Steve Lawrence, 4/18/07

"...Hancock's bill is modeled after laws in Arizona and Maine. It would authorize use of tax money to pay for the campaigns of candidates who demonstrated their viability by collecting required numbers of signatures and $5 contributions from voters. They also would have to agree to give up most other private donations..."  Full story

Following Up: In Idea Whose Time Has Come

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 4/13/07

"... Campaign-finance reform remains high on the state's agenda and this bill is built on the success of similar "clean money" laws in Maine and Arizona... What you can do: Remind your legislators that you expect them to support Hancock's "clean money" bill."  Full story

Clean Money The Way To Reform Elections

Capitol Weekly, by Susan Lerner, 4/12/07

"...There is an alternative: A voluntary clean-money system for publicly funding election campaigns. Since qualified candidates use public funds and aren't allowed to use any private funds on their campaigns, they are beholden only to the public and the voters. In other words, the public reaps the benefit of campaign investments instead of private contributors..."   Full story

Campaign Reform? Try Campaign Inflation

Los Angeles Times, by Jonah Goldberg, 3/27/07

"...the McCain-Feingold law, passed in 2002, was supposed to have gone a long way toward fixing the system by regulating the amount of money going into, and coming out of, the political process...It merely skews the market, making it harder for rookies and amateurs to get in and easier for the pros and incumbents to game the system..." 

  Full story

L.A.'s Democratic Party Machine

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 3/27/07

"...Power brokers in California's Democratic Party move the pieces on the chessboard, then go through the charade of putting their choices on the ballot. But the representatives of "the people" already have been named..."
  Full story

Hancock's Call For Health Care Reform

Berkeley Daily Planet, by Lynn Davidson, 3/23/07

"... It is difficult to imagine getting an affordable, universal health care system until we can offer an alternative to the financial lifeline between the insurance industry and our elected officials..."   Full story

Schwarzenegger's Cause Receives $500,000 Dollars After He Signed Law

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 3/22/07

"...AT&T has given $500,000 to one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's pet causes, six months after the governor signed a law lifting barriers to the company's bid to sell pay television service in California..."   Full story

Pereta Uses Lockout To Teach Lesson Over Fundraiser

Los Angeles Times, by Jordan Rau, 3/13/07

Don Perata, the Democratic leader of the California Senate, locked three Southern California legislators from his own party out of their Capitol offices Monday. Their perceived offense was that they had attended a fundraiser for the Legislature's business-friendly caucus despite Perata's objections.   Full story

From Political Reform To Power Grab

Los Angeles Times, by Tony Quinn, 3/4/07

"What began as a sound public policy idea ? shortening term limits from a maximum of 14 in two houses to 12 in a single chamber ? has become a Cinderella farce, with legislators scheming to save themselves before the stroke of midnight. The public rejected a similar term-limits extension in 2002, so the proposed measure seems even less likely to pass the political smell test. "   Full story

If California Wants an Early Primary, Make it a Clean One

Oakland Tribune, by Byron Williams, 2/15/07

"If California wants to increase its importance of its presidential primaries ? given its electoral votes, economic clout and diversity ? it should change the date, but with the caveat of holding "clean elections."..."  Full story

Governor's Campaign Reports Debt

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas and Nancy Vogel, 2/1/07

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger racked up more than $2 million in campaign debt as he strode to victory in last year's election, yet still paid large bonuses to senior aides who moonlighted for his campaign while on the state payroll, records show.  Schwarzenegger raised more than $4.3 million from late October through year's end, compared to $1.7 million for Angelides.  Full story

Affair of State

Los Angeles Daily News, Editorial, 1/4/07

"... To pay for all the celebrating, Schwarzenegger's crew has raised about $1.4 million from the usual power brokers and influence peddlers. While it's only fitting that California's gubernatorial galas be events to remember, it's a sobering reminder that money is the real driver of politics..."  Full story

No Lack of Donors for Governor's Inaugural

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 1/2/07

Schwarzenegger's inaugural committee Friday announced the plans for next Friday's celebration, along with a list of donors.  Construction firms, insurance companies, developers and other private donors ? most with business in the governor's office ? will pick up the tab of at least $1.4 million for a lavish party to kick off Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's second term.   Full story

Money Politics

Los Angeles Daily News, Editorial, 12/28/06

"...In the money game that is modern politics, there's something for everyone ? except the public..."  Full story

Following the Money

Los Angeles Times, by Calpolitics, 12/21/06

California politicians collected $154,400 this year from collection agencies and their political action committee. Schwarzenegger's slice: $22,000.   State Sen. Carole Midgen (D-San Francisco) failed to properly disclose almost $400,000 in donations. California election authorities have announced a $94,600 fine. She can use campaign funds to pay it. And more.  Full story

How to 'Drain the Swamp'

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 12/17/06

"The principle of the "clean money" concept is straightforward... If the Democrats really want to "drain the swamps" in Washington and Sacramento, then they need to include "clean money" on their 2007 agenda."  Full story

The Buzz: Election's Over - Time to Pass the Hat

Sacramento Bee, by Bee Staff, 12/11/06

"A politician's work never ends, at least not when it comes to fundraising..."  Full story

Big-Labor, Big-Business Money Pollutes Politics

Daily Breeze, by Tom Elias, 12/4/06

  Full story

Perks of Fundraising?

San Francisco Chronicle, by Philip Matier and Andrew Ross, 12/4/06

The Bay Area's members of the state Assembly did more than their share this past election season when it came to raising money for the Democratic Party -- and coincidence or not, they're well-represented among the lawmakers getting choice committee assignments.  Full story

Fundraising Beat Goes on For Governor

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 12/3/06

"Reelection is behind him, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is keeping his fundraising operation at full throttle, asking donors to pay for a stylish inauguration and seeing to it that he continues to fly private jets and stage public appearances worthy of a Hollywood celebrity..."  Full story

The Buzz: Legislators Reach Out - Way Out

Sacramento Bee, 11/27/06

"...[A]ccording to a recent report by a nonprofit Berkeley-based watchdog group called MAPLight.org., the doughty solons most often put their hands in the pockets of donors outside their own communities. The MAPLight study found that a hefty 78 percent of legislative campaign contributions came from outside the donee's districts..."  Full story

Ringing in His Second Term in Style

Sacramento Bee, by Kevin Yamamura, 11/21/06

Gov. Schwarzenegger has begun raising money an inagural celebration, raising early solicitations in $50,000 and $15,000 increments.  Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, said ""Any time big contributions are given to an official, the question is, why are they given?"  Full story

Campaign Fund Reform Deserves Another Chance

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 11/13/06

"... The solution continues to be public financing of campaigns. Either the public buys the politicians or the special interests will..."   Full story

Daucher Takes Slight Lead in O.C. State Senate Race

Los Angeles Times, by Christian Berthelsen, 11/9/06

With the fight over an Orange County state Senate seat far from decided, Republican Lynn Daucher widened her lead over Democrat Lou Correa to 138 votes Wednesday as election officials continued counting ballots in one of the most expensive legislative races in the state.  Full story

Prop. 89 Could Alter Campaign Financing

Eureka Reporter, by Laura Provolt, 11/3/06

Proposition 89 is a reform campaign finance initiative that would publicly fund state campaigns.  Locally, this measure is supported by the California Nurses Association, the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, the Humboldt County Green Party and Democracy Unlimited.   Full story

LA Weekly Endorses Prop 89

LA Weekly, by Marc Cooper, 11/2/06

It's absolutely the right way to open up and reform the political process.   Full story

Prop. 89 Proponents Bring Campaign to Jerry Lewis Office

Redlands Daily Facts, by Darcie Flansburg, 11/2/06

The "Yes on 89" bus rolled into town Tuesday to protest excessive campaign spending in front of Rep. Jerry Lewis' office on Brookside Avenue.  "He symbolizes the corruption that is rampant in the system, he symbolizes the corruption that is prompting voter disgust (and he is) driving people to support Proposition 89," said Joe Newlin of the California Nurses Associaiton.  Full story

Voter Enrichment

Pasadena Weekly, by Joe Piasecki, 11/1/06

Think your vote counts?  A lot of people don?t, but supporters of Proposition 89 ? which would set new limits on campaign contributions and allow candidates to reject private funding altogether ? want to change their minds.  Full story

Yes on Proposition 89

Ventura County Star, Editorial, 10/31/06

"...The Star supports Proposition 89 because we believe it will help control out-of-control campaign fundraising, which taints the Legislature. It also allows more people to run for public office, as has been demonstrated in states such as Maine and Arizona, where similar measures were approved. Among its supporters is the League of Women Voters of California..."   Full story

Prop. 89 Puts Voters in Charge Again

San Jose Mercury News, by Malinda Markowitz, 10/31/06

"..If you want to make our government and politicians work for you, please join us in voting Yes on Proposition 89..."   Full story

Proposition 89: Corporate Contribution Limits Called Ploy, Fair

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders , 10/29/06

Proposition 89 would ban corporations from spending more than $10,000 to support or oppose California ballot measures.  Full story

Prop. 89 Would Enfeeble Special Interests in Sacramento

Riverside Press-Enterprise, by Susan Lerner, 10/28/06

"...Voters' interests are boiling to death in the hot water of special interests. Prop. 89 lets the voters hop out with hope."  Full story

Statewide Fundraising Hits Record $550 Million for '06

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain , 10/28/06

But campaign contributions conservatively exceed $550 million ? more than the roughly $500 million spent in 1998, when there were numerous big-ticket ballot measures and a gubernatorial campaign.
  Full story

Proposition 89 - Hope for Democracy

Palo Alto Online, by Nancy Neff, 10/27/06

Palo Alto Endorses Public Financing!  Full story

Take It Back!

Sacramento News & Review, Editorial, 10/27/06

Big Money "Swearing" Louder Every Year!  Full story

Guardian Recommends Prop 89!

San Francisco Bay Guardian, Editorial, 10/27/06

San Francisco Bay Guardian gets on the public financing bandwagon   Full story

Proposition Endorsements

Pacific Sun, Editorial, 10/27/06

Another Prop 89 Endorsement  Full story

CAMPAIGN 2006: 11 Days to go

San Francisco Chronicle, by Tom Chorneau, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau, 10/27/06

'Orgy' of spending on political ads -- $500 million breaks state record  Full story

Yes on Prop. 89 and No on Prop. 90

Eureka Times-Standard, by David Cobb, 10/26/06

"...The first is Proposition 89 -- the Clean Money Initiative. This is an effort to hold elected officials accountable to voters instead of large contributors by making elections about ideas instead of money..."  Full story

Nurses launch Proposition 89 bus tour

Oakland Tribune, by Josh Richman, 10/26/06

The California Nurses Association launched a fleet of buses as mobile phone banks Wednesday to drum up support for Proposition 89, the unions clean money public campaign finance measure.  Full story

Money Pours in to Fuel Battle Over Campaign Funding

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Wildermuth, 10/26/06

The radical changes Proposition 89 would make in the way Californians pay for politicians' campaigns get the publicity, but it's the revolutionary effect the campaign finance initiative would have on initiative campaigns that's bringing big money into the race.  Full story

Hit the Road with the Nurses

SF Gate, by John Wildermuth, 10/25/06

California Nurses to Cover the State for Clean Money  Full story

Political Funding Could Change

Ventura County Star, by Timm Herdt, 10/23/06

"...Imagine a world in which politicians didn't have to sweet talk special-interest groups in order to raise money to get elected, in which the support of a waitress would be just as valuable as the support of a CEO or a union president, in which a truck driver would have as good an opportunity to run for political office as a lawyer..."  Full story

Public Campaign Funding Debated

Pasadena Star-News, by Cortney Fielding , 10/23/06

Debate on public financing is the best way to pass on information, and give citizens the opportunity to ask relevant questions.  Full story

Prop. 89 Would Fix System, Make Our Democracy Real

Contra Costa Times, by Steve Koppman, 10/22/06

Passing Prop. 89 is the reform that will make other reforms possible. Perhaps most important, it will make the system one we don't have to be ashamed to explain honestly to our children. It is a rare chance, in the welter of propositions, to make democracy real.  Full story

89: A Rare Chance to Make Democracy Real

Napa Valley Register, by Lauri Hoagland, 10/22/06

"...What would we call it if a baseball player gave the umpire a $25,000 check before sliding into home plate? What would we call it if a lawyer offered a judge a similar payment before he announced his verdict? What do we call it when a lobbyist gives a public official such a check before he makes the public policy that shapes the context of our lives?.."  Full story

Prop. 89: Bring Government Back to the People

San Francisco Chronicle, by Rose Ann DeMoro & Bill Magavern, 10/20/06

"If you think the oil, tobacco, drug, insurance and other corporate interests have too much control over Sacramento and our elections, take a closer look at Proposition 89..."  Full story

Firms lead way in ballot spending

Los Angeles Daily News, by Steven Harmon, 10/20/06

"...The corporate contributions, led by oil and tobacco companies, represent 61 percent of all money - $255 million and counting - being spent on ballot measures, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights..."  Full story

Political Ad Replays on YouTube

San Jose Mercury News, by Steve Harmon, 10/19/06

"...A 30-second spot for the ``Clean Money'' Proposition 89 campaign is apparently catching fire in the so-called political echo chamber...The ad, which hit TV markets around the state this week, is the No. 1 political ad on YouTube, where it's been viewed 16,000 times in less than 48 hours, supporters said. That's 10 times more than the Proposition 87 ad featuring former President Clinton..."  Full story

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Endorses Proposition 89 for Political Reform

Clean Money Now - Yes on 89, by Chuck Idelson, 10/19/06

One of the most influential elected leaders in California, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has endorsed Proposition 89, the initiative to stem political corruption and create a level playing field for California elections, Prop. 89 proponents announced today.  Full story

Proposition Would Control Campaign Financing

Daily Californian, by Sara Malik, 10/19/06

David Schmidt, author of “Citizen Lawmakers,” said the proposition will curtail the power of special interests, which should be important to university students.  Full story

Spending Hits Records On Ballot Measures

CBS 5 Eyewitness News - Bay Area, by Hank Plante, 10/17/06

There was a rally in front of San Francisco City Hall Tuesday, to support Proposition 89, which could make California the first state in the nation to put limits on how much is spent on ballot measures. Supporters of Prop. 89 say it's necessary to stop the kind of political spending we're seeing this fall.  Full story

Proposition 89: Public financing measure an election fix or a bigger mess?

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 10/16/06

The amount of money spent on election campaigns and ballot measures is staggering, exceeding $400 million. Many of the state's political donations come from special interests. Under Proposition 89,  Income taxes for corporations and financial institutions would be raised to generate an estimated $200 million annually for candidate campaigns. Candidates who rely on private donations would face far tighter contribution limits than exist now. Donations to independent expenditure committees, candidate-controlled committees and cumulative contributions to candidates statewide would also be capped. Corporations could spend unlimited sums on ballot measures only if the money came directly from company officials and shareholders -- not profits. Supporters say Proposition 89 would lead to less fundraising and more accountability, candidates and competitive elections. Critics say Proposition 89 would make the election system worse, and corporations would have a significant disadvantage.   Full story

Adwatch: Prop 89 TV Spot Draws on Governor's Quotes

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 10/15/06

Funded largely by the California Nurses Association, this ad touts Proposition 89 and rips Schwarzenegger as a hypocrite. Although special interest influence was a key issue in his 2003 campaign, Schwarzenegger has done little to restrict contributions, while raising more than $100 million for his own election campaigns and initiatives. He opposes Proposition 89. This ad ignores the opposing view, that hiking taxes would hurt consumers and that the state has higher priorities.   Full story

Prop. 89

Orange County Register, by Kathay Feng and Deborah Berger, 10/15/06

"...Prop. 89 would sharply reduce the influence of special interests in Sacramento and level the playing field in our elections, providing what may be the last best opportunity to reverse these dangerous trends..."  Full story

Prop. 89 gives voters a chance to take back government

Ventura County Star, by Deborah Burger, 10/15/06

"...Californians are fed up with this system of corruption, and rightly so. Proposition 89, however, is the way for California voters to take back their government..."  Full story

Taking Back Government from Special Interests

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Ned Wigglesworth, 10/11/06

Proposition 89, the campaign reform measure on the November ballot, presents voters with a golden opportunity to take back government from the special interests and lobbyists that currently run the show in Sacramento.  Full story

Prop. 89 for Change

Pasadena Star-News, by Deborah Berger, 10/11/06

"...Political corruption is everywhere in California. Special interests have too much power in Sacramento, and the rest of us pay the price. Proposition 89 is the antidote, the means for California voters to take back our government..."   Full story

Less Corporate Money, More Voters

Los Angeles Times, by Jamie Court, 10/10/06

"...Proposition 89 would start restoring sanity in political spending, and not just by reforming the financing of ballot measures. It also would provide for public funding for candidates willing to forgo private fundraising from special interests, which is likely to reduce overall candidate advertising..."   Full story

Back Proposition 89, Foil Special Interests

Los Angeles Daily News, by Deborah Burger, 10/8/06

Proposition 89 creates a level playing field so regular Californians can run for office even if they are not well-connected to special interests or lobbyists. It provides a set amount of public funds to qualified candidates who reject private money. And if politicians or lobbyists break the law, they can be fined, thrown out of office or put in jail.  Full story

Yes on 89: Give regular voters a stronger voice

Sacramento Bee, by Ned Wigglesworth, 10/7/06

"...In the end, Proposition 89 boils down to this: Should special interests own the Legislature or should the people of California? If your answer is the people of California, vote Yes on Proposition 89."  Full story

Vote Yes for Clean Money, Prop. 89

Sierra Club California, by Bill Magavern and Trent Lange, 10/1/06

"... We need the same reform in California.  If we want clean air and clean water, we have to have Clean Money.  That's why Sierra Club California strongly endorses Prop 89."  Full story

A Ballot Initiative to Reform ... Initiatives

Christian Science Monitor, by Daniel B. Wood, 9/29/06

A new ballot measure in California this election year, Proposition 89, would provide for public financing of candidates' campaigns, reduce the amount individual donors can give to candidates for office, and limit the amount companies and organizations can contribute to citizen ballot measures.  Full story

Opponents of Prop 89 and Clean Money Weave a Tangled Web

California Progress Report, by Ned Wigglesworth, 9/28/06

Prop 89, the Fair Elections and Clean Money Act on the California ballot this fall, promises sweeping changes in the way business gets done in Sacramento.   Full story

Politcal Earthquake

The American Prospect, by Ruth Rosen, 9/27/06

If Proposition 89 passes, clean-money candidates for election will be financed by public funds and accountable to you and other citizens, and politicians nationwide will feel the California political earthquake.   Full story

Campaign Reform Is Just Too Taxing for Governor's Pals

Daily Breeze, by Tom Elias, 9/22/06

By the time the ongoing campaign is over, Schwarzenegger since his first election will have taken almost $200 million from corporations and executives affected in major ways by state laws and policies...He could have supported Proposition 89, which hikes taxes on corporations and banks by 0.2 percent and earmarks the money for candidates who collect enough $5 contributions to qualify.  Full story

Theodore Earl Williams, 86; Bell Industries CEO and Activist

Los Angeles Times, by Jocelyn Y. Stewart, 9/21/06

In 1999, Williams helped launch California Clean Money Campaign. The organization was founded out of frustration that obvious solutions to societal problems were not being implemented, Lerner said. Williams and other co-founders argued that campaign donations from large corporations left politicians more interested in pleasing donors than solving problems.  Full story

Campaign Finance Measure Draws Big Foes

Monterey County Herald, by Steve Lawrence, 9/20/06

If it accomplishes nothing else, Proposition 89 has managed to unite some of California's biggest campaign contributors against it -- labor and business groups that often are at odds in Capitol hallways and election trenches  Full story

The 'Clean' Campaign Finance Idea Grows

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Wildermuth, 9/18/06

John Wildermuth reports back from his exploration of the Clean Elections system in Arizona.  Full story

Tobacco and Oil Bllot Issues Draw Big Money

San Francisco Chronicle, by Lynda Gledhill, Matthew Yi, 9/13/06

"Election season is barely under way, but two ballot measures that strike at the bottom lines of oil and tobacco firms have already attracted more than $100 million in campaign contributions. "  Full story

Outside Money Feared in Races

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 9/13/06

"Independent spending by special interests to elect California legislators has skyrocketed to the point where they sometimes fork out more than the candidate's own campaign."  Full story

With Bills in the Balance, Arnold Hauls In Checks

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 9/11/06

"In his quest to be reelected, Schwarzenegger is raising money from all manner of businesses: restaurants, insurance companies, banks, financial services providers, construction and real estate interests, farmers, energy producers and car dealers. All have business before the state."  Full story

Confusing Argument Against Prop. 89

Public Citizen, by Mark Matthews, 9/7/06

After we did a piece on Proposition 89, Bob in Guerneville e-mailed to tell me about something he saw on the No on 89 Web site.  Full story

Proposition 89: Take the “For Sale” Sign Off the State Capitol

California Progress Report, by Richard Holober, 9/7/06

"...The Consumer Federation of California has joined with The League of Women Voters, California Common Cause, The California Nurses Association and many others in saying “Yes on Proposition 89”. It’s our best chance to restore a system that has degenerated into “one dollar – one vote” back to the principle of “one person – one vote”..."  Full story

Bustamante preaches the virtues of public financing for political campaigns

San Francisco Chronicle, by Paul Feist, 9/6/06

Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a candidate for insurance commissioner, said he is endorsing Proposition 89 because "California voters have lost faith in the electoral process. They understand the crisis of corruption in Sacramento, and want to do something to change it. A publicly funded electoral system would help make politicians more accountable."  Full story

Corrupting Influence of Big-Money Donors

Los Angeles Times, by Letter to Editor, 9/5/06

These people are the best reason to pass Proposition 89 (to create a system for public financing of political campaigns) in November.
  Full story

Yes on Prop. 89

San Francisco Chronicle, by Letter to Editor, 9/3/06

"...In addition to the benefits of having legislators who don't have to kowtow to special interests, Proposition 89 would result in more female and minority candidates running. "   Full story

Sunday Readers' Forum

Marin Independent Journal, by Letter to Editors, 9/3/06

"But with special interest groups and their lobbyists controlling Sacramento, biodiesel and similar issues aren't likely to get much support without the passage of Proposition 89 on Nov. 7."   Full story

11th-Hour Bills Receive Little Scrutiny

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 9/2/06

Normally, drafting laws involves several public hearings strung out over many months. But near the end of the session, dozens of "jam jobs" emerge — bills that, by design, are dashed through the Legislature so quickly that even their authors may not know what's hidden in them. Often, they involve goodies for various interest groups.  Full story

Checks Roll In as Laws Flow Out

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 8/31/06

Entertainment companies seeking a tax break, Staples Center owners hoping for a change in labor law, an ersatz Indian tribe angling for a casino: All are among the scores of donors writing checks to lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session. On Monday, the start of the final four days of the legislative session when 600 bills were awaiting action, interest groups donated at least $193,000.  Full story

Pledging Muddles Campaign Finance Picture

Orange County Register, by Brian Joseph, 8/30/06

"'That's a total evasion of the disclosure expectations we have of politicians. The reason we have disclosure is because we want to have confidence that politicians are not making decisions based on contributions.'"   Full story

Big Business Lobbies Hard For Video Licensing Bill Creating Statewide Franchises Would Shake Up Telecom World

San Francisco Chronicle, by Matthew Yi, 8/28/06

"When Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez held a news conference in April to introduce legislation to give telephone companies unprecedented access to the home video market, he did so with props that evoked a bygone era."  Full story

Flood-Protection Bills First Shelved, Then Revived Revived Perata Denies Being Swayed By Builders Group's $500,000 Donation

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, 8/28/06

A slew of flood-protection bills, including one strongly opposed by California builders, got beached the other day by state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata -- and 48 hours later, the same builders pumped $500,000 into a campaign committee with ties to the Oakland Democrat.   Full story

Insurance Industry Accounts for 59% of Anti-89 Money

Press Release, by Position, 8/25/06

"California’s multi-billion dollar insurance industry, among the most prolific political donors in the state, has become the lead financier of the campaign against Proposition 89..."      Full story

Guess Who's Crashing Fundraisers

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, 8/23/06

"Summer in Sacramento, a time when hundreds of bills are up for passage -- and hundreds of thousands of dollars flow into legislators' campaigns from an endless stream of end-of-session fundraisers."  Full story

Will Proposition 89 Bring Campaign Finance Reform?

Ventura County Star, by Thomas D. Elias, 8/18/06

"It's high time for Californians to admit that past attempts at campaign finance reform have not worked and that something new is needed...  Maybe that's why all those interests now oppose Proposition 89..."  Full story

Lawmakers Rake in End-of-Session Cash

Ventura County Star, by Timm Herdt, 8/17/06

"...Standing beneath the burgundy awning of Sacramento's historic and exclusive Sutter Club just before lunch on Wednesday, political muckraker Doug Heller prepared, Geraldo-style, to crash a party. Trailed by four video cameras, he marched into the 117-year-old club and announced at the front desk that, he was there to attend a $1,000-a-plate luncheon fundraiser..."  Full story

Their Creed is to Crash Politician's Fundraisers

Sacramento Bee, by Judy Lin, 8/17/06

"...Sponsored by a group advocating a campaign finance measure on the Nov. 7 ballot, the "Dash for Cash" contest takes a reality TV-style approach to highlight the need for stricter contribution limits. The sponsor, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, is giving away a pair of Sacramento Kings tickets to the person who can crash the most political fundraisers..."  Full story

Sacramento's Orgy of Bagels, Cigars and Cash

Los Angeles Times, by Jamie Court, 8/16/06

"...This could be the last August for the cash dash. Proposition 89 on the November ballot would establish public financing of campaigns, paid for with a tiny increase — 0.2% — in the corporate profits tax. So candidates who kick the fundraising habit would not have to prostitute themselves for private financing..."   Full story

Looking for support of Proposition 89

Saratoga News, by Marty Mathis, 8/16/06

Leave your old party mindset behind, and vote "yes" on Proposition 89 for the benefit of all of us.  Full story

89Now.org is Our Site of the Day

California Progress Report, 8/14/06

The new website 89Now.org is the informational and activist website for Proposition 89, the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act.  Full story

To Pull Off A Win, Angelides Must Seize His Opportunities

Contra Costa Times, by Steven Harmon, 8/14/06

"Angelides appears to have found an issue -- political reform -- to drive that home [in reference to Schwarzenegger's lack of core values]. After endorsing Proposition 89, a sweeping political reform measure, Angelides has hammered Schwarzenegger for failing to live up to his promise to change politics in Sacramento."  Full story

Candidates Choose Sides on Propositions

San Jose Mercury News, by Kate Folmar, 8/13/06

If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has his druthers, Californians will vote in November to crack down on sex offenders, reject several taxes and authorize a raft of new borrowing for public works.  Full story

Angelides' Rap on Governor Might Strike a Chord

Sacramento Bee, by Daniel Weintraub, 8/10/06

It's becoming increasingly clear that one of the major themes of Phil Angelides' campaign for governor will be an attack on the credibility of the incumbent, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger... Unlike Schwarzenegger, he also supports a proposal on the November ballot to raise corporate taxes to create public financing of campaigns and more strictly limit private donations to politicians.  Full story

Legislators Tap Sacramento Interests for Campaign Cash

Capitol Weekly, by Shane Goldmacher, 8/10/06

"...State lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week to finish off the legislative year, but legislating isn't the only task they'll be up to in August. For just about everybody, it's time to renew a classic Sacramento pastime: raising big-time campaign cash. This month, there are more than 100 fund-raisers scheduled for almost every would-be and current lawmaker in the state..."  Full story

Naked Politics

LA Weekly, by Marc Cooper, 8/9/06

"It should come as no surprise that a professional political operative who prefers to keep the election system closed would be just as adamant in squelching public debate on reform. That’s no doubt why Gale Kaufman, the take-no-prisoners Democratic consultant who ran last year’s successful campaign against Arnold’s special-election proposals" will help lead this fall’s campaign against Proposition 89.   Full story

Restoration of Democracy in California and Populism of Hiram Johnson to Be Central Themes of Angelides Campaign

California Progress Report, by Frank D. Russo, 8/8/06

While speaking at the " Sacramento Railroad Museum", Phil Angelides spoke about restoring democracy to California. "With a detailed four point plan, 'Restoring the Public Trust,' and his support of ballot propositions on the November ballot and specific bills pending in the legislature,..."   Full story

Angelides Unveils Reform Plan

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 8/8/06

"There ought to be firm penalties for violations of the Political Reform Act," Angelides said, referring to the landmark 1974."   Full story

Angelides Speaks Out for California Redistricting Reform, Supports Bipartisan Plan

California Progress Report, by Frank D. Russo, 8/7/06

"...Angelides will unveil a comprehensive political reform package that seeks to give California families – not big money special interests – a voice in Sacramento. Last Thursday, Angelides endorsed Proposition 89, the Clean Money Initiative."  Full story

California Democratic Party is “Neutral” on Prop 89, Clean Money Initiative, Despite Strong Democratic Club Support for the Meas

California Progress Report, by Frank D. Russo, 8/6/06

Yesterday evening the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party, after an impassioned debate, voted to take no official state party position on Proposition 89.  The Progressive caucus of the party voted overwhelmingly to recommend support of Proposition 89, as did a number of the other caucuses meeting on Friday.  Full story

Angelides Backs 'Clean Money' Campaign Measure

Oakland Tribune, by Josh Richman, 8/4/06

"Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Treasurer Phil Angelides on Thursday endorsed the "clean money" campaign finance reform initiative Proposition 89 on November's ballot. "It's the right thing for California, and it will help us build a better, stronger California for generations to come..."  Full story

Angelides Backs Public Financing of Campaigns

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 8/4/06

"Defying some of his strongest supporters in the race for governor, state Treasurer Phil Angelides on Thursday threw his support behind a November initiative that would use taxpayer money to fund campaigns and would markedly restrict political donations to candidates. The decision to endorse Proposition 89 puts Angelides at odds with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger..."  Full story

Angelides Puts Money on Public Election Finance

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Wildermuth, 8/4/06

SACRAMENTO — Defying some of his strongest supporters in the race for governor, state Treasurer Phil Angelides on Thursday threw his support behind a November initiative that would use taxpayer money to fund campaigns and would markedly restrict political donations to candidates.  Full story

Democratic Disunion

Pasadena Weekly, 8/3/06

"..Tobi Dragert of Los Angeles... was campaigning for Proposition 89, the Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, and wants to see Democrats get behind public financing of political campaigns...'They don’t care what people think. It’s the money. That’s the important thing,' said Dragert."  Full story

Angelides Supports Public Campaign Finance Measure

Sacramento Bee, by Kevin Yamamura, 8/3/06

"...Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides endorsed an initiative Thursday to provide public financing for California candidates..."We now need to return to real democracy, citizen participation, and I believe Proposition 89 is the best shot we have," Angelides said..."  Full story

Schwarzenegger is Left With Defending Dirty Money and Issuing Dirtball Attacks on Angelides Through His Operatives

California Progress Report, by Frank D. Russo, 8/3/06

Yesterday, Phil Angelides came out forcefully and forthrightly for campaign finance reform.  Full story

Gov. Candidate Endorses Campaign Reform

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Juliet Williams, 8/3/06

OAKLAND, Calif. - Democratic Phil Angelides, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from business interests in his bid for governor, broke with some of his party‘s most influential supporters Thursday and endorsed a campaign finance-reform initiative on the November ballot.  Full story

Sharing Quality Time With the Gov.

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 8/2/06

"Schwarzenegger's bigger offense is the way he's constantly scavenged for donations and turned campaigns into record-setting fundraising contests... The governor insisted he's never been influenced by a donation, but as I tried to explain, his donors aren't writing checks for the fun of it..."  Full story

Nurses Aim to Inject More Democracy Into State Elections

Common Ground Magazine, by Todd Spencer, 7/31/06

"...The Clean Money and Fair Elections Act gives the state its best chance at establishing a fair, universal health care system, the association believes. If passed by voters this fall, the measure would go into effect in 2007... Modeled after laws already on the books in Maine, Connecticut and Arizona, Prop 89 would fund “clean” candidates by raising state taxes on corporate profits by a gentle-seeming 0.2%..."  Full story

Schwarzenegger Spends $7 Million On Ads And Still Has Money Left

San Jose Mercury News, by LAURA KURTZMAN and JULIET WILLIAMS, 7/31/06

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spent $7.3 million on a June advertising campaign to undermine his opponent, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, according to midyear campaign finance reports released on Monday."   Full story

A Load of “Hooey” is Coming Out Against Prop 89: I Say “Get the Money Changers Out of the Temple”

California Progress Report, by Frank D. Russo, 7/31/06

"They say Prop 89 is poorly drafted. What have they done to propose an alternative? Prop 89 is largely based upon AB 583, which was scrutinized by a number of policy committees, passed the Assembly, and was amended a number of times. Much of the language of Prop 89 has been vetted."  Full story

Ballot Measure Endangers Labor-Business Truce

San Diego Union-Tribune, by John Marelius, 7/30/06

Proposition 89, the Clean Money and Fair Elections initiative, is sparking renewed hostilities between the business organizations, particularly the California Chamber of Commerce, and one of the state's most aggressive labor unions, the California Nurses Association.   Full story

Voting Reform and the Environment: What's the Connection?

California Chronicle, by Forrest Hill, 7/29/06

"...Clean Money Campaigns: I believe that getting corporate money out of politics is crucial for solving the current environment crisis. The best way to end corporate control of government is through public financing of elections..."  Full story

Schwarzenegger, Bush Heckled in Hillsborough

San Mateo Daily Journal, by Dana Yates, 7/23/06

Nurses and a coalition of other union members rallied for Proposition 89 outside a Hillsborough home yesterday to protest a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser attended by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former President George H.W. Bush.   Full story

Prop. 89: So Good It's Scary -- to Sacramento

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 7/19/06

"Proposition 89... has almost everyone in Sacramento in a dither.  The California Chamber of Commerce is aghast. The California Taxpayers' Assn. is against. Big Pharma, oil and insurance lobbyists are almost certainly hyperventilating..."   Full story

DirtyMoneyWatch.org Reveals Calif. Politicians' Dirty Secrets, Shows Need for Prop 89, The Clean Money & Fair Elections Act

CommonDreams.org, by Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, 7/19/06

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today launched a new web site to expose cash register politics in California that the passage of campaign finance reform Proposition 89 will end: DirtyMoneyWatch.org  Full story

Capitol Notebook: Public Financing

San Jose Mercury News, by Times Sacramento Bureau, 7/16/06

Democratic media guru Bill Carrick has signed on as a consultant with the Clean Money initiative, which would raise corporate taxes to create public financing of political campaigns. But, Carrick says, that doesn't guarantee his other major client, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, is on board with Proposition 89.   Full story

Clean Money Politics Can Save Democracy

YubaNet, Commentary, 7/12/06

The wonderful thing that happened a few days ago was … Proposition 89, the "Clean Money and Fair Elections Act" qualified for our November ballot. Regular Californians, you and I, will be able to vote on this issue and, if it passes, no corporate shill will be able to veto it.   Full story

How Clean Do We Want Politics to Be?

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 7/11/06

"'CLEAN MONEY," LIKE SO MANY political reforms, is appealing in the abstract but can be troublesome in the particulars... The question for voters, as they begin studying the details of the proposals, is whether trying to limit the power of political money is worth the effort."   Full story

A Few Days Ago, Something Wonderful Happened...

YubaNet, by Mike Kirchubel, 7/11/06

"The wonderful thing that happened a few days ago was … Proposition 89, the "Clean Money and Fair Elections Act" qualified for our November ballot. Regular Californians, you and I, will be able to vote on this issue and, if it passes, no corporate shill will be able to veto it."   Full story

Political Reform: There's a Way, but There Might Not Be a Will

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 7/10/06

"...California's legislators are enjoying a banner year: passing an ambitious public works package and a rare on-time budget. But they're flailing — and failing — on political reforms...The demise of Hancock's [Clean Money] bill has led to qualification for the November ballot of an even more liberal "clean money" initiative..."   Full story

Clean Money Initiative Would Limit Campaign Contributions

NBC11.com, Editorial, 7/10/06

This fall, Californians will vote on the merits of public financing for elections.  Supporters call it the "Clean Money Initiative" because, they said, it will reduce the influence of lobbyists at the state capitol.  "I'm going to take a look at the initiative," said Democratic candidate Phil Angelides.   Full story

Schwarzenegger Campaign to Pay $202,200 Fine

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 7/1/06

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign has agreed to pay a $202,200 penalty for failing to properly report more than $25 million in campaign donations during the special election last year, the state Fair Political Practices Commission said Friday.  Full story

No One Knows if Springtime Blitz of Spending Was Independent

The Daily Independent, by Tom Elias, 6/30/06

"... Donation limits have not kept big money out of California politics and never will. Maybe the state should next try public financing for candidates who can't match the personal fortunes of their opponents, as one of this fall's ballot initiatives will propose..."  Full story

Fall Ballot Is a $46-Billion Question

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 6/29/06

"...Already cranky about tax increases and big-ticket bonds, California voters now face a November ballot that would break records in government spending. Never before has so much taxpayer money been at stake in a California election: a total of $46 billion in five bond measures and four tax increases..."   Full story

Legally Corrupt

LA Weekly, by Marc Cooper, 6/28/06

"Phil Angelides has said he supports public financing of elections. Now he, and the rest of the California Democratic Party, have a chance to put their mouth where their money has been...  In other words, Californians finally have within their reach the power to stick a cork in the gushing pipeline of special-interest influence in state campaigns..."   Full story

Effect of Recent Supreme Court Decision on CA Campaign Reform Initiative

The Rest of Us, by Ned Wigglesworth, 6/28/06

The question is: how will the Court's decision affect current or prospective campaign finance reforms?  The short answer, at least as to the Nurses' initiative, is not much.   Full story

Initiative Would Finance Campaigns

San Francisco Chronicle, by Chronicle Staff Report, 6/27/06

An initiative to provide voluntary public financing of California election campaigns will be on the statewide ballot in November. The measure, dubbed the Clean Money Initiative, qualified for the ballot Monday   Full story

State Moves to Ease Oversight on Accountants

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 6/19/06

Just as Enron's top executives are facing prison, California officials are quietly starting to unravel consumer protections adopted in the wake of that company's collapse.  Campaign money from the accounting profession has been flowing into legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger's campaign accounts.  Full story

Payback For No-Show Legislators

Los Angeles Times, by Carmen Balber, 6/18/06

"...Bills like these put legislators in a bind. If they vote yes, they alienate their big donors; if they vote no, they alienate voters... In the end, a politician's "nonvote" functions as a "no" and often ends up killing an important bill at the behest of special interests..."  Full story

World Cup Tickets to Help Fund Ballot Measures

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 6/18/06

In a new twist on political fundraising, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez is selling World Cup soccer-match tickets to raise money for measures on the November ballot — including, possibly, a measure to adjust lawmakers' term limits.
  Full story

Money Madness

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 6/10/06

"...Public financing wouldn't mean an end to loathsome, loaded, independent-expenditure committees, but it'd offer grassroots candidates the chance to be seen. It might even encourage good candidates to run. To us, that sounds like money in the bank. "  Full story

Money Madness

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 6/8/06

The "Clean Money" bill (AB583) by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, which would set up a system of publicly financed campaigns, remains stalled in the Senate. Public financing wouldn't mean an end to loathsome, loaded, independent-expenditure committees, but it'd offer grassroots candidates the chance to be seen. It might even encourage good candidates to run.   Full story

Free-Spending Special Interests Exert Big Influence

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, 6/7/06

The biggest players in Tuesday's election weren't the Democratic or Republican parties or even the candidates themselves -- but rather some special-interest groups working under the cover of mercenary-like independent expenditure committees.   Full story

Money, Attack Ads Talk; Good Candidates Walk

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 6/5/06

"This state cannot survive unless we open up the opportunity for more good people to run for office," (former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon) Panetta says. "You're either independently wealthy or you've got special interests backing you. People are just simply turned off about getting into the process. I honestly believe that some kind of public financing is essential."  Full story

Self-Funded Canidates Say It's Worth Every Cent

Oakland Tribune, by Josh Richman, 6/5/06

"State Controller Steve Westly has put $35.2 million of his own money into his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. State Treasurer Phil Angelides has anted up only about $1.5 million for his campaign — still not chump change for most Californians — while his friend, Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos, has spent $8.7 million for ads on his behalf."  Full story

Voter's, Unite!

Los Angeles Daily News, Editorial, 6/5/06

"THERE are as many excuses for not voting in Tuesday's primary election as there are candidates on the ballot: We're tired of elections, campaigns are nasty, politics are tedious and politicians corrupt.

But these are rationalizations for apathy, not reasons to skip the election. In fact, they are some of the key reasons why voters should vote on Tuesday"  Full story

Losing Weight Where It Counts

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 6/4/06

"...This is the election (CCMC Executive Director Susan) Lerner has always dreamed of. She's hoping the stench is so bad, it might finally get people to vote for a reform initiative likely to be on the ballot in November..."   Full story

Hit Pieces Hit Mailboxes

Marin Independent Journal, by Richard Halstead, 6/2/06

Independent expenditure committees, which are unfettered by campaign finance limits, have spent more than $578,000 backing two candidates in the 6th District Assembly race: Cynthia Murray and Pamela Torliatt. Political observers said they've never seen spending of this magnitude by such committees in a local race.  Full story

Tobacco Helps Fund Anti-Tobacco Ad

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 6/2/06

"Shame on Judy Chu," says a flier that arrived in voters' mailboxes this week, accusing the candidate for a state board that regulates cigarette sales of being a shill for Big Tobacco... What the flier doesn't say is that the group that mailed it received much of its funding from … the tobacco industry.  Full story

Political Proxy Wars

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 6/1/06

The growing intrusion of "independent committees'' in political campaigns should give voters more reason than ever to scrutinize closely the TV spots they see and campaign junk-mail they receive. The groups with the earnest-sounding names in the small-print disclaimers are making a mockery of campaign-finance law. These are special interests that want to get their way in Sacramento.  Full story

How Big Donors Aid Angelides' Candidacy

San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, 6/1/06

Money can change everything in politics, and with less than a week until Tuesday's primary, questions about who is raising it and how it is being spent have accelerated what has become an increasingly nasty campaign for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Full story

Candidates Spread Out in Money Race

Contra Costa Times, by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, 6/1/06

Nearly $3 million has flowed into the hotly contested Congressional District 11 primary where Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, faces the most serious re-election challenge of his political career. Meanwhile, candidates in three contentious East Bay state Assembly and Senate primary races have attracted $6 million dollars as liberal and moderate wings of the Democratic Party scrabble for victory.   Full story

Clean Green

Monterey County Weekly, by Raul Vasquez, 6/1/06

State Assembly Bill 583, spearheaded by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), passed the Assembly in January. But many of the bill’s details are unknown. Those are being painstakingly hammered out in the state Senate, where a vote on the bill in the Senate Elections Committee is slated for June 21.  Full story

Romero Called to Testify

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Evan Halper, 6/1/06

State Sen. Gloria Romero of Los Angeles was summoned Wednesday to appear before a grand jury in the FBI probe of Senate chief Don Perata's business dealings. Romero, a member of Perata's Democratic leadership team and one of his closest allies, said an FBI agent delivered a subpoena to her Capitol office requiring her to appear in July in Oakland, Perata's hometown.  Full story

Westly Joined Backer's Tax Fight

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper and Dan Morain, 5/27/06

Using his position on a state tax board, Westly joined Barnes & Noble's push in 2004 to be forgiven as much as $22.8 million in sales taxes, interest and penalties — money owed for years of not collecting sales tax on goods sold online. Westly, a Democrat, has been campaigning for governor as an opponent of corporate tax loopholes.  Full story

Buying Your Vote

Los Angeles City Beat, by Mindy Farabee, 5/25/06

In 2000, when voters elected to place restrictions on campaign donations directly given to candidates, they may have helped enable a different mechanism by which special interest money could become a deciding factor in elections. Independent Expenditure (IE) accounts can swoop in and provide huge dollops of additional resources.   Full story

Capitol Notebook: Campaign Finance

San Jose Mercury News, by Steven Harmon and Alvie Lindsay, 5/21/06

Romero's refusal to support the measure at the hearing prompted supporters, who'd driven to the Capitol from all over the state, to stage a short-lived sit-in at Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata's office.  Full story

The Big Spenders on the Side

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 5/21/06

Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and his daughter Eleni have poured $6 million into a television ad campaign that has revived state Treasurer Phil Angelides' candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination   California puts no restrictions on "independent" expenditures — campaign efforts that by law must not be coordinated with the candidates they help.  Full story

Schwarzenegger's Million-Dollar Woman

Capitol Weekly, by Shane Goldmacher, 5/18/06

"...Her name, unknown to all but the upper echelon of Republican consultants, donors and candidates in California, is Renee Croce and she is at the epicenter of the governor's elaborate and record-breaking fund-raising apparatus..."  Full story

Campaign Reform Looks Voter-Bound

Oakland Tribune, by Steve Geissinger, 5/16/06

Hancock's AB 583 and the nurses association's proposed initiative establish public financing of elections, similar to that already adopted in Maine and Arizona. There, analysts say, it has led to a wider diversity of candidates, more choices for voters, higher voter turnout and reduced influence of lobbyists.  Full story

Auto-Insurance Ripoff

Los Angeles Times, by Harvey Rosenfeld, 5/10/06

"...Money buys votes and vetoes every day in the cesspool of Sacramento politics, but the corruption is cloaked in an elaborate charade of gifts, banquets and junkets. It's even harder to detect when it involves state agencies..."  Full story

Various Groups Back Campaign Finance Reform

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, by Harrison Shepherd, 5/10/06

Separate Los Angeles city and statewide efforts to establish a "clean-money" system of taxpayer financing for political campaigns advanced Tuesday, with advocates hoping to reduce the influence of special interests in political races.  Full story

As Bond Issue is Set, Big Bucks Rolling in to Schwarzenegger

San Francisco Chronicle, by Tom Chorneau, 5/9/06

Real estate developers, general contractors and farmers made sizable contributions to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in recent weeks as legislative leaders and the administration finalized a landmark $37 billion bond package for rebuilding public works projects statewide.  Full story

Garamendi Asks for Federal, State Probes of Blackmail Claim

San Jose Mercury News, by Steve Lawrence, 5/9/06

Accusing the insurance industry of a "serious breach of the law," state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi asked federal and state officials Tuesday to investigate his claim that a group of insurers tried to blackmail him.  Full story

Maker of Tax Software Opposes State Filing Help

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 5/5/06

Bankman had underestimated how much influence one Silicon Valley company could have on the lawmaking process. Intuit, maker of the consumer tax software TurboTax, is fighting ReadyReturn. The Mountain View firm has spent about $500,000 on lobbying and campaign contributions since it was proposed two years ago.  Full story

Who's Opposed to Free Tax Help?

Los Angeles Times, by Tom Campbell, 5/1/06

"...I sat on the Franchise Tax Board last year as the appointee of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. We unanimously supported continuing and extending the program. But powerful lobbyists representing tax software sellers... (are) trying to kill it outright... I never saw as clear a case of lobbying power putting private interests first over public benefit..."   Full story

AT&T, Nuñez Swing for the Green

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 4/29/06

State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez is being feted at a Pebble Beach fundraiser this weekend by AT&T, whose interests he is championing in legislation with high stakes for two industries and millions of California consumers.  Full story

Clean Money Helps Elections

Contra Costa Times, by Trande Phillps, 4/29/06

"...We already know it works. Maine, Arizona and Connecticut have created public financing of their elections and voter participation has increased, the winning candidates include more women and minorities, the influence of the lobbyists has waned, and major programs have been adopted, in Maine and Arizona, to make prescription drugs more affordable..."  Full story

Rivals File Dueling Ethics Complaints

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 4/28/06

"Escalating the bitterness in the Democratic race for governor, state Controller Steve Westly and state Treasurer Phil Angelides on Thursday filed separate ethics complaints that accused each other of violating California's campaign finance laws... Calfo's statement did not address the accusations about the committee except to say that Angelides 'supports clean money laws.'"  Full story

Don't Let the Governor's Race Become a Game for the Rich

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 4/27/06

"...Two public financing measures — called "Clean Money" and modeled after a successful system in Arizona — currently are being considered in the state. One is a proposed ballot initiative sponsored by the California Nurses Assn. The other is a bill by Assemblyman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley). The annual cost would be around $150 million..."  Full story

Democrats' Flood Failure

Sacramento Bee, Editorial, 4/27/06

"...Democrats in the Assembly had a chance... to protect the Central Valley from a deadly and costly flood. As usual, the Democrats blew it. Their failure was largely the handiwork of Assemblyman Ron Calderon... Calderon chairs the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee, and in recent years he has blatantly used his position to fatten his campaign coffers... "  Full story

Money, Muscle Come to the Fore

Los Angeles Times, by Mark Z. Barabak, 4/25/06

With just six weeks left in their primary race for governor, the fight between Democrats Steve Westly and Phil Angelides is turning into a test of money versus institutional muscle.  Full story

The U.S. Chamber of Stealth

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Cuddy, 4/24/06

"...CALIFORNIA VOTERS beware. Commercials praising Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have been hitting California television... They sound remarkably like Schwarzenegger's own reelection spots. They are actually a product of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its undisclosed corporate donors, who are intent on electing anti-consumer candidates across the nation..."  Full story

Developer Helps Out Angelides

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan, 4/22/06

A Sacramento developer and his daughter reported Friday that they were spending $5 million on television advertising to promote Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, a move that gives a lift to his cash-strapped campaign but opens the candidate to new questions about his close ties to the builder.  Full story

Let's Get Clean

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 4/19/06

"...Imagine election campaigns focused on ideas, not scare tactics and smears. Imagine a Legislature that's more reflective of California: more women and minorities. Imagine real leadership on tough issues, such as health care and education funding. Sound like a dream? It happened in Arizona and Maine when those states adopted public campaign financing..."  Full story

Backers of Ads Skirt Rules on Disclosure

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 4/16/06

A television ad campaign portrayed as an independent effort to help Gov. Schwarzenegger was bankrolled partly by a group with deep ties to his political operation. "The public should be able to trace where the support is coming from," said Susan Lerner of the California Clean Money Campaign, "and draw their own conclusions as to whether this is an effort that is influenced ... by the governor or his supporters."  Full story

Nurses Stump for Clean Money Elections

Eureka Reporter, by Rebecca S. Bender, 4/12/06

Seeking to combat the impact of financially flush pharmaceutical companies, HMOs and other corporations with an interest in the outcome of elections, the California Nurses Association is hitting the streets with a Clean Money initiative for the November ballot.  Full story

Families Friendly to Candidates

Contra Costa Times, by Kate Folmar, 4/9/06

With new campaign finance rules limiting how much donors can give to gubernatorial candidates this year, candidates are aiming for "bundles" of cash from families -- several $22,300 checks from husbands and wives, grandfathers and fathers, even the occasional donation from an 18-year-old. It's a perfectly legal practice, but one that's drawing scrutiny.  Full story

All Politics is Familial

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 4/8/06

"... This can't be what voters had in mind with term limits. There's little use in shooing officials out of Sacramento if they end up turning their offices into family heirlooms. The Legislature is in danger of becoming as much a family business as is the presidency of North Korea or Syria. Or the United States, come to think of it..."  Full story

Only Rich Need Apply

San Jose Mercury News, by Aaron C. Davis, 4/5/06

"...Frankly, there are only two kinds of people who can think about running for governor of California: millionaires and people who have been in politics long enough that they have lengthy Rolodexes of ready donors... The rich and famous only need apply...''  Full story

Wealth gives Westly leg up on Angelides

Los Angeles Daily News, by Laura Kurtzman and Michael R. Blood, 3/23/06

Records released Wednesday showed Westly has more than $23 million on hand. As of last week, he had $8.4 million more than Angelides in the bank. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fundraising for the period easily surpassed the combined $3.5 million that contributors gave to the two major Democrats
  Full story

Spending May Prove Costly to Governor

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 3/21/06

Schwarzenegger's campaigns have written more than 8,100 checks totaling $142 million to promote nearly a dozen ballot initiatives, get him elected in the 2003 recall and launch his reelection effort. Fourteen campaign committees have existed to raise money for his causes.  Full story

Dump the Donors

Los Angeles Times, by Jamie Court, 3/20/06

"...Money shouldn't be the measure of a governor...The way out of the money trap — for all state elected officials — should be in the form of a 'Clean Money Elections'...  Public financing of elections is the best hope for finding candidates who measure themselves by the quality of their ideas and capability to govern, not the size of their wallets..."
  Full story

Actors Support Election Reform

Marin Independent Journal, by Richard Halstead, 3/19/06

Actors Ed Asner and Peter Coyote were the main attractions Saturday night at a San Rafael fund-raiser for public funding of election campaigns.  "It's the one reform that makes all other reforms possible," said Asner, who besides an Emmy-winning career on television has distinguished himself as a political activist.   Full story

Sen. John McCain To Speak At Schwarzenegger Fund-Raiser

NBC4-TV, by NBC4 TV Staff, 3/19/06

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign will get at least $2 million thanks to a fund-raiser  featuring Sen. John McCain.  The California Nurses Association has scheduled a demonstration outside the fund-raiser on behalf of a proposed ballot measure that would establish a system of public financing of campaigns and limit corporate contributions to ballot measures.  Full story

Angelides' past tactic to tap corporate funds now under scrutiny

San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucchi, 3/16/06

"...State Treasurer Phil Angelides, a Democratic candidate for governor, recently slammed corporate donors to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for bankrolling the Republican governor's trips... But Angelides didn't mention that as a top Democratic Party fundraiser more than a decade ago, he...solicited donations from big tobacco, oil and energy firms..."  Full story

U.S. Chamber Runs Ads Praising Governor

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 3/10/06

Campaign ethics groups believe the Chamber of Commerce is exploiting a legal loophole by airing a "sham issue ad" supporting Governor Schwarzenegger's reelection.  "It looks and sounds like a campaign ad to elect Schwarzenegger," said Susan Lerner, executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign based in Los Angeles.  Full story

Clean Money for a Clean Environment

Sierra Club California, by Bill Magavern and Trent Lange, 3/9/06

"... If we want clean air and clean water, we have to have Clean Money.  That's why Sierra Club California strongly endorses AB 583, and urges you to help us pass it..."  Full story

High School Student Gives Governor $44,600 Donation

Capitol Weekly, by Shane Goldmacher, 3/7/06

A Eureka high school student, and the daughter of a major Schwarzenegger donor, has given the maximum donation of $44,600 to the governor's reelection effort. The donation came on the same day as maximum donations from her mother, father and sister.   Full story

The Penalty Is Severe for Cunningham

Los Angeles Times, by By Tony Perry, 3/4/06

A federal judge sentenced disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham on Friday to eight years and four months in prison for taking bribes of 2.4 million dollars and evading taxes. It is considered the harshest penalty ever given to a former member of Congress in a corruption case.
  Full story

Anatomy of a bribe: ex-lawmaker's web of cash, contracts

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Dean Calbreath, 3/4/06

The detailed facts of how Cunningham managed to steal money with governmental contracts.  Full story

Fire Victims Feel Burned by Lawmakers Tied to Insurers

Los Angeles Times, by Jordan Rau, 2/27/06

"...Dozens of similarly frustrating experiences prompted Reimus... to urge that new rules be imposed on insurers. But the most far-reaching efforts were derailed by a panel of state lawmakers that is closely aligned with the insurance industry, offering an unusually clear window on...how legislation can be determined by a handful of well-placed politicians..."   Full story

Campaign Funds on Table

Redding Record Searchlight, by Tim Hearden, 2/25/06

A bill in the Legislature would provide public financing for the campaigns of political candidates who give up outside contributions.  The bill is supported by the League of Women Voters, which sees the legislation as an answer to what it views as the excessive influence of money in decision-making.  Full story

In the California air: Zephyrs of political reform

Sacramento Bee, by Peter Schrag, 2/22/06

"...Is good government coming back - again? The question isn't as facetious as it sounds. In the state Capitol, they're discussing reapportionment reform, liberalizing term limits and the public funding of political campaigns..."   Full story

Gov. Plans Massive Fund Drive

Los Angeles Times, by Mark Z. Barabak and Michael Finnegan, 2/16/06

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has set a fundraising goal of more than $120 million for the November election. The sum rivals the amount raised and spent by the entire field of candidates in the 2002 governor's race.  Full story

Water Firm Awash in Political Influence

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Hiltzik, 2/13/06

"...Let us today hoist a glass — preferably of cool, clean Colorado River water — to Keith Brackpool, a walking illustration of how the generous bestowal of campaign donations and other largess can keep a man cozy with California politicians, even in the face of evidence that what he's selling may not be worth buying..."  Full story

Kennedy May Be More Of A Liability Than A Help To Gov.

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 2/13/06

"...Set aside, for a moment, the money stench: Schwarzenegger's allowing Kennedy to mix public and political funds to pad her compensation package...Go back to the beginning: Schwarzenegger's selection of Kennedy in late November as his No. 1 aide. This was bound to cause political grief that a struggling, wounded governor could scarcely afford..."    Full story

A Clean-Money Cure for Voter Cynicism

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 2/8/06

"... AB 583 should be called the Restore Faith in Politicians Act, for it would free politicians to spend their time meeting voters, not chasing dollars from well-connected friends. It would attract people to run for office who otherwise are turned off by the money grubbing of politics..."  Full story

Fair Campaign Financing is Doable

Daily Breeze, by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, 2/8/06

"...California now has the opportunity to enact [Clean Money] reform. Assembly Bill 583... will allow California's candidates the option of "running clean." Freed from endless fund raising, candidates would be able to spend their time talking to voters and focusing on the needs and concerns of the people in their district rather than the contributors to their campaign..."    Full story

Private Money, Public Duty

Ventura County Star, by Timm Herdt, 2/8/06

Last week, the Assembly passed a measure in support of establishing a system of public financing for campaigns for all state offices....  "Usually, the only thing that comes to their mind is that I support the Clean Money Campaign," said Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a candidate in the Democratic primary in the 41st Assembly District.  Full story

Hancock's Reforms Looking Good

Oakland Tribune, Editorial, 2/6/06

"..[L]ast week we were pleasantly surprised to see [AB 583, the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act] pass the Assembly. This is the first time it has gotten this far... We hope ... that Hancock's measure will become law. It would be a refreshing change for California."  Full story

Gov.'s Gift to PUC Official Questioned

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Robert Salladay, 2/3/06

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger paid thousands of dollars in campaign money to a California Public Utilities commissioner three weeks after receiving contributions in the same amount from a company the commissioner regulated. Susan P. Kennedy, now the governor's chief of staff, received $25,000 from his campaign account 21 days after AT&T donated $25,000 to the fund.   Full story

No Contest in Campaign Donation Case

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy and Andrew Blankstein, 2/3/06

Pierce O'Donnell, a prominent Southern California attorney, pleaded no contest Thursday to five misdemeanor counts of using a false name in making political contributions to the 2001 mayoral campaign of James K. Hahn. The high-profile case was one of several involving charges of political money laundering in the 2001 municipal election.  Full story

A Clean-Money Plan

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 2/3/06

"...[A] public-financing bill that cleared the Assembly holds promise. It seeks to cap runaway spending and equalize campaign budgets among rivals. The measure, AB583 by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, is on a shakedown cruise with the author's blessing..."    Full story

Bill Would Give the Public More Power to Buy Politicians

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 2/2/06

"Everybody's worn out by this incessant fund-raising, the ceaseless dialing for dollars" the bill's author, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), told me. Her solution — a product of the California Clean Money Campaign — would be strictly voluntary. Candidates could opt to let the public pay for their campaigns if they agreed to very tight spending limits.   Full story

Assembly Targets Campaign Financing

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 1/31/06

Hoping to stem the tide of big-money contributions, the Assembly passed legislation Monday meant to serve as a first step toward public financing of political campaigns. Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, a Berkeley Democrat who proposed AB 583, said it will help restore public confidence that elected officials are not unduly influenced by big contributors.
  Full story

Campaigns Could Be Publicly Funded

Contra Costa Times, by Edwin Garcia, 1/31/06

Voting along a deeply divided partisan line, the state Assembly on Monday approved a measure that would allow candidates for state office to use taxpayer money to fund their campaigns -- cutting out big-bucks special interest donors.  Full story

Assembly Gets Behind Push for 'Clean Money '

Oakland Tribune, by Steve Geissinger, 1/31/06

For the first time in California history, the Assembly on Monday approved sweeping legislation that would provide publicly financed statewide and legislative campaigns. The bill, which Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, modeled after other states' laws, may pose a dilemma for reform-minded Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.    Full story

Measure Seeking Public Financing of Campaigns Passes Assembly

San Francisco Chronicle, by Don Thompson, 1/30/06

California would consider switching to public financing of political campaigns under a bill approved by the Assembly on Monday. It was the first time assemblymembers have ever passed such a measure.  The bill would provide public money to candidates who voluntarily give up outside contributions — similar to systems in use in Arizona, Connecticut and Maine.
  Full story

Should State Pay for Election Campaigns?

San Jose Mercury News, by Edwin Garcia, 1/30/06

"This is a historic victory in that the state of California has never even debated the merits of a public financing bill previously,'' said Eric Tang with the California Clean Money Campaign. "I think there's been a huge groundswell demand from the public to do something about the corruption scandals that are crippling our faith in public officials.''    Full story

Nurses Propose Donor Limits

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 1/24/06

California nurses Monday proposed one that would strictly limit spending on political campaigns.  The measure would ban corporate donations to candidates and to ballot-measure fights, and create a system of public financing for those running for office. Candidates who rejected the financing could accept only relatively small contributions.  Full story

California Nurses to Push ‘Clean Money’ Initiative

Central Valley Business Times, by Sacramento, 1/24/06

Californians will decide in November if political campaigns will be financed with public money if the California Nurses Association succeeds in putting its proposal on the statewide ballot.  The measure would include what it calls tough restrictions on the influence of corporations, lobbyists, and other big money donors in candidate elections and ballot measures."  Full story

Sacramento's Scandal-in-Waiting

Los Angeles Times, by Jamie Court, 1/24/06

"More money is spent lobbying in California than in any other state in the nation... The Abramoff scandal has proved nothing if not that the line between public and private service needs to be clear and bright..."  Full story

Time to Get Private Money Out of Public Policy

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 1/23/06

"...There's way too much private money in politics, most of it invested by special interests seeking favors from the politicians they're bankrolling...A big reform would be to adopt a "clean money" plan like Arizona's...Candidates could choose to let the public pay for their campaigns if they agreed to sharply reduced spending..."  Full story

Deals So Sweet They'll Kill Us

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 1/22/06

"... The unions, just like corporate donors, pony up millions to have their way. And if they're not still sending thank you cards to former Gov. Gray Davis every day of the year, they should be ashamed of themselves..."  Full story

Candidates Facing New Money Rules

Sacramento Bee, by Gary Delsohn, 1/22/06

For the first time in a California gubernatorial election, there are limits on how much individual donors can contribute to a campaign. Under Proposition 34, which took effect for statewide offices after the 2002 election, individual contributions to a candidate for governor are capped at $22,300.   Full story

Measure Seeking Public Financing of Campaigns Passes Committee

San Francisco Chronicle, by AP, 1/19/06

The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill, AB583, with 13 Democrats supporting it and all five Republicans opposed. The measure would go to the Senate if approved by the full Assembly.  Full story

Gov.'s Top Aides' Pay Bolstered by Donors

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 1/15/06

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has supplemented the salaries of at least four of his top government aides with private campaign money, a practice that means a piece of their overall pay has come from donations by corporations and others that do business in the Capitol.  Full story

Connell Gives Up Donor Funds

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 1/13/06

Former state Controller Kathleen Connell has complied with a demand to give up $22,000 in political contributions because the donors admitted the money was laundered.  The action increases pressure on other L.A. politicians who have received laundered contributions — including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and Councilman Jack Weiss.  Full story

Westly's War Chest: $24 Million

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan and Dan Morain, 1/13/06

Tapping the fortune he built as an EBay executive, state Controller Steve Westly has put $20 million into his campaign for governor.  His opponent, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, had reported $14.4 million in the bank at the end of June and still has to report his final end of year numbers.  Full story

Taking the Right Step Toward Political Reform

Oakland Tribune, by Byron Williams, 1/12/06

"Public campaign financing is a major step in removing the corruptive nature of politics — undoing policy influences of special interest — while simultaneously enhancing the number of people who believe their vote does indeed matter..."  Full story

Gov.'s Top Aide to Woo Donors

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 1/12/06

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is dispatching his newly appointed chief of staff to woo wealthy donors for his reelection effort, injecting his most influential policy advisor into the job of collecting money for his campaign.  "The concern is that you are offering donors, in exchange for campaign contributions, access to a decision maker that the rest of us don't have..."  Full story

Finance Reform Gaining Steam

Oakland Tribune, by Staff Reports, 1/11/06

A state campaign finance reform bill authored by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, passed the Assembly's Elections and Redistricting Committee on Tuesday.  The bill, which passed the committee 4-3, would set up a voluntary public funding system for statewide and legislative offices.  Full story

Clean Up Sacramento

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 1/10/06

"...This contamination of our democratic process with special interest has reached the point where this state must give serious consideration to proposals for public financing of campaigns. Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, has proposed a "clean money" system modeled after public-finance programs in Maine and Arizona..."  Full story

Other States Run Clean-Money Elections, So Can California

San Jose Mercury News, by Rose Ann DeMoro, 1/10/06

"...With a new political season getting under way and renewed talk of what constitutes reform, we'd do well to start by cleaning up the corruption of our political system... There's a common-sense solution. It's called clean-money elections. It's not even a new idea. Arizona has it. So does Maine..."  Full story

Cleaning Up Politics With 'Clean Money'

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, by Chris Coursey, 1/9/06

"I know you're shocked - shocked! - that a Berkeley Democrat is behind this, but she's not alone. North Bay Assembly members Patty Berg, Noreen Evans and Joe Nation are among the co-authors. In Arizona in 2002, 22 Republicans and 17 Democrats used clean money to win office..."
  Full story

Public Financing is Worth Discussing

Sacramento Bee, Editorial, 1/9/06

"...Increasingly, citizens think their democracy is being sold to the highest special-interest bidder. ... A campaign finance system that could provide credible candidates with clean sources of money, campaign funds not linked to powerful interests seeking legislative favors, is, at the very least, worth talking about. Hancock's bill is a fine conversation starter..."  Full story

Hancock Pitches Financing Bill

Tri-Valley Herald, by Michele R. Marcucci, 1/8/06

Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, gave a last-minute pitch Saturday in Oakland for a bill to provide public funding for state election campaigns.  Hancock and others who spoke Saturday said they hope the bill will drive special interests out of the lawmaking process and give legislators more time to do their jobs, instead of raising campaign cash.   Full story

Campaign Finance Forum Packs Oakland City Hall

CBS 5 Eyewitness News - Bay Area, by Joe Rogers, 1/7/06

Supporters of a proposal to establish public financing of state elections filled the Oakland City Council chambers on Saturday afternoon.  Trent Lange, Vice President of the California Clean Money Campaign, told KCBS reporter Henry Mulak how the self-imposed spending limit would curtail the influence of special interests in the electoral process and would cost little.  Full story

Hancock Hopes To Finance Elections With 'Clean Money'

Berkeley Daily Planet, by J. Douglas Allen Taylor, 1/6/06

A Clean Money bill has been reintroduced in the state Legislature by Assemblymember Loni Hancock, with Hancock’s chief of staff saying that “the time is now right” for the issue. Hancock’s office is planning a town hall meeting on SB 583 Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Oakland City Council Chambers at Oakland City Hall.   Full story

East Bay Lawmakers Push for Public Financing of Campaigns

San Jose Mercury News, by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, 1/6/06

After the most expensive election in California history and a national influence-peddling scandal that threatens congressional leaders, proponents of publicly financed campaigns say voters want fundamental change.  "If we don't like the idea that politicians have to raise money, then the way to eliminate that is public financing," said Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla.  Full story

'Clean money' Campaign Financing Needed to Restore Faith in Elections

San Francisco Chronicle, by Anne Spanier and Judy Cox, 1/5/06

California now has a second chance at reform. Assembly Bill 583, which would set up a clean-money system of public funding of statewide elections, will be considered by the Assembly in mid-January. The bill's author, Loni Hancockheld a formal hearing in Los Angeles last year, and a second hearing for public comment is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Oakland City Hall.  Full story

Clean Money Campaign

Common Ground Magazine, by Gar Smith, 1/1/06

"...At the urging of the California Clean Money Campaign (CCMC), Assemblymembers Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), Johan Klehs (D-Hayward) and Noreen Evans (D-Napa/Solano/Sonoma) have co-authored the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act. AB 583 would level the “paying field” by providing state funds to “clean money” candidates..."  Full story

Yet more political finance initiatives?

Sacramento Bee, by Andy Furillo, 12/22/05

A conservative Republican activist has proposed two ballot initiatives to restrict union and corporate financing of political campaigns in California, a move that business groups on Wednesday criticized as a distraction to solving the state's critical public policy challenges.  Full story

Consider Possibility of Clean Money a Gift

Pasadena Star-News, by Loretta Keller, 12/17/05

"... So it looks like the way is clear. But whether or not Clean Money actually happens in California, we should consider its possibility a holiday gift."   Full story

Buying Back Government

Los Angeles Times, by Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, 12/7/05

"...The clean-money law being proposed by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) would provide up to $10 million for a qualifying candidate for governor, while Assembly candidates would get $150,000 and Senate contestants $300,000... Smart voters... realize that any money spent to buy back their government from the free-spending interests [is] a bargain."  Full story

California Needs Clean Money Reform

Oakland Tribune, by Judy Cox and Anne Spanier, 12/3/05

"The League of Women Voters supports this bill and will be mounting an effort to inform the public on this vital issue... We urge all voters and disenchanted voters alike to learn more about this proposed legislation and to talk to their friends and neighbors about this proposal..."  Full story

Klehs Supports State's 'Clean Money' Bill

The Daily Review, by Tasha Bartholomew, 11/21/05

Assemblyman Johan Klehs, D-San Leandro, contacted Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, about becoming a co-author of the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act.  "The California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act could revolutionize California's elections," Klehs said.  Full story

McPherson to Seek Reelection to State Post

Los Angeles Times, by by Dan Morain, 11/17/05

"...(CA Secretary of State Bruce) McPherson said public financing of campaigns is "open to discussion." He stopped short of endorsing so-called "clean money" legislation by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley). Hancock's bill, AB 583, would provide public funds for candidates who agree to collect large numbers of small campaign donations...."  Full story

Let's Remove Financial Influences from Politics

Pasadena Star-News, by Rose Ann DeMoro, 11/16/05

"... [I]t's time to break through this corporate stranglehold on public policy and end the cash-register politics in Sacramento and the ballot box with genuine campaign-finance reform... A system of public financing... would dramatically alter our state's political dynamic and enable a more diverse cross section of Californians to run for office..."  Full story

Clean Money

Sacramento Bee, by Dan Weintraub, 11/14/05

"... while I have never been a big fan of public financing, I think its time may have come... For the revenue source, I'd suggest a 1 percent increase in the bank and corporation tax..."  Full story

Gov. Leads Trade Mission to China

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 11/13/05

"... Susan Lerner, executive director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan California Clean Money Campaign in Los Angeles, said the trade mission "creates the impression... that there is some official sanction to the businesses" traveling with the governor..."  Full story

Arnold's 'Very Special' Election

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 11/6/05

"Could this be it? Have we finally been subjected to a campaign so annoying, insulting and distasteful that we'll finally rise up and charge the gates?...  Maybe, possibly, hopefully, says Susan Lerner of the California Clean Money Campaign...  Lerner's group has a reform bill, AB 583... If only that question were on the ballot Tuesday."  Full story

Schwarzenegger's Special Interests

CBS News, by CBS, 11/3/05

"Heller and other government watchdogs say when it comes to raising special interest cash — the governor has far outpaced the man he ousted, former Governor Gray Davis...  He's plummeted in the polls and according to one survey, half now believe he caters to special interests as much or more than other politicians."  Full story

$300 Million Price Tag on Initiative Battles

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Wildermuth, 11/2/05

Thirty contributors have bankrolled nearly two-thirds of the estimated $300 million that will be spent on Tuesday's special election.  The high rollers include unions, drug companies, business groups and individuals that have pumped $1 million apiece or more -- often much more -- into the initiative battle called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.   Full story

Walmart, Walton Family Support Schwarzenegger

USA Today, by Jim Hopkins, 10/31/05

Wal-Mart and its founding Walton family have emerged as big backers of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, giving about $1 million in the past year to his favored causes as he vetoed legislation aimed at the company.  Full story

Real Campaign Reform

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 10/28/05

"... Public campaign finance systems in Arizona and Maine have been successful. In California, such a system would lift the yoke of incessant money-grubbing from campaigns and could ease the way for further reform. It would be an investment with a big return."  Full story

Drug Makers Shatter Campaign Records

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 10/28/05

The nation's drug makers, shattering spending records on California initiative campaigns, have poured $76.5 million into television ads, mail and other activities to persuade voters to embrace their cause on the Nov. 8 ballot, reports filed with the state Thursday show.
  Full story

PPIC poll: Californians rejecting ballot measures

Central Valley Business Times, by Staff, 10/28/05

A majority of Californians (53 percent) believe that campaign contributions have a negative effect on the decisions made by elected officials. Support for public funding has increased by 10 points since September 2004 (from 35 percent to 45 percent) and opposition has dropped by 11 points (from 57 percent to 46 percent).  Full story

Alleged Slumlords Donated to Delgadillo

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 10/26/05

Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo accepted thousands of dollars in political contributions from two landlords accused of operating apartments with slum conditions after he settled a lawsuit against them for a third of the amount the city initially sought.  Full story

Let the State Pay

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 10/25/05

"... But such state business should be paid for by the state, not under the table by business interests currying the favor of both the governor and the Chinese... Those footing the bill for the trip will potentially get exclusive access to Schwarzenegger and Chinese officials, leading to deep potential conflicts of interest for the governor."  Full story

Businesses Asked to Fund Governor's Trip to China

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 10/24/05

To pay for a coming trade mission to China, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political allies are raising tens of thousands of dollars from businesses whose names are largely being concealed.  Full story

Shell Games Hide Sources of Donations

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 10/23/05

When Californians vote Nov. 8 after what may turn out to be the costliest initiative battles in state history, they won't fully know who was behind the campaigns: Politicians and their backers are using holes in state law that help hide the source of donations.  Full story

Gov.'s Run to Retain Job Has Reward

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 10/21/05

Once Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he was running for reelection, the money spigot opened wide.  Schwarzenegger raised $10 million in the month following his Sept. 17 declaration. He had collected $3.7 million in the preceding month and $25 million in the first 8 1/2 months of the year.  Full story

Timing of Bush's Fundraiser Is Bad for Governor's Agenda

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 10/20/05

"[Gov. Schwarzenegger is] weary and ready for campaign finance reform, he told me...  What [Common Cause President] Pingree told Schwarzenegger is that if she was going to endorse his redistricting measure (Proposition 77), he should commit to working with her on campaign finance. He agreed — and even pledged to consider public financing..."
  Full story

Governor's Star Status Pays Off

Sacramento Bee, by Gary Delsohn, 10/17/05

Bee reporter Gary Delshons questions whether large campaign contributions made around the time of Governor Schwarzenegger's vetoes are examples of pay-to-play.  For example, the same day he vetoed a bill opposed by executives at Wal-Mart, his California Recovery Team got a $250,000 contribution from the widow of former company heir John Walton.
  Full story

Their Views, Their Dues

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 10/17/05

The Los Angeles Times editorial board writes in support of Proposition 75 and concludes their endorsement with a nod towards Clean Money: "Moreover, this page will continue to support campaign financing proposals that help cleanse the political system, including more public financing of elections."  Full story

Unions Spending Lavishly

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Jordan Rau, 10/12/05

Led by public employee unions, organized labor has raised more than $80 million in its effort to defeat the initiatives promoted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Schwarzenegger has raised $34 million to promote his initiatives this year, plus $2.1 million for his 2006 reelection effort. Separate campaigns for initiatives he is pushing have raised about $8 million more.  Full story

Campaign Fundraising Skyrockets

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 9/30/05

Fundraising for the special election called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to implement his policy agenda is approaching $200 million...With less than six weeks to go before the Nov. 8 election, those who have raised and spent include the nation's pharmaceutical companies, followed by public employee unions and then the governor.  Full story

Powerful Teachers Union Is in the Thick of Ballot Battles

Los Angeles Times, by Jordan Rau, 9/28/05

California's largest teachers union is, depending on where one stands, either the epitome of labor's stranglehold on the state Capitol or one of the few lobbies strong enough to champion education against Sacramento's more moneyed interests.   It has directed $45 million to ballot measures so far this year.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Fires Flood Control Panel

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 9/28/05

Gov. Schwarzenegger fired all six members of the state Reclamation Board, an agency that oversees flood control and had recently become more aggressive about slowing development on flood plains.   23% of the $75 million he has raised since 2002 has come from businesses or individuals involved in residential or industrial construction, development and real estate.   Full story

Saturday Forum Targets Reform

Eureka Reporter, by Eureka Reporter Staff, 9/26/05

A forum sponsored by the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee and the California Clean Money Campaign will be held at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka to present information on election and campaign finance reform.  Susan Lerner, the executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign, will speak on why and how elections should be publicly financed.   Full story

Gov. Donates $1.25 Million, Backs 6 Initiatives

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay and Dan Morain, 9/24/05

Schwarzenegger opened his checkbook Friday for the first time in the current campaign, donating $1.25 million to the campaign for Proposition 77, the redistricting measure. The governor has spent heavily in the past on politics.  Besides his own contribution, Schwarzenegger has raised $25 million this year to promote his initiatives. But he is being outspent heavily.  Full story

"Mod Squad" kills Dem enviro bills

Capitol Weekly, by Shane Goldmacher, 9/22/05

"We need to get all our votes from the Democratic caucus, including the
business Democrats who are taking lots of money from corporate polluters,"
said Bill Magavern, a senior representative for Sierra Club California.   Full story

Democrats Seek New Rules on Political Finances

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 8/30/05

Assembly Democrats unveiled a trio of bills Monday to expand political finance and disclosure laws in response to incidents involving Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Democrats characterized the measures - Assembly Bills 1391, 1363 and 534 - as an attempt to restore more trust in state politics.  Full story

If You Recall, It Was the Money

Los Angeles Times, by Ethan Rarick, 8/28/05

"The Collapse of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Year of Reform" includes not only political bumbling — witness the death rattle of his vaunted array of ballot initiatives — but complete tone-deafness about personal finance. The man who boasted that he was rich enough to swear off other people's money lets corporate interests pay his $6,000-a-month rent..."  Full story

Governor Calling on Big Spenders

Sacramento Bee, by Gary Delsohn, 8/28/05

  Full story

Poll Boosts Bill For Campaign Reform

Oakland Tribune, by Steve Geissinger, 8/28/05

Californians clearly want to wash much of the dirt out of politics. More than 70 percent of voters believe California is being run by a few big interests, and only 24 percent said they can mostly trust their state government, according to a poll released last week.  CCMC Executive Director Susan Lerner is quoted.  Full story

Not Yes, Not No, Not Even a Maybe

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 8/28/05

32% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans abstained from voting on bills that failed in the last full study on the issue.  Abstaining from a vote is effectively the same as a "no" vote.  Politicians who always have an eye on another office are less willing to cross the special interests that push legislation and fund campaigns, causing them to abstain.  Full story

Fresno May End Low-Fee Policy for Developers

Los Angeles Times, by Mark Arax, 8/23/05

In an effort to give developers one of the best deals in California, this city has dug itself into a deep financial hole that could undermine its future even as a construction boom is turning orchards into suburbs on every side of town.  Full story

Schwarzenegger's Vast Empire Questioned

Los Angeles Times, by Harrison Sheppard and David M. Drucker, 8/7/05

While a recent controversy over an $8 million deal Schwarzenegger had with a bodybuilding magazine may have been resolved, critics say many of Schwarzeneggers' investments and sources of income continue to represent a potential minefield of conflicts of interest.   Full story

Prison Firm Gets $20 Million Contract after Making Donation

Fresno Bee, by The Associated Press, 8/6/05

A private prison company is in line to get a $20 million state contract less than two months after giving $10,000 to a ballot measure committee with ties to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a newspaper reported Saturday.  Full story

Hang their Price Tags Around Their Necks

Los Angeles Times, by Patt Morrison, 8/3/05

"The point is, if politicians have a price, let's put the tags around their necks where we can see them... Just drop in a name and see what comes up. It's almost as exciting as a slot machine. You won't get any money, but I guarantee you somebody already has."  Full story

2005 Political Fundraising at $116 Million

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Nancy Vogel, 8/2/05

Led by national drug companies that have poured $58.5 million into an initiative fight with national implications, promoters and candidates have raised more than $116 million they can use in campaigns this year and beyond.  Full story

Pump Up Democracy, Not Pay-to-Play

Sacramento News & Review, by Susan Lerner, 7/27/05

"This questionable deal has no doubt tremendously exacerbated the public’s perception that the government’s decisions aren’t based on what is best for all Californians...  What California needs more than anything else right now is a proven fix to the problem of money in politics: “clean money,” the full public financing of campaigns..."  Full story

Before and After, Supplements in the Picture

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay and Dan Morain, 7/23/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ended his $8-million contract with a muscle magazine publisher last week. But his deep emotional, political and business ties to bodybuilding — and to the supplement industry that feeds it — won't be so easily severed.  Full story

Loophole Lets Rent Flow to Governor

San Francisco Chronicle, by Mark Martin, John Wildermuth, 7/20/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, taking advantage of a technicality in campaign finance laws, has been collecting rent from political action committees that he controls.  Full story

Governor Is Focus of Ethics Complaint

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 7/19/05

Officials with the California Democratic Party said they intend to file a complaint today with a state watchdog agency over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's lucrative consulting deal with a magazine publisher, saying that he ran afoul of conflict-of-interest and gift laws.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Finally Showing That He Gets It

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 7/18/05

"... Sure, you can argue that Schwarzenegger would have vetoed the bill anyway, and it's believable. But we'll never really know. He was, after all, taking millions from a magazine group whose advertisers benefited from the veto..."  Full story

Schwarzenegger, Under Fire, Cuts Financial Ties to Magazines

New York Times, by Andrew Pollack, 7/16/05

Reacting to a storm of accusations about a conflict of interest, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday that he would sever a financial relationship with a publisher of fitness magazines that would have paid him at least $5 million over five years.  Full story

Gov.'s Staff Says Charges Overblown

Long Beach Press Telegram, by David M. Drucker, 7/14/05

Gov. Schwarzenegger's faces conflict-of-interest accusations over his multimillion-dollar consulting deal with two muscle-and-fitness magazines.   "The revelation of this contract is very disturbing," said Susan Lerner, executive director of California Clean Money Campaign.  Full story

Gov. to Be Paid $8 Million by Fitness Magazines

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas and Robert Salladay, 7/14/05

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.  Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have imposed government regulations on the supplement industry.  Full story

Governor Pumps up Lobby Group

Sacramento Bee, by Andy Furillo, 7/13/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this year helped dietary supplement companies launch a lobbying group.  Bob Stern of the Center for Governmental study said the activity raises a question of "whether it is compatible with being governor."  Full story

Filipino's Donation Puts Schwarzenegger Under Fire

Asian Journal, by News Report, 6/30/05

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has come under fire for accepting close to $70,000 in campaign contributions from a Filipino American businessman whose company faces criminal elder-neglect charges.  Full story

Donations Flowed to Key State Officials in Deal for S.F. Piers

San Francisco Chronicle, by Cecilia M. Vega, 6/27/05

A company that sought state approval for a lucrative development deal on the San Francisco waterfront contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of politicians who held the fate of the project in their hands, records show.  Full story

Gov. Comes to the Aid of GOP Donor

Los Angeles Times, by Daryl Kelley, 6/25/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office has asked a state parks agency to reconsider a developer's request to build a mile-long road across the Ahmanson Ranch preserve so a new residential subdivision can be constructed nearby.  State records show that the developer's law firm contributed $11,300 last year to Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team fund.  Full story

Wallets Opening Wide for Election

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 6/14/05

Experts estimate that donors could spend over $200 million on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election.  Donors spent $235 million on ballot measures last year, $88 million on the first-ever recall of a sitting California governor in 2003 and $130 million on the 2002 gubernatorial election.   Full story

Measure of Concern Over Initiative Process

San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci and John Wildermuth, 6/13/05

The Commonwealth Club held a daylong seminar on political reform.  A panel on campaign finance, for example, featured Susan Lerner of the California Clean Money Campaign, which believes in full public financing for political campaigns.  Full story

California Governor Will Not Return Noe's Donations

Toledo Blade, by Steve Eder, 6/6/05

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated any efforts to get him to return $10,000 that Toledo-area coin dealer Tom Noe contributed to his campaign.  Last week, Mr. Noe's lawyers told Ohio authorities that up to $12 million in assets of the state's $50 million investment in rare coins was missing.  President Bush and other Republicans have given back Noe's contributions.  Full story

Candid Talk on the Party Line

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 6/5/05

When wealthy contributors write checks to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, they often get a few canapes and a drink — and a secret telephone number that grants them access to his closest advisors and even the governor himself.  Full story

Branding Campaign Finance

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 6/3/05

"It happens that the maker of most of those products is a substantial campaign donor to Schwarzenegger...  Wouldn't outright product placement as a means of funding political ads remove much of the taint of campaign cash?..."  Full story

Campaign Limit Advances

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 5/27/05

  Full story

Governor Dodges Hot Issues, Fiddles With Special Election

San Jose Mercury News, by Rose Ann DeMore, 5/24/05

"As more Americans demand real election reform, the governor's answer is to change the way lines are drawn on a map rather than transform campaign financing, what almost everyone understands is the source of our corrupted election process..."  Full story

Developers See Opportunity at Gov.'s Table

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas and Robert Salladay, 5/15/05

Developers and other businesses that have chafed under the California Environmental Quality Act's regulations have donated millions of dollars to support the governor's political agenda.  Because the Schwarzenegger administration is in the middle of discussions about reworking the environmental law, the giving has raised new questions.   Full story

Is Election Watchdog Losing Bite?

Los Angeles Times, by Jean O. Pasco, 5/9/05

California's political watchdog agency, crippled by having only three investigators, is wading through a backlog of 737 cases of alleged campaign misdeeds while wrestling to craft a new generation of voter-authorized campaign reforms.  Full story

Coffers Bulging for Special Election

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 5/3/05

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decides whether to call a special election to put his proposals before voters, corporations, individuals and unions report that they have donated more than $40 million to initiative campaigns and other causes so far this year.  Full story

'Permanent Campaign'

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Wildermuth, 5/3/05

There's no election in sight, but political ads are flooding California's airwaves as if it were late October 2006.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his foes are spending millions to go public with policy disputes that used to be resolved with quiet negotiations.  Full story

Bill Granting Tax Breaks for Tribal Resorts Clears Panel

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 4/28/05

A bill that would allow wealthy Indian tribes to use millions of dollars worth of tax breaks to finance the expansion of gambling resorts was approved Wednesday by a key state Senate committee.  Supporters of the bill have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from the tribes.  Full story

A Few Words on Why Tom Umberg Doesn’t Want Campaign-Finance Reform

Orange County Weekly, by Gustavo Arellano, 4/28/05

"Tom Umberg is afraid of campaign finance reform—especially the notion that taxpayers should finance elections as a way to avoid corporate control of our nation’s democracy. That fear has a name: Santa Ana restaurateur Otto Bade..."  Full story

Prison Reform Is in Danger

Los Angeles Times, by Joe Domanick, 4/25/05

"For more than 20 years, the prison guards have kept Democratic and Republican governors and state legislators — be they Bay Area liberals or rural archconservatives — obsequiously grateful for their big campaign contributions and petrified, at the same time, that the union would oppose them..."  Full story

Governor Collects Millions for Election

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 4/22/05

The governor's aggressive fund raising has set off an arms race of sorts.  Roughly $6.6 million has gone to Governor Schwarzenegger's ballot group, with $2.6 million going into his re-election fund and $950,00 million going to the California Recovery Team.  At least $1.28 million of the governor's funding is coming from real estate, property and development interests.   Full story

Reformer Calls For New Limits on Elections

Sacramento Bee, by Alexa H. Bluth, 4/20/05

Bob Stern, one of the architects of the state's Political Reform Act, said Tuesday that he believes that public financing of elections is the next major change needed to improve elections in California.   He was in the Capitol to testify in favor of AB 583, a measure by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, that would provide public money to candidates for state office.   Full story

FPPC Seeking to Restore Cap on Ballot Funds

Sacramento Bee, by Alexa H. Bluth, 4/20/05

  Full story

Tribes Seek State Law Granting Tax Breaks to Expand Resorts

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper and Dan Morain, 4/13/05

Wealthy California Indian tribes that use millions of dollars in federal tax breaks to finance expansion of gambling resorts are gathering support for similar tax breaks from the state.  Tribes backing the change include some of the largest campaign donors in the state.  Full story

Shelley Friend Turns Self In

Los Angeles Times, by Jordan Rau, 4/9/05

A fundraiser for former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley surrendered to authorities Friday after being charged with funneling $125,000 of taxpayer money into Shelley's campaign account. The funds came from a state grant Shelley had helped secure to build a San Francisco neighborhood center.   Full story

No Rest for the Elected

Los Angeles Times, by Mark Z. Barabak, 4/4/05

The permanent campaign — a never-ending cycle of fundraising, polling and candidate positioning — has been a growing part of American politics for a generation.   Candidates for statewide office should count on spending 20 hours during the week, and their entire weekend, courting donors and raising money.   Full story

Gov. Wins Initiative Fundraising Case

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 3/24/05

California politicians can raise unlimited amounts of money to promote ballot initiatives, a judge said Wednesday, handing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a significant victory as he promotes his political agenda this year.  Full story

A New Kind of Crowd for Governor

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 3/9/05

As he darted across the country in the last five days, raising campaign money, Gov. Schwarzenegger was shadowed by demonstrators protesting his plans for overhauling state government.   Full story

Angelides Will Take on Gov., His Staff Says

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 3/9/05

Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides is poised to announce that he will run for California governor in 2006, launching an early assault against Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger more than a year before the primary election.  Angelides has already collected $12.5 million in campaign contributions.  Schwarzenegger has begun raising money for a possible reelection campaign also.
  Full story

Governor Fattens Kitty With D.C. Cash

San Francisco Chronicle, by Zachary Coile, 3/9/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to come to Washington as a "collectinator" for California, but what he collected Tuesday was mostly contributions for a possible re-election campaign.  The governor raked in more than $500,000 at a single dinner at 21 Club in Manhattan.  Schwarzenegger is breaking state fund- raising records -- having raised almost $40 million already -- nearly twice as much in his first 15 months in office as Davis.  Full story

Dean's Money Machine to Fight Schwarzenegger

San Francisco Chronicle, by John M. Hubbell, Mark Martin, 3/8/05

A liberal grassroots network that helped fuel Howard Dean's maverick run for president is crackling back to life to fight Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot initiative drive, another sign that the governor's plans for a special election this year could produce a costly and fiercely partisan battle.   Full story

Citizens to Save California Farms a Little Menial Work Out to India

San Francisco Chronicle, by David Lazarus, 3/8/05

As part of a $10 million petition drive to place Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed constitutional amendments before voters, Citizens to Save California has hired an out-of-state firm to verify signatures. That firm, in turn, is outsourcing the work to India.   Full story

Donors' Influence on Schwarzenegger Is an Issue

New York Times, by Dean E. Murphy, 3/7/05

As governor for 16 months, Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has made raising money from big corporations and wealthy businesspeople a mainstay in his drive for political change.  Now some Democrats, independent watchdog groups and scholars are raising questions about the influence of money on Mr. Schwarzenegger himself.  Full story

Pair Urges Restrictions on Special Interest Control

Contra Costa Times, by Lisa Coffey Mahoney, 2/25/05

Special interests are influencing how elected officials in Sacramento and in Washington respond to the needs of the common citizen, according to California Clean Money Campaign advocates.  "Decisions that affect our daily lives ... are essentially for sale, and I don't think that that is an exaggeration to put it that way," Jaleh Bisharat said.  Full story

Schwarzenegger to Go on Road to Raise Funds

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 2/25/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has planned a series of fundraisers from California to the East Coast next month, including a dinner with New York Gov. George Pataki, a business round table with Washington lobbyists, and a Los Angeles event where $89,200 will buy a "private briefing" for two with the governor.  Full story

Study of State Governments Ranks California With a Capital C (Minus)

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 2/24/05

"It's now official: California government has hit rock bottom.  State governments don't get any worse, anywhere... the judgment of a respected national magazine for policy wonks: Governing, published by Congressional Quarterly, a pillar of nonpartisanship."  Full story

Public Financing Could End Pay to Play

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 2/23/05

"The fundraising compulsion is both shady and contagious...  Like me, Susan Lerner is somewhat skeptical, and she has a far better idea for reforming California:  Public financing of campaigns for state office..."   Full story

Governor Fails to Curb Big Money

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 2/21/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ousted a sitting governor and entered elective politics by deploring a system in which "the money comes in and the favors go out."  But as he promotes his political agenda for 2005, Schwarzenegger has failed to curb big money in politics. Rather, he seeks the freedom to raise unlimited amounts.   Full story

Perata Bill Seen as Foiling Donation Probes

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 2/15/05

State Senate Democratic leader Don Perata and his Republican counterpart are quietly and urgently pushing a bill that critics say would torpedo a major investigation by election regulators into at least one sitting legislator's campaign finances.  Full story

Governor's Gambit Takes the Game

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 2/14/05

"The Center for Governmental Studies has created a "clean money" plan for financing secretary of state races with public funds. Major party candidates could get $3 million total in the primary and general elections..."  Full story

Governor’s Plan to Redraw the Political Map

San Francisco Chronicle, by Alan Abramowitz, Brad Alexander, Matthew Gunning, 2/11/05

"... clean-election laws, public financing of campaigns and free television time -- would go further in increasing electoral competition than redrawing maps. Taking away control of redistricting from incumbents is a good idea, but reformers who want to make elections more competitive should concentrate on finding ways to get more money and resources into the hands of challengers."  Full story

Big-Ticket Drive Supports Gov.'s Agenda

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay and Peter Nicholas, 2/9/05

For $100,000, you can sit at the head table with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, hobnob at a reception beforehand and pose for pictures with the Republican governor.   Contributions go to Citizens to Save California, a nonprofit group set up to support his proposed ballot initiatives.  Full story

Arnold Inc: Raising Millions in Campaign Money

CBS 5 Eyewitness News - Bay Area, by Hank Plante, 2/7/05

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man who campaigned against special interests and the influence of big money in state government.  So how's he doing on cleaning that up so far?  "We can't ignore the fact that he has raised $38 million as a politician," said Doug Heller of a group called ArnoldWatch.org...
  Full story

Arnold Inc: Living Like a Star

CBS 5 Eyewitness News - Bay Area, by Hank Plante, 2/4/05

"... Schwarzenegger has set up half-a-dozen private political committees to pay for the jets, the hotels, the travel, the big events, the lifestyle -- and records show that funding those committees with millions of dollars are some of the biggest developers, insurance companies, financiers and corporations in the State..."  Full story

Schwarzenegger a Big Fundraiser in 2004

Los Angeles Times, by By Dan Morain, 2/1/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger raised more than $23 million in political donations in 2004, using the money for initiative campaigns, travel, fundraising, and defending lawsuits stemming from sexual misconduct allegations.  Backers and foes of the 10 costliest propositions on the November ballot spent $206.3 million, campaign finance reports show  Full story

Tax Breaks Intensify State Fiscal Debate

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 1/24/05

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seeks to force down government expenses, his blueprint for long-term reform leaves one area untouched: tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.  Full story

A Man of the People ... People Who Pay

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 1/19/05

"... even as he rails against special interests, the governor is grabbing special interest money with the unstoppable force of a crack addict smashing car windows for loose change.  He's the victor, the king, the undisputed heavyweight champ.  Gray Davis is a pencil-necked piker..."
  Full story

Trying to Shore Up Limits on Fundraising

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 1/19/05

Democratic lawmakers said they want to close a loophole that would allow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to bypass new fundraising limits on money collected for initiative campaigns.
  Full story

Governor's Call to Arms Causing Deep Divisions

San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, 1/9/05

Gov. Schwarzenegger has become a relentless fund-raiser, amassing an astounding $26. 6 million in his first year -- a haul that doubled the amount raised by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.  Critics said Schwarzenegger's attacks are aimed at those who oppose him or don't contribute to his campaign causes.  Full story

Top Contributors to Gov. Schwarzenegger by Industry

San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, 1/9/05

Top contributors by industry to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican Party committees, and Democratic Party committees.  Full story

Consumer Advocates Assail Gov.

Los Angeles Times, by Jordan Rau, 1/8/05

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to abolish the independent boards that regulate California professionals has outraged public watchdogs, who say it would eradicate years of reform that curtailed the influence of trade groups over those who oversee them.
  Full story

Shut the Political Tollbooth

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 1/3/05

"California needs the political version of electroshock therapy. Forget half-measures. The cure is voluntary public financing of election campaigns, and it's not a utopian fantasy. Arizona has done it, and it works...  Consider the value of having officeholders beholden to actual voters. That's priceless. Why wait?"  Full story

FBI Presence Shadows Legislature's New Session

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 1/3/05

California legislators open their session today knowing that the FBI is hovering not far away.  Secretary of State Kevin Shelley secured $492,500 in state tax money for a political supporter's group, who authorities then believe diverted at least $125,000 to his campaign.  There is a separate investigation into associates of State Senate leader Don Perata.
  Full story

California Clean Money Campaign Aims to Take Stain Out of Politics

Southern Sierran, by Trent Lange, 1/3/05

"Environmentalists constantly fight losing battles against developers and corporations that contribute millions of dollars to political campaigns... Clean Money public financing of elections, which has been proven in other states to end the domination of campaigns by private money, could finally put the environment on an equal footing..."  Full story

Governor Readies His Crucial try at Changing Government

Sacramento Bee, by Dan Walters, 12/19/04

"It's becoming very evident that Schwarzenegger will propose a bold reform agenda... including redistricting reform...  Other issues being considered for inclusion include an overhaul of campaign finance laws, budget reforms, pension reforms and elements of the governmental agency overhaul that Schwarzenegger has touted."  Full story

Ensuring Trust in Secretary of State

San Francisco Chronicle, by John M. Hubbell, 12/11/04

Susan Lerner, executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign, which supports alternative campaign financing, said as legislation emerged to address overall campaign finance reform, a separate bill might be used to specifically address Shelley's office. "The secretary of state is in an even more ethically sensitive position than most," she said.   Full story

Party Is Over on Workers' Comp

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 12/3/04

"Insurance companies stand to save millions of dollars under the reforms... But the reform bill did not require the insurance companies to pass their savings on to clients... You think it could have anything to do with the fact that Schwarzenegger — Mr. Campaign Finance Reform — has raised insurance industry money like an Olympic panhandling champion?"  Full story

More Than Mud-Free Courts

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 11/26/04

"The argument for public financing is especially strong for judicial candidates. Lawyers are usually the biggest contributors to these low-visibility races, but their donations create instant conflicts of interest for judges..."  Full story

New Details Emerge in Perata Inquiry

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 11/20/04

The FBI has an inquiry into the activities of incoming state Senate leader Don Perata and an array of his relatives, associates and their businesses.  There is an array of allegations regarding Lily Hu and her Oakland-based lobbying business.  Hu's clients have donated at least $400,00 to Perata's campaigns over the years.  Full story

Governor Sets Money-Raising Record

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 11/17/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, after campaigning as a reformer who would cast special interests out of the Capitol, smashed every fund-raising record in his first year in office with a $26.6 million haul that doubled the amount raised by former Gov. Gray Davis in his first year.  Full story

Gifts Flow, as Does the Access

Los Angeles Times, by Miriam Pawel and Peter Nicholas, 11/10/04

Thousands of lobbying reports filed since the recall election found that large corporations and business groups, many with strong ties to the administration, account for virtually all of the tickets to sporting events, dinners and receptions handed out to Schwarzenegger aides.  Full story

Assembly Race Breaks the Bank

San Mateo County Times, by Staff, 11/10/04

A stunning $8.6 million was spent in the 21st Assembly District race.  The losing Republican Steve Poizner raised a whopping $6.9 million, including about $6 million of his own money, while the winning Democrat Ira Ruskin totaled a none-too-shabby $1.7 million, largely from the Democratic Party, political action committees and labor unions.  Full story

Machado Headed For a New Term After Pricey Battle

Sacramento Bee, by Kevin Yamamura, 11/4/04

Mike Machado held off a strong challenge from Stockton Mayor Gary Podesto to win re-election to the state Senate in the most expensive upper house race in California history.  Podesto received $4.7 million over the past two years, compared with $4 million for Machado. Outside groups also spent $1 million, pushing the total price tag toward the $10 million mark.   Full story

Jones Is Cut Out for Public Service, Not Politics

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 11/1/04

"[Public financing of political campaigns is] needed to reduce special-interest investments in their careers — investments that pay dividends when the lawmakers make public policy... Donors don't give big money to projected losers; Jones is losing largely because he can't raise money..."  Full story

Edict Dooms Election-Ad Reporting Rule

Los Angeles Times, by Denny Walsh, 10/28/04

A Sacramento federal judge ruled that general purpose political committees, including the two major parties, do not have to disclose in advertisements and mailers the names of the two largest donors to the committees.   The ruling sounds the death knell for most of what's left of Proposition 208, a sweeping campaign reform initiative approved by state voters in 1996.  Full story

Wal-Mart's Political spending Hits New Levels in California

San Francisco Chronicle, by Tom Chorneau, 10/27/04

After years of waging its political wars almost exclusively on the local level, Wal-Mart is spending aggressively this election in support of statewide candidates and ballot measures -- including donations to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Republican Party.   Full story

Independent Groups Lavish Money on Races

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 10/20/04

Special interests have begun sinking millions of dollars into the state's tightest legislative races to help candidates they favor.  To get around laws that limit direct contributions, they have formed or donated to so-called independent expenditure committees that have spent nearly $3 million this month to help elect their favorite candidates.  Full story

A Terror Attack, Coming Soon to a Plant Near You

Los Angeles Times, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,, 10/7/04

"George W. Bush likes to boast of his record on homeland security, but the truth is that corporate and political favoritism by the White House has badly compromised our capacity to defend ourselves against a terrorist attack...  President Bush and his party have accepted more than $22 million from the chemical industry since 1998..."  Full story

Spending on Props. May Set a Record

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel and Dan Morain, 10/7/04

Indian tribes with casinos, big businesses and parents of sick children have spent more than $125 million to persuade Californians to vote their way Nov. 2 on a raft of ballot measures.  The Republican and Democratic parties have also sunk millions into a handful of tight legislative races, $13.2 million compared with $9.4 million for Democrats since they beginning of the year.  Full story

Governor Faults Prop. 70 Backers

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Peter Nicholas, 10/5/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday criticized lawmakers — mostly Republicans — for taking money from Indian tribes and then endorsing a ballot measure pushed by several tribes that would expand Indian gambling.  Each of the 10 lawmakers who are cited by sponsors of the initiative as having endorsed Proposition 70 has taken money from tribes that own casinos.  Full story

State's Gamble Exceeds Predictions

San Francisco Chronicle, by Ken Garcia, 10/4/04

"Now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined the sizable ranks of pols accepting contributions from tribes operating casinos, it seems fairly obvious that there are few people left in the state to challenge the proliferation of Indian gambling..."  Full story

Election, Smoking Measures Signed

Sacramento Bee, by Alexa H. Bluth, 9/28/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that bans candidates from lending their campaigns more than $100,000 through bank loans - a law prompted in part by $4.5 million in loans that Schwarzenegger used for his campaign in the gubernatorial recall election.   Full story

Shelley Learns the Hard Way That Politicians Are Not Invisible

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 9/28/04

"A federal grand jury and the state attorney general are investigating [California Secretary of State] Shelley's campaign finances. ... the office is set up all wrong anyway. It should be nonpartisan... And instead of candidates hitting up money launderers, the nonpartisan office could be a pilot project for public financing..."  Full story

State GOP Likes Its Chances

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 9/19/04

Powered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity, Republicans are launching their most aggressive assault in a decade on majority Democrats in the Legislature.  Democrats have more cash to throw into campaigns this fall — $11 million versus $5 million — but Republicans outspent them by $1.3 million between February and June.  Full story

Special Interest May Be Hitching a Ride in State Reform Plan

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Hiltzik, 9/16/04

The California Performance Review proposes taking control of assessing property taxes on airplanes away from county assessors.  This may reduce their tax bills by as much as 10% right off the bat.  The major forces behind the proposed change:  Southwest Airlines Inc., UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and the Air Transport Assn. of America, the airlines' lobbying group.  Full story

Governor Tries to Keep Donations, Bills Apart

Contra Costa Times, by Dion Nissenbaum, 9/16/04

After pledging to reject money from special interest groups, Arnold Schwarzenegger has accepted large donations from a wide array of businesses looking to sway the Republican governor as he decides whether to sign or veto hundreds of bills by month's end.  Full story

Poizner Blasts Contributions to Ruskin's Campaign

San Jose Mercury News, by Mercury News staff, 9/14/04

Republican Assembly hopeful Steve Poizner denounced the ``laundering'' of campaign donations through political parties.  But Ruskin said he would go further, using tax dollars to help fund state campaigns in order to level the playing field for candidates running against wealthy candidates like Poizner.  Full story

Capitol Resistant to Reforms

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 9/13/04

"Despite miserable job-approval ratings, California lawmakers this year derailed or defeated nearly every bill aimed at overhauling how they campaign for office or conduct business in the Capitol...  Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he supports and values AB 2949, which proposed public financing of campaigns. But he was neither surprised nor offended when it died."  Full story

Gov. Sets Restrictions on His Fundraising Sources

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 9/10/04

Facing persistent criticism over his fundraising practices, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is imposing new limits on how he collects campaign money, pledging to turn away donations from workers' compensation insurers, energy companies and Indian gambling interests.   Full story

Chevron Gave Big to Governor, Played Key Role in Reorganization Plan

Sacramento Bee, by Tom Chorneau, 9/2/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious plan to reorganize almost every aspect of state government was influenced significantly by oil and gas giant ChevronTexaco Corp., which managed to shape such key recommendations as the removal of restrictions on oil refineries.  Chevron has contributed more than $200,000 to his committees and $500,000 to the California Republican Party.  Full story

Christmas in August for Lawmakers

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Robert Salladay, 9/1/04

As California lawmakers were casting final votes on hundreds of bills in the just-ended legislative session, they raised more than $2 million from drug makers, car dealers and other interests with a stake in the legislative fights.  Following a long-standing tradition, at least 76 of the state's 120 lawmakers took campaign donations in August, most in chunks of $1,000 or more.  Full story

The Price of Power Politics

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 8/24/04

"The state Senate enters a new era today with the election of a leader... The problem is that the outcome rests on a sick system. Would-be leaders spend far too much time — and must make too many promises — in pursuit of enough campaign money to gain power..."  Full story

Casino Team Helped Governor's Coffers

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, 8/22/04

When it comes to San Pablo's new mega-casino, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apparently hit the jackpot.  Maloof Sports and Entertainment -- the management team hired to run the new, Costco-size San Pablo Casino for the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians -- hosted a party back in February that raised more than $1 million for Schwarzenegger's political coffers.  Full story

What He Knew and When He Knew It

San Francisco Chronicle, 8/22/04

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley physically took possession of campaign checks given to him by Julie Lee, the real estate agent under investigation for allegedly diverting taxpayer funds to his political account.  She is linked to $205,000 in questionable contributions, including a check from somebody who didn't even know they were contributing to a political campaign.  Full story

Our Cluttered Constitution

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 8/22/04

"What changes does California really need?... Adopt substantial public financing of legislative campaigns to free lawmakers from the influence of public employee unions, Indian tribes and business and industry groups..."  Full story

Back to Days of Wine and Payoffs

San Francisco Chronicle, by James Richardson, 8/22/04

"For decades, the source of the Legislature's systemic corruption has been the reliance on special interest money for election campaigns. Take that money out of campaigns by creating a system for public financing just as we have in presidential campaigns..."  Full story

Donations to Shelley Smell Like Budget Pork Gone Bad

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 8/19/04

"A recently disclosed episode involving legislative pork, a passive state parks department, a San Francisco political powerbroker and Secretary of State Kevin Shelley represents a classic case of waste, fraud and abuse...  Political fraud is an argument for public financing of campaigns."  Full story

'Fitness' Pay Adds to Prison Expense

San Jose Mercury News, by Mark Gladstone, 8/19/04

Last year, prison guards received ``fitness pay'' worth $33.2 million -- nearly a sevenfold increase from 1999 -- even though they're no longer required to even take a physical fitness test, much less pass one.  Full story

End of Session Frenzy in Capitol

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 8/18/04

Over three days this week, at least 50 campaign fundraising events have been scheduled near the Capitol.  Campaign finance experts said the rush to raise money at the most critical moment for hundreds of pieces of legislation has become a Capitol tradition that they say is blatant and questionable.   Full story

Senator Blasts 'Spineless' Assembly for Killing Prison Probe Bill

San Jose Mercury News, by Associated Press, 8/18/04

Using unusually critical language, a state senator lashed out at the Assembly on Wednesday for rejecting a bill designed to aid prison officials when they investigate guards for alleged criminal activity.  Senator Gloria Romero accused 49 lawmakers of caving in to pressure from the guards' powerful union.   Full story

Special Interests or 29% Interest?

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 8/15/04

"Schwarzenegger keeps railing against special-interest politics, so I have to assume there is no connection between the administration's opposition to the car buyer's bill of rights and the fact that Team Schwarzenegger has pocketed roughly $1 million in donations from the auto industry..."  Full story

FBI Probes Donations to Shelley Campaign

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, Vanessa Hua, Todd Wallack, 8/12/04

The FBI said Monday it is investigating transactions in which more than $100,000 in taxpayer funds appear to have been diverted from a state grant awarded to a San Francisco nonprofit organization to the 2002 campaign fund of Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.   Full story

I Coulda Been a Reformer!

Sacramento News & Review, by Jeff Kearns, 8/12/04

Political reform was the central platform in Gov. Schwarzenegger’s campaign, and it’s hardly a stretch to say that it’s the reason he’s in office today.  Yet Schwarzenegger has raised more than $29.9 million since he announced his candidacy for governor one year ago, raising an average of $2.5 million a month, compared to $1.6 million a month for Gov. Gray David.  Full story

Two in Race for Assembly Disagree on Fundraising

San Jose Mercury News, by Dan Stober, 8/6/04

The rich Republican businessman from Los Gatos is largely funding his own campaign, while the Democratic city councilman from Redwood City is getting lots of financial help from unions, the Democratic Party and political action committees.  Businessman Steve Poizner says he may spend well over $1 million.   Full story

Governor Is Piling Up Money at Record Pace

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 8/4/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is tapping the investment, insurance, real estate, manufacturing and construction industries as he continues to raise money at a faster clip than any California politician before him, campaign finance reports show.  Since the beginning of 2004, the Republican governor has collected at least $12.9 million from an array of interests.  Full story

Democrats Lead State GOP in Race for Funding

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Gabrielle Banks, 8/3/04

California's Democratic Party has more than twice as much cash in the bank as the state GOP, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fundraising prowess is helping the Republicans narrow the gap, contribution reports for the first half of the year show.  Full story

Businesses Had Say in Report on State Overhaul

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 7/31/04

Some of California's most influential business interests — including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and EDS — were given easy access to a state commission as it met privately to recommend sweeping government changes, according to disclosure reports and interviews.  Some of the companies are political supporters of the governor.  Full story

Lower House Passes State Budget

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper and Robert Salladay, 7/29/04

The California Assembly approved a $105.3-billion state budget Wednesday, reluctantly accepting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's spending plan even though it would borrow billions to balance the books.  Republican staff analysts warn it relies upon "upon massive borrowing, gimmicks and deferrals."  Public schools give up $2 billion.  Full story

Judge's Last-Chance Demand

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 7/23/04

"State politicians have in the last decade capitulated to nearly everything the politically powerful prison guards union has demanded... The union also funds politicians it likes and mounts costly campaigns against those it doesn't..."  Full story

Governor's Fund-Raising Reform Effort Called Disingenuous

Contra Costa Times, by Ann E. Marimow, 7/18/04

SACRAMENTO - After campaigning to ban fund raising during the budget writing season, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger headlined a Beverly Hills fund-raiser Thursday just hours after vowing to stay and fight to end the two-week-old stalemate over a new spending plan.   Full story

Clean Money for California

San Francisco Chronicle, by Marc Spitzer, 7/16/04

"Arizona has something that California should adopt: clean money/clean election public financing of campaigns...  As Arizona corporation commissioner, I was the first to earn statewide office under Arizona's Clean Elections Law... California should import this Arizona tonic..."  Full story

How to Pass a Budget, Arizona-Style

San Jose Mercury News, by Susan Lerner, 7/16/04

"Our Legislature is deadlocked, the political parties are polarized, state and local government officials are at each others' throats, and the deadline is being disregarded...  It doesn't have to be this way. Clean Money, the publicly financed elections model currently working in Arizona, points to a way out of gridlock..."  Full story

New Limits on Initiative Campaigns

Los Angeles Times, by Gabrielle Banks, 6/26/04

Clamping down on one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's most effective political tools, the state's political watchdog agency approved new limits Friday on contributions to ballot-measure committees.  Now donors cannot write larger checks to ballot-initiative campaigns controlled by a candidate or officeholder than they could write to that politician's own election campaign committee.   Full story

Costly Battle Over Casinos Looms

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 6/19/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing to raise as much as $20 million for an aggressive campaign to defeat two gambling initiatives on the November ballot.  As Schwarzenegger girds for the fight, his policy of not accepting campaign donations from Indian tribes could be reconsidered.
  Full story

GOP Groups Fined in Donations Case

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 6/2/04

Three Republican organizations have agreed to pay $30,000 for helping to funnel nearly $1 million in insurance money to Republican legislative candidates in 2002.  If 21st Century had made the contributions one business day earlier, it would have been required to publicly disclose the gifts before the November election.   Full story

Cuts at FPPC May Halt Probes

Los Angeles Times, by Evan Halper, 5/30/04

The state agency that polices the flow of money into California political campaigns has been targeted for deep cuts by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, even as the agency is looking into the governors' own use of campaign funds.  Full story

Governor Converts Celebrity Into Cash

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 5/24/04

In rural California towns and far-flung suburbs, where brushes with Hollywood mostly occur at the multiplex, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is converting his celebrity into a different kind of currency: astonishing sums of political donations for Republican legislative candidates.   Full story

Union Keeps Tight Rein on Prisons

Los Angeles Times, by Tim Reiterman,, 5/24/04

California's prison guards are on the defensive in the Capitol, but they maintain a secure grip inside the state's 32 lockups, from Crescent City to San Diego.  The union gives millions in campaign dollars to lawmakers, some of whom confirm warden appointments made by the governor.  Eased sick leave rules have cost the state as much as $101 million last year.  Full story

Drug Firms Say, 'No, Canada'

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay and Jordan Rau, 5/23/04

Drug companies have made contributions to Gov. Schwarzenegger and influential lawmakers and dramatically increased their spending on lobbying to kill legislation that would ease the way for drug imports to Canada.  They've also aggressively courted Latino and other grassroots health groups by giving them money if they support the companies positions.   Full story

Trying to Cut Capitol Clamor

Los Angeles Times, by Robert Salladay, 5/3/04

Amid complaints from Assembly members about lobbyists' aggressive behavior, including arm-grabbing and veiled threats of political retaliation if votes don't go a certain way, the chief sergeant-at-arms has begun enforcing the ban against lobbyists standing near the elevators.  Full story

California Public Funding Passes 1st Hurdle

Ballot Access News, by Richard Winger, 5/1/04

"Unlike the other states with such "Clean Elections" public financing, the California bill abandons the principle of neutrality... AB 2949, if it had been in existence in the past, would have lead to these absurd results..."   Full story

Players May Have Changed But Money Game Goes On

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 4/22/04

The Clean Money bill "would cost the taxpayers $80 million a year. That'd be a sound investment. Either the public buys the politicians or the special interests will..."  Full story

Committee OKs Campaign Bill

Los Angeles Times, by Jenifer Warren, 4/21/04

Backers of a bill to provide public financing of election campaigns scored a rare victory Tuesday when the controversial legislation passed its first test before an Assembly committee.  Passage of the bill on a 4-2 vote marked the first time in more than two decades that a proposal for full public financing of elections had advanced in the Legislature.   Full story

Toward Cleaner Elections

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 4/20/04

"Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, has proposed a system of public financing modeled after Maine and Arizona... The most promising development out of the Maine and Arizona experience is that candidates are spending their time talking with voters instead of raising money. That, in itself, is a compelling reason for the Assembly to keep working on AB2949."  Full story

Balancing Money in Politics

Los Angeles Times, by Richard L. Hasen, 4/19/04

"Most Americans today accept the one person, one vote ideal, and, consistent with that ideal, it is simply wrong that economic power should be so easily translated into political power. Wealth should not determine one's ability to run for office, nor should it affect the outcome of close election campaigns..."   Full story

Legislature Expected to Pass Compromise Package on Workers' Comp

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 4/16/04

One special-interest group appears to have emerged from the most recent round of workers' compensation reform efforts without giving up much at all: the insurance industry.  "The fact the governor received those donations from the insurance companies is a red flag," said Susan Lerner, the executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign.  Full story

Governor Takes Funds From Workers' Comp Insurer

Contra Costa Times, by Dion Nissenbaum, 4/9/04

Despite pledging to reject money from insurance companies while negotiating a workers' compensation reform plan, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has cashed a six-figure industry donation to fund his back-up ballot measure.  Full story

Schwarzenegger's Donors Test His Image as Ethical Outsider

Contra Costa Times, by Dion Nissenbaum, 4/5/04

Gov. Schwarzenegger says he is a new breed of politician, a person who rejects money from special interest groups and won't let powerful lobbyists run roughshod over Sacramento.  Despite that pledge, the Republican governor has collected millions of dollars from friends, allies and companies with some of the biggest political interests in California.  Full story

Six-Figure Contributors to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Contra Costa Times, by Times Sacramento Bureau, 4/5/04

Donors of at least $100,000 to the governor's five top political committees from when he started his run for governor in August 2003 to March 15, 2004.  Chart also shows amount firms reported spending in 2003 on lobbying in Sacramento.   Full story

Clean Money Politics

San Mateo County Times, by Trent Lange, 3/30/04

"... what California's financial crisis shows is that continuing to have large private and corporate donors pay for politicians' campaigns is absurd. Wasteful appropriations and giveaways to large corporate and special interest contributors are a large part of the reason our budget is in crisis in the first place..."  Full story

Bay Area Legislators Float 'Clean Money' Ballot Plan

Oakland Tribune, by Steve Geissinger, 3/24/04

Bay Area lawmakers and good-government groups launched a bid Tuesday to pass a ballot measure aimed at cleaning up the runaway political money chase with a proven system that taps taxpayer funds for campaigns.  The "Clean Money and Elections" proposal is authored by Democratic Assemblywoman Loni Hancock of Berkeley and is based upon the California Clean Money Campaigns proposal.  Full story

Bill Would Create Public Financing For California Elections

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Sanders, 3/24/04

In the wake of two of the most costly gubernatorial elections in California history, legislation was unveiled Tuesday to provide public financing for state elections.  Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, the Berkeley Democrat who proposed the measure, AB 2949, hailed it as a way for public officials to spend "less time dialing for dollars" and more time solving problems.  Full story

A Clean Money Convert

Ventura County Star, by Timm Herdt, 3/24/04

"To read Marc Spitzer's biography, you wouldn't peg him as an advocate for public financing of political campaigns... But Spitzer is a convert. 'The world didn't end with public financing in Arizona,' he said Tuesday. 'In fact, it got much, much better.'..."   Full story

Groups Push For Campaign Funds Reform

KCRA-TV, by The KCRA Channel, 3/23/04

Mark Spitzer of the Arizona Corporations Commission is a reformed man. He used to raise campaign cash like any other politician, but he says he now believes in having the state treasury foot the bill.  Spitzer, a former Arizona state senator, traveled to Sacramento Tuesday to tout the benefits of so-called "clean money" reforms adopted in his state four years ago.
  Full story

Schwarzenegger Names Donors, Supporters To Calif Jobs Panel

San Francisco Chronicle, by Michael R. Blood, 3/11/04

Gov. Schwarzenegger said Thursday he will turn to a privately funded commission studded with corporate chief executives and political supporters to advise him.  Major donors dominate the commission, which critics say could create possible conflicts of interest.  Full story

Get Behind Clean-Money Law

San Jose Mercury News, by Eric Pawlowsky, 3/10/04

"Clean elections are not a panacea, but they are a much better system than the one currently in place..."   Full story

Speier: Negotiator Was Pressured

San Jose Mercury News, by Mark Gladstone, 3/10/04

State Sen. Jackie Speier says that ``any time'' the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) ``says they don't want to work with someone, there's going to be a change in the negotiator.''  The union was a major campaign donor to former Gov. Gray Davis.   Full story

The Unstoppable Flow of Dollars

San Jose Mercury News, by Phil Yost, 3/7/04

"... even in a public-financing system, independent expenditures could not be prevented. The California Clean Money Campaign proposal, for instance, would only blunt them by matching an independent expenditure with additional public funding for the other candidates..."  Full story

Fund-Raising Reform

Los Angeles Daily News, by Terry Stone, 3/7/04

"There is now a bill working its way through the state Senate that is the most exciting clean-money legislation to come down the pike in many a year..."   Full story

Schwarzenegger Flexes His Fund-Raising Muscles

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, 3/7/04

If there's one thing this election proved, it's that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can definitely do some heavy lifting -- especially when it comes to raising money.  Since his election in October, rookie Schwarzenegger has raked in $14 million in campaign contributions -- more than twice as much as his predecessor, the ever-prolific fund-raiser Gray Davis, scooped up in his first months in office.   Full story

Guards' Raises Could Be Higher Than Expected

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 3/4/04

Newly released records show that pay raises for prison guards could soar beyond the highest previous estimate of 37%, to a total cost of $2 billion over its five-year life.  The prison officers union ultimately contributed more than $1 million to Davis' reelection effort in 2002, after having spent more than $2 million to help elect him in 1998.  Full story

Former Davis Aide Faces Charges in Oracle Probe

Los Angeles Times, by Carl Ingram, 3/3/04

A mid-level assistant to former Gov. Gray Davis was charged Tuesday with falsifying evidence in a nearly two-year investigation into a state $95-million no-bid software contract with Oracle Corp.  An Oracle lobbyist hand-delivered a $25,000 check for the governor's reelection campaign days after the contract was signed.  Full story

Cash Committees Target Primaries

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Nancy Vogel, 2/25/04

Heading into Tuesday's primary, interest groups have spent at least $5.25 million on independent efforts to help — and hurt — candidates this year, campaign finance reports show. Some independent committees are outspending the candidates they back.   Full story

Fundraiser 'Unfortunate,' Governor's Aides Concede

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas, 2/18/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office is conceding that it was "probably unfortunate" for aides to have sought donations of up to half a million dollars at a lucrative fundraising dinner in New York.  Since the beginning of the year, Schwarzenegger has netted $5.2 million — a pace outstripping that of former Gov. Gray Davis.  Full story

Governor Floats Curbs On Campaigns

Contra Costa Times, by Ann E. Marimow, 2/18/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made "cleaning up" Sacramento the hallmark of his election bid, will introduce campaign finance legislation this week that would prohibit both lawmakers and the governor from fund raising during state budget deliberations. The legislation would make it a felony to intentionally skirt campaign finance law.  Full story

Governor Is Raising Funds Faster Than Davis

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 2/15/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is collecting money to promote his March 2 ballot measures at a clip of $121,313 a day — far outpacing Gray Davis at the height of the former governor\'s fundraising.   Full story

Clean Up System

Contra Costa Times, by Joe Ely, 2/11/04

"We will continue to hear and read about these kinds of sleazy operations as long as we have a campaign financing system that ignores the interests of ordinary voters in favor of wealthy and powerful entities..."   Full story

Union Knows All About Crime, but Nothing About Punishment

Los Angeles Times, by Patt Morrison, 2/10/04

"The prison guards' union has managed to make old-line union bosses of the Hoffa mold look wimpy and ham-fisted... Politicians who support the union get rewarded, like Gray Davis, the notorious beneficiary of millions in campaign money... The federal report on the deplorable state of California's prisons was 'the most damning public document I think I've ever read'..."  Full story

Donations Show Junction of Coastal Politics, Wesson-Tied Fund

San Francisco Chronicle, by Jim Wasserman, 2/9/04

A division of Lusk Development won Coastal Commission go-ahead to build on a 250-acre property overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Orange County that had been rejected 10 times before.  The developer then helped raise $72,000 for a political committee with close ties to Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson, who's legally charged with appointing one-third of the Coastal Commission.   Full story

Campaign Spending Limits Hot Issue In Senate Race

San Jose Mercury News, by Dan Stober, 2/9/04

Former Peninsula Assemblyman Ted Lempert has made campaign spending limits a cornerstone of his drive for the state Senate.  But that pledge hasn't stopped doctors, dentists and police officers from spending $48,000 in ``independent expenditures'' for outdoor advertising, slate mailers and campaign paraphernalia in support of Lempert.  Full story

Group Questions Governor's Event

San Jose Mercury News, by Dion Nissenbaum, 2/7/04

A consumer group Friday called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to cancel a New York fundraiser where he is asking donors to contribute a half-million dollars to his main political fund.  Critics also worry that it poses a conflict of interest because it is hosted by a pharmaceutical heir, and California is owed more than $1 billion in rebates from drug companies.  Full story

Brother, Can You Spare $500,000?

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 2/6/04

"I've never heard of a $500,000 political donation, and I have to see it in person. It's an astronomical sum, obviously, but that's only half the fun. It's being requested by the very guy who promised he would strap explosives to politics as usual and take a sledgehammer to special-interest fundraising..."  Full story

Tickets to Schwarzenegger Fundraiser in New York Will Cost Up to $500,000

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 2/5/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking his fundraising machine to Manhattan for a dinner with a top price tag of $500,000 a plate.  The event is to help pay for the governor's campaign promoting two measures on the March 2 ballot.  Jim Knox, director of California Common Cause, called the $500,000 solicitation "staggering."
  Full story

Governor Files Finance Papers

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 2/4/04

Arnold Schwarzenegger raised $26.5 million in campaign contributions  for his successful run to become governor last year, according to campaign  finance documents filed with the Secretary of State on Monday.   Full story

Recall Campaigners Spend $88 Million, Despite Limits

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 2/4/04

Candidates and their contributors in last year's recall contest spent nearly $88 million, even though it was the first statewide race in which donation limits applied.  Drawing on donors ranging from developers, car dealers and venture capitalists to friends in the entertainment industry, Schwarzenegger spent $26.6 million, including his own money.  Full story

Big-Ticket Event For Bond Plan

Sacramento Bee, by Margaret Talev, 2/4/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear at a New York City fund-raiser this month asking political heavy hitters in the nation's banking and finance capital to donate as much as a whopping $500,000 each to his campaign to sell Californians on a $15 billion bond proposal.  Watchdogs reacted with a mix of suspicion and outrage, saying loopholes in "pay-to-play" law allow conflicts of interest.   Full story

Schwarzenegger Mixes Loans With Special Interest Money

San Francisco Chronicle, by Tom Chorneau, 1/31/04

Although he said he could pay for his own race and not take money from special interests, records show Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a pattern of relying on bank loans and other credit, which some critics say disguises hundreds of thousands of dollars of special-interest donations.   Full story

Governor's Campaign Donors Now Fuel March Measures

San Jose Mercury News, by Ann E. Marimow and Dion Nissenbaum, 1/30/04

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wages a crucial monthlong campaign to sell voters on a $15 billion bond and spending limit, he has raised more than $1.25 million this month from many of the same businesses and individuals who helped him unseat former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, according to campaign-finance records released Thursday.  Full story

Lobbyists Get the Red Light

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 1/28/04

"Political lobbying and campaign managing are legitimate professional pursuits. Not, however, at the same time. The state Assembly on Monday started patching a loophole by passing measures designed to absolutely separate the two roles..."  Full story

Judge Slams Political Monitor

San Jose Mercury News, by Barry Witt, 1/28/04

For the second time in just four months, a Sacramento judge this week labeled as an ``absurdity'' the way California's campaign watchdogs have interpreted state law, finding in both cases that the Fair Political Practices Commission wrongly opened loopholes allowing candidates to avoid limits on political fundraising.   Full story

Governor Still Has Promises to Keep

Los Angeles Times, by Joe Mathews, Peter Nicholas and Evan Halper, 1/27/04

Gov. Schwarzenegger made enough promises during his campaign to fill 24 single-spaced pages on his website.  Schwarzenegger first pledged not to take campaign donations. He later said he would raise money but not from "special interests." He defined those as Indian casinos, public employee unions and single-issue trade associations that might negotiate with the state.  He  has collected $5 million since he was elected.
  Full story

Gov.'s Loan for Recall Ruled Illegal

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 1/27/04

A Superior Court judge ruled Monday that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger violated state election law by using a $4.5-million bank loan to help finance his campaign in last fall's recall race.  Jamie Court of the Foundations for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica said: "He ran to clean up Sacramento and did it basically by violating campaign finance."  Full story

Sandy Elster, 86; Retired Businessman Was Civic Activist

Los Angeles Times, by Elaine Woo, 1/26/04

Sandy Elster, a retired executive and longtime activist whose efforts bolstered campaigns for such causes as clean air, campaign finance reform and human rights, died of pulmonary fibrosis Tuesday at his Venice home.  He recently immersed himself as a founder of the California Clean Money Campaign, a nonprofit organization that supports the concept of publicly financed political campaigns.   Full story

Promises To Fix State Prisons Have Been Heard Before

San Francisco Chronicle, by Pamela J. Podger, 1/24/04

Over the years, a powerful state prison guard union has blunted the impacts of those promised reforms of a prison world enshrouded in fear and a pervasive code of silence, spreading influence along with more than $5 million in political contributions to former Govs. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis and to key lawmakers.   Full story

Key Schwarzenegger Aide touts Access, Hires Lobbyist

San Jose Mercury News, by Dion Nissenbaum, 1/23/04

The political strategist who helped Arnold Schwarzenegger win last fall's governor's race by positioning the actor as an incorruptible outsider is now capitalizing on his own insider access.  His firm's website boasted that it can provide ``access to the highest-level decision makers'' in Sacramento.   Full story

Surcharge Not Too Taxing for Wealthy

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 1/21/04

"'The richest 1% are taxed more lightly than the middle class' when you add up all their tax and investment advantages... No mystery there. Money, in the form of campaign donations, buys access. And access has meant that corporations and the wealthiest Americans have umpteen ways to shrink taxable income...."
  Full story

3 Top Ballot Races Drawing Big Money

Los Angeles Times, by Hugo Martín, 1/21/04

There will be hard-fought primary campaigns to replace two state assemblymen and a county supervisor who resigned under a cloud of scandal in San Bernardino County.  Campaign finance statements filed last week show that several candidates already have amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds   Full story

Governor's Pledge Could Collide With Prison Union's Power

Sacramento Bee, by Dan Walters, 1/21/04

"The [prison guard's union] spent a million dollars to help Republican Pete Wilson win the governorship in 1990 and another $2 million to support Democrat Gray Davis' campaign in 1998, plus many millions more on legislative campaigns. CCPOA and its members prospered, with ever-fatter contracts and retirement benefits -- but the union's influence extended beyond such bread-and-butter matters to include, it's now evident, influence over the department's management..."  Full story

Industry Opposes Fuel Goal

Los Angeles Times, by Elizabeth Douglass, 1/19/04

An oil industry group is urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reject a state agency's recommendation to cut gasoline and diesel use 15% by 2020.  A top Schwarzenegger staffer is a former oil company lobbyist and that ChevronTexaco Corp. donated $500,000 to the state Republican party after the governor's election.  Full story

Potent Prison Guards Union Facing Challenges to Status Quo

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 1/18/04

Prison guard union negotiators have gained lucrative pay and benefit packages after giving Gov. Gray Davis $3.4 million.  Gov. Schwarzenegger doesn't accept union contributions, but the California Republican Party received a pledge from them for $250,000.  "There is a very definite sense that if you cross them, you may pay a price," said campaign consultant Darry Sragow.   Full story

Bustamante Accused of Violations

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 1/8/04

California's political watchdog agency sued Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante Wednesday, seeking up to $9 million in penalties for alleged violations of campaign fundraising laws in his unsuccessful run for governor this fall.  Full story

Governor's Fund-Faising Gambit Draws Ire

San Francisco Chronicle, by Lynda Gledhill, 1/3/04

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has established two new fund-raising committees, including one that is not subject to any campaign finance restrictions.  The just-created California Recovery Team committee already has taken in nearly $200,000, mostly in large contributions that exceed the $21,200 limit on contributions to a governor.   Full story

Governor Will Raise More Funds

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 1/1/04

Gov. Schwarzenegger, who denounced political fundraising while running for office, is opening two new campaign accounts that together establish a year-round political operation and allow him to raise unlimited money.  Schwarzenegger has raised more than $2.8 million in political funds since he was elected and more than $25 million since announcing his candidacy for governor in August.  Full story

The Reform That Makes All Other Reforms Possible

Sonoma West Times & News, by Gail Jonas, 12/31/03

"Voluntary public funding of candidates is commonly described as the "reform that makes all other reforms possible..."  In California, CCMC is currently working to educate the public about how voluntary public funding works. As a trained speaker for CCMC, I am making myself available to speak locally."   Full story

Shades Of Gray in No-Limits Contribution

ArnoldWatch.org, by Jamie Court and Doug Heller, 12/29/03

Arnold has accepted an above-the-limits contribution from a company that is the capitol's foremost practitioner of pay-to-play: Mercury Insurance. Although the recall campaign ended on October 7th, Mercury contributed $38,800 on December 17th to "Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall Committee, Vote Yes To Recall Gray Davis."   Full story

Fundraising Loophole Aids Burton

San Jose Mercury News, by Barry Witt, 12/28/03

When a state judge found Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante's attempt to use a campaign fundraising loophole to be illegal, it all but ended Bustamante's hopes in the recall election.  Despite that ruling, state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton continues to use the same practice to raise money far in excess of voter-approved contribution limits.  Full story

Campaign Reforms Pushed

Stockton Record, by Will Shuck, 12/21/03

Assemblyman Mark Leno has offered a package of campaign finance changes that would remove fundraising limits on candidates when they face wealthy opponents.  Jim Knox of California Common Cause says that raising limits could make things worse, not better.  "We think the more important thing to do is ... replace it with genuine campaign reform, which would be public financing."  Full story

A Skybox Reality -- No Cash, No Arnold

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 12/19/03

"It was a stakeout, and Pat Parker, an eagle-eyed grandmother from Orange, missed nothing...
Sooner or later, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would come by, trolling the skyboxes for cash. The Parkers didn't have the required $10,000 minimum donation, but they had a story, and they were determined to ambush the governor and tell it to him...  Fat chance, I thought..."  Full story

Massive Farm Owned by L.A. Man Uses Water Bank Conceived for State Needs

Los Angeles Times, by Mark Arax,, 12/19/03

The Kern Water bank is billionaire Los Angeles businessman Stewart Resnick.  Critics say Resnick's control of the water bank is a glaring example of the perversion of water marketing — how a handful of California's most powerful and wealthy men continue to grab the state's most precious natural resource.  Resnick gave over $350,000 to the Gray Davis Committee and anti-recall groups between 2000 and 2003.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Taps Insiders at Fundraiser

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 12/18/03

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who campaigned on a promise that he would not solicit special interest money, turned to Capitol insiders for donations Wednesday.  Donors paid up to $21,200 to attend the event.  Money from Wednesday's event will add to the $2.24 million Schwarzenegger has raised since ousting Gov. Gray Davis in the Oct. 7 recall election.  Full story

Schwarzenegger, Leno to Unveil Campaign Finance Reforms

San Francisco Chronicle, by Mark Martin, 12/17/03

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno will launch separate efforts to rewrite state campaign finance laws next year, with Leno proposing restrictions on millionaire candidates and the governor pushing to ban fund-raising for several months every year.  Campaign finance reform advocates are unimpressed with either measure.  Full story

Gov. Cancels Events Before Activists Can Crash Them

Los Angeles Times, by Patrick McGreevy, 12/15/03

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is catching flak from taxpayer activists for his efforts to retire his $4-million campaign debt. Schwarzenegger decided twice to postpone political fundraisers in Sacramento in the last two weeks after activists threatened to crash the events, with television cameras in tow.  Full story

Donations Pick Up for State GOP

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 12/5/03

The California Republican Party is raising millions of dollars by tapping disaffected Democratic givers and donors that Governor Schwarzenegger has shunned.  That includes a $50,000 pledge from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a $125,000 pledge from Philip Morris, and $250,000 from the state prison guard's union.  Full story

Governor Moves Money to Repay Campaign Debt

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 12/5/03

Gov. Schwarzenegger has transferred $1 million from his pro-recall ballot committee with no contribution limits to his gubernatorial candidate committee, which is subject to donation limits.   $21,200 contributions buy a private dinner with the Governor.   Full story

Prison Firm Donates to Governor

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 11/26/03

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who rejects donations from the state prison guards union, accepted $53,000 last week from a corporation that operates private prisons and has clashed with the union over private lockups.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Raising Fast Funds -- And Critics' Ire

Sacramento Bee, by Gary Delsohn, 11/24/03

Schwarzenegger already has raised more than $1 million since his election last month, including $100,000 from a company that is the leading underwriter of workers' compensation insurance.  Jim Knox, executive director of California Common Cause, said Schwarzenegger was "even worse (than Davis) because he promised that he was going to be different."  He raised $12 million in contributions and an additional $4.5 million in bank loans.  Full story

The Governor's Wayward Broom

Los Angeles Times, by Jamie Court, 11/23/03

"Arnold Schwarzenegger's first act in office may have been to cut the car tax, but his second was to put on the chopping block hundreds of pending public safety regulations that were reviled by special-interest groups.... the governor who was going to oust special interests has managed [...] to give them the keys to government..."   Full story

Dollars Are Still Pouring in to Governor

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 11/19/03

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has raised nearly $1.3 million in  campaign contributions since he was elected Oct. 7, including a $100,000  contribution from a company with a huge stake in the outcome of his effort to  reform worker's compensation.   Full story

Governor Raises $1 Million Since Election

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 11/18/03

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has raised more than $1 million since his election last month, including at least $360,000 from car dealers, developers, telecommunications firms and others who paid for Monday's swearing-in events.  Full story

Public Office: No Place for a 'For Sale' Sign

Los Angeles Times, by Jim Davy, 11/16/03

"Public financing seems to be the only effective way to counteract special-interest domination of election campaigns... Thus, many of us join you and the Clean Money Campaign in urging the state to yank the for-sale signs in California — both regionally and locally."  Full story

Legislators Sign Up for Maui Meeting

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 11/13/03

At least 20 lawmakers have signed up to spend three days in Maui attending a conference sponsored by the state prison guards union just one week after they are expected to convene in special session to deal with budget and workers' compensation issues.   Full story

Dean Will Forgo Public Financing

Los Angeles Times, by James Saxon, 11/11/03

"The letter Dean sent to his supporters asking them to vote on whether to stay in the matching funds program or opt out presents a signed pledge to strongly reform the federal system and fight the influence of special-interest money as one of his top urgent priorities.... If voters are to ever believe him, he must start now and agree to limit his spending voluntarily..."   Full story

Ex-Officials Now Behind New Voting Machines

Los Angeles Times, by Tim Reiterman and Peter Nicholas, 11/10/03

Many former elected officials are now working for the election machine companies they regulated and who helped pay for Proposition 41, which provides $200 million to upgrade election systems.  Kim Alexander, president of the nonprofit California Voter Foundation, said, "The regulators and the regulated are so closely intertwined that the regulators go almost exclusively to [the vendors] for information and answers to questions."  Full story

Seize the Political Moment

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 11/9/03

"All the energy and interest in the political system generated by the recall campaign against Gov. Gray Davis will be wasted if Sacramento slips back into deadlock and polarized politics-as-usual.... The pieces of reform must work in concert....  The state should consider public campaign financing to return power to voters without opening new loopholes."  Full story

Schwarzenegger Woos the Special Interests

Los Angeles Times, by Nick Gleiter, 11/7/03

"If the independently wealthy, well-funded and famous Schwarzenegger has to borrow millions to run for governor, what chance does an ordinary, idealistic candidate have? Some call it fund-raising, but I call it bribery on layaway..."   Full story

A Good Start, but ...

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 11/6/03

"...the governor-elect stumbled on another major campaign promise: to drive special interests from Sacramento. When he announced his candidacy, Schwarzenegger said his administration would not play the special-interest game in which the money flowed in and the favors flowed out. But the Schwarzenegger administration is up to its neck in the special-interest game even before taking office."   Full story

Paying Off His Campaign Debt

San Francisco Chronicle, by Greg Lucas, Christian Berthelsen, 11/6/03

Just two weeks after he will be inaugurated as governor, Arnold  Schwarzenegger plans to launch an aggressive drive to raise money from big- money contributors to repay as much as $7 million in campaign debts, according  to people familiar with his plans.  To retire $7 million in debt, Schwarzenegger would need 330 donors to  give him the $21,200 maximum.   Full story

Senate Privacy Bill OK'd

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Toby Eckert, 11/6/03

A key part of California's landmark financial privacy law appeared headed for the dustbin after the Senate approved legislation yesterday that would override the state safeguard.  The bill would pre-empt provisions in the state's law that allow consumers to prevent banks and other financial services companies from sharing information about them with affiliated businesses.   Full story

So This Is the Change You Vowed, Arnold?

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 11/5/03

"Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't even taken office yet, but I already feel left out...  What's that, you say? A fund-raiser for the guy who promised the end of pay-to-play politics? Yes, indeed, and just two weeks after Big Boy takes office... Passing the hat Dec. 3 seems like a curious way to begin... 'This is right out of Gray Davis' playbook," said Jim Knox of Common Cause'..."  Full story

Gov.-Elect Faces Special-Interest Snag

Contra Costa Times, by Jim Wasserman, 11/5/03

Blocked by the state Coastal Commission from building an oceanfront golf course in Santa Barbara County, a Newport Beach development firm that was a major contributor to Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for governor now wants the state to help bail out its troubled investment.   Full story

Outshout the Drug Lobby

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 11/3/03

"Congress and the Bush administration, far from moving to contain costs, are focusing all their health-care attention on a reform [with] definite profits for drug companies, whose team of lobbyists in Washington (more than 600) exceeds the number of legislators in Congress..."  Full story

Donations Are Bribes

Los Angeles Times, by Joyce Blaskovich, 10/31/03

"It's time we stopped euphemizing the millions of dollars that are given to influence lawmakers. Whether it's in the form of gifts, donations to campaigns or jobs when leaving office, all of these are bribes to get legislation passed..."   Full story

$544 Million Added to State Budget Gap

San Francisco Chronicle, by Greg Lucas, 10/31/03

California's budget mess will grow by $544 million because of cost  overruns in the state's prison system, $90 million of the problem stemming  from pay and benefit increases Gov. Gray Davis gave to state prison guards.   Full story

The Reform That Makes Other Reforms Possible

Los Angeles Times, by Jo Seidita, 10/31/03

"Imagine our elected officials spending all their time working on the state's business and being responsible to the voters who elected them, rather than spending up to 50% of their time courting dollars from special-interest lobbyists...."   Full story

Yank the 'For Sale' Sign

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 10/26/03

"Public financing remains the only sure way to reduce the legalized influence-peddling that rules the state today...  The new California governor will find plenty of good advice already formulated. Some of the best comes from the California Clean Money Campaign..."   Full story

Davis Names Aides to Plum Posts

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Gregg Jones, 10/24/03

Gov. Gray Davis is urging that the state Senate approve his appointments of a dozen close aides to plum paid jobs and scores of others to prestigious but unpaid slots on an array of boards and commissions.  Among the appointees to unpaid posts are several significant donors and people who played major roles in Davis' campaign fund-raising.   Full story

Privacy Fight -- Where's Arnold?

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 10/22/03

"California's two U.S. senators are engaged in a determined but uphill battle to save the state's new financial privacy law from federal pre-emption.... Why isn't Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, who campaigned as a champion of the people's interest over special interests, going to bat to preserve Californians' individual privacy rights?"  Full story

Feinstein Criticizes Financial Industry

San Francisco Chronicle, by Edward Epstein, 10/22/03

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, struggling to win a vote to save California's new landmark financial privacy law, accused the financial industry on Tuesday of acting in bad faith by agreeing to the new law in Sacramento -- then quickly trying to undo it in Congress.  Privacy advocates agreed with Feinstein's charge against the financial institutions, which have spent millions of dollars lobbying against the new state law in Congress.   Full story

Pull the Plug on This Chronically Sickening Health-Care System

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 10/19/03

"For the sake of my health, I've stopped opening mail from my health insurance company....  'an enormous amount of political power is generated' by all the usual suspects, who lobby to keep the current system in place because their profits are in the billions.... In other words, like a lot of problems in this country, the answer is campaign finance reform."  Full story

Interest Groups Played Key Recall Role

Contra Costa Times, by Don Thompson, 10/15/03

Despite candidates' pledges to shake up Sacramento's power structure, California's $80 million recall election was paid for largely by the same interest groups that have contributed the bulk of campaign contributions for years, records show.   Full story

Public Financing Is a Good Investment

San Jose Mercury News, by Tushar Gheewala, 10/14/03

"Political contributions to election campaigns are by far the best investments available today. Special interests including oil, electricity, pharmaceuticals, prison, trial lawyers and other industries have known about this for a long time, and they invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year in these 'legal bribes.'..."   Full story

Giving Millions To Back a Winner

Sacramento Bee, by Alexa H. Bluth, 10/12/03

In a span of 62 days, Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger raised questions as he collected millions of dollars in two campaign accounts from a variety of business interests that stand to gain from a Republican administration promising to improve California's corporate climate.  Full story

$80 million in contributions in 75-day Recall Campaign

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 10/11/03

Business groups, labor unions, Indian gaming tribes and other donors spent more than $80 million in the recall campaign, nearly as much as was spent during the entire 2002 gubernatorial general election.  The amount is all the more remarkable because it occurred during a truncated 75-day campaign.   Full story

Financially, the Recall Was Business as Usual

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Joel Rubin, 10/10/03

Relying on the same sources of cash that long have funded California campaigns, rivals in the recall fight — a battle portrayed as a revolt against politics as usual — raised $80 million.  Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger led the pack this time by bringing in $21.9 million. Davis raised nearly $17 million.  Schwarzenegger took contributions from real estate interests, farming and financial interests, insurers, manufacturers, and car dealers, all of which have lobbying presences in Sacramento.  Full story

Electorate in a State of Change

Los Angeles Times, by Mark Z. Barabak, 10/8/03

"An invasion of armies can be resisted, the saying goes, but not an idea whose time has come.  For millions of Californians who stomped to the polls Tuesday, the idea was change.... It was a slap at the status quo, at Sacramento, at business as usual, at the political and media establishments of California."  Full story

Short Campaign is Long on Money

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, 10/8/03

"For all the surprises in the recall roller-coaster, there was one very predictable element -- big money.  As of election day, some $82.5 million had been raised and spent by the various candidates and recall committees, according to the nonpartisan California Common Cause.  That comes to well over $1 million a day."  Full story

Loopholes Doom Donation Limits in Recall

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 10/4/03

In the first test of California's most restrictive political contribution limits to date, six- and seven-figure donations have continued to pour into campaign accounts, with the total approaching $70 million.  Candidates have been using a range of methods to get around the controls in Proposition 34.  Full story

Granny D vs. Arnold

Sacramento Bee, by Tracy Kearns, 10/4/03

"[Granny D]'s story of walking across the country in support of campaign finance reform makes Arnold Schwarzeneger look like Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live's "Pump Me Up" skits...."   Full story

Arnold's $4.5 Million Question

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 10/2/03

"Arnold Schwarzenegger, the candidate who started out proclaiming that his wealth made him independent of campaign contributors and special interests, has in two short months mastered the professional politician's fundraising handbook.  Schwarzenegger's latest move is the most worrisome -- his campaign is borrowing money."  Full story

Politicians Bought Here

Los Angeles Times, by Nick Seidita, 10/2/03

"Micah Sifry's plea for public funding of election campaigns hits the core threat to our democracy, to social justice and to humanity's survival of corporate domination and perpetual military and class warfare."   Full story

Calif. Tribes' Clout Carries Political Risk

Washington Post, by William Booth, 10/1/03

Indian money accounts for one of every six dollars of the $66 million contributed to candidates or spent by independent committees so far on the recall effort.  Some tribal leaders have openly worried that the Indians are in danger of a backlash from voters and politicians because of their growing revenue and political donations.  Full story

Loans Loophole Under Fire

Los Angeles Times, by Jeffrey L. Rabin, Dan Morain and Joel Rubin, 10/1/03

Nearly half the $9.5 million Arnold Schwarzenegger has poured into the recall race has been in the form of loans that his campaign staff says can be repaid by fund-raising after the election.  Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a Los Angeles organization that promotes campaign reform, criticized the candidate's arrangement.  Full story

Contributions Race

Los Angeles Times, by Times Staff Writers, 10/1/03

These contributions were reported by major candidates on Tuesday's ballot who have received at least $100,000 for their gubernatorial campaigns. Totals are for all donations through Sept. 20 and for contributions of $1,000 or more through Tuesday.   Full story

Developer and Environmental Scofflaw Gives Gig to Schwarzenegger

San Francisco Chronicle, by Tom Chorneau, 10/1/03

A Montana-based development firm with a history of environmental violations near Big Sky has donated $100,000 to the campaign of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has touted his support of environmental causes as he runs to replace Gov. Gray Davis.   Full story

With End Near, Recall Race Starts to Look Conventional

New York Times, by Dean E. Murphy, 9/30/03

The crazy California recall election enters its final week with the oddly familiar look of a more conventional horse race. The big candidates are raising bundles of money. The airwaves are congested with campaign commercials; some analysts predict that television advertising in the campaign's final stretch will easily top $15 million.  Full story

'Clean Money' Proposal

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Rice, 9/30/03

"Any candidate, any proposal, any nod in favor of jettisoning the venal character from our electoral system should be embraced.... Elections should be a contest of ideas, not bankrolls."   Full story

Huffington's Reform Initiative

Sacramento Bee, by Jim Higgins, 9/30/03

"I was glad to read that someone -- Arianna Huffington -- has finally proposed a solution to the obscene, undemocratic way of financing California's election campaigns.... A clean money system would remove the perception that elected officials are corrupt and produce officials more responsive to the voters..."  Full story

In Addition to Spark, Huffington Brings Attention to 'Legalized Bribery'

Los Angeles Times, by George Skelton, 9/29/03

"Viewers and party partisans may wince when [Arianna Huffington] accuses another candidate "legalized bribery" for accepting barrels of money from special interests, like Indian casinos. But that's the most honest, cut-the-baloney description of it.... But the rest of us can make a solid investment by buying the other candidates ourselves while making a more level playing field."   Full story

Bustamante Offers Surprise Backing For Huffington's Idea

Vallejo Times-Herald, by Associated Press, 9/29/03

At the candidates' forum in Sacramento, sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander American Political Association, Bustamante unexpectedly took the microphone and endorsed a public financing plan offered by independent candidate Arianna Huffington.  Full story

Tide Turns During Forum

Sacramento Bee, by Margaret Talev, 9/29/03

Hoping to neutralize concerns about his campaign support from tribal casinos, Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante is endorsing Arianna Huffington's Clean Money plan to diminish the influence of special interest groups by publicly financing campaigns.  Full story

Casinos Bet on Bustamante and McClintock

Los Angeles Times, by Eric Bailey and Jeffrey L. Rabin, 9/29/03

SACRAMENTO — In no time at all, they have established California's fastest growing industry and have become a powerful force in statehouse politics. Now the state's fabulously prosperous casino tribes are the major players in a historic campaign drama: the gubernatorial recall.   Full story

A 'Clean' Sweep for Elections

Los Angeles Times, by Micah L. Sifry, 9/28/03

"It's no surprise that the problem of money in politics has emerged as a key theme in the California recall... but the recall could be an opportunity for California to throw off the golden rule of politics: He who has the gold rules."   Full story

Judge Orders Bustamante to Cancel TV Ads

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 9/27/03

A state judge, rejecting Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante's claim that he cannot return political donations he accepted illegally, ordered him Friday to try to cancel television campaign advertising that was paid for with the money.  Bustamante accepted $3.8 million in donations from Indian tribes with gaming interests and labor groups beginning last month, in amounts that far exceeded the new legal limit of $21,200 per donor.   Full story

Davis Money Renews Concerns of Pay-to-Play in Sacramento

San Francisco Chronicle, by Tom Chorneau, 9/27/03

The mix of legislation and administrative duties facing Gov. Gray Davis over the next month at the same time as he is raising millions in special interest money for the recall has raised new concerns about an old charge -- that the those who pay for the governor's campaigns get priority to play when it comes to state business. A number examples of actions the governor has taken in favor of campaign contributors are provided, including actions for unions, Oracle, and Indian tribes.   Full story

Tribes Add Millions to McClintock, Bustamante

San Francisco Chronicle, by Zachary Coile, 9/27/03

Three Southern California Indian tribes plan to spend nearly $3 million on television ads in the recall campaign to support Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock -- a huge boost to two candidates who are struggling to match Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in television advertising.   Full story

Huffington Proposes Public Finance Initiative

San Francisco Chronicle, by Juliana Barbassa, 9/26/03

Gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington filed a ballot initiative Thursday to publicly finance elections. The measure would give candidates the choice of forsaking private donations for a pre-established pool of public money, similar to Clean Money laws on the books in Maine and Arizona during the past two election cycles.  Jim Clarke, Executive Director of CCMC, is quoted.   Full story

A Pitch to Limit Political Money

Sacramento Bee, by John Hill -- Bee Capitol Bureau, 9/26/03

Arianna Huffington, the writer and columnist running for governor in the Oct. 7 recall election, proposed strict limits on political contributions and public financing of campaigns Thursday. Huffington, who filed papers to launch a ballot initiative, called the current campaign "exhibit A in the abuse of the system by large contributors."  She sites similar successful Clean Money in Maine, Arizona, and Vermont.  Full story

Huffington Urges 'Clean Money' Law

Los Angeles Times, by Times Staff Reports, 9/26/03

Gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington launched another campaign Thursday, this time seeking to put a "clean money" ballot initiative before California voters that would enact public financing of political campaigns.  Full story

Schwarzenegger Leads Money Chase in California Recall

CNN.com, by Stan Wilson, 9/26/03

With less than two weeks left before voters go to the polls in California's unprecedented recall election, Republican front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger has pooled almost $5 million more than Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante -- his closest fund-raising competitors, the reports showed.   Full story

'The Main Problem Is the Role of Money in Politics'

LA Weekly, by LA Weekly, 9/26/03

"The main problem is the role of money in politics. A lot of candidates that you would describe as liberal are beholden to a lot of special interests in order to get elected. I’m seeing it now that I’m raising money. It’s very hard raising money from individuals. I mean, we have over 2,500 individual contributors now, which is twice as much as any other candidate has."  Full story

Recall Finds Loopholes In Campaign Finance Law

Washington Post, by Thomas B. Edsall, 9/25/03

The expensive but futile effort that Gov. Gray Davis made to block the "Rescue California" recall effort from getting enough signatures to force a vote on whether Davis should stay in office reflects the free-spending climate in a contest that has run roughshod over California's attempts to limit campaign spending.   Full story

No Thoroughbreds, Just a Bunch of Old Nags Running Recall Race

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 9/24/03

"Not only is [Bustamante] a shameless fund-raiser, with a soft spot for labor unions and Indian gaming, but he isn't shy about exploiting campaign finance loopholes, either....  And what can you say about Arnold? Aside from promising to raise no special-interest money and then raking in millions from same, aside from promising not to go negative and then hammering opponents..."  Full story

Return of Donations Ordered

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 9/23/03

A judge ruled Monday that Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante broke campaign laws by using about $4 million in six- and seven-figure donations to pay for an advertising blitz.  The judge ordered Bustamante to return the contributions. But, perhaps rendering the decision more political than practical, Bustamante's chief political consultant said all the money was gone.   Full story

Elections, Once Again, Are Auctions

Contra Costa Times, by Ranya Cohen, 9/23/03

"Something needs to be changed, and there is a simple answer to giving elections back to all Americans. It's called publicly financed campaigns, or "clean money" elections."   Full story

Letter to the editor

Sonoma Index-Tribune, by Dave Henderson, 9/23/03

"I would wager that most Sonomans are as embittered as I am at our state politicians’ dependence on special-interest money, their incessant fundraising, and the consequent lack of attention paid to the individual constituent, you and me.  But there is now a well-designed, realistic way to cure our state’s pathological political system...."   Full story

McClintock Fires Away at Schwarzenegger

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan and Mark Z. Barabak, 9/20/03

Republican Tom McClintock described rival Arnold Schwarzenegger as a "vacuum cleaner" for corporate campaign donations and accused the actor of breaking a vow to forgo special-interest money.  Schwarzenegger has responded to such criticism by saying that his donors — including developers and others with stakes in state business — are not special interests.   Full story

Tribes Have Become Players in Sacramento

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 9/20/03

Since 1998, Native American tribes have spent more than $120 million on California politics, the bulk of it on propositions to make gambling legal on Indian land.  In the recall campaign, five tribes have spent $6.6 million, making tribes the largest donors in the race.  Because of that, Native American tribes are among the most powerful forces in the Capitol.   Full story

Actor Vows to Work For Political Openness

San Jose Mercury News, by Dion Nissenbaum, 9/19/03

Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a political-reform plan that would bar the governor and lawmakers from raising money between January and the summer while the budget is being written.  Columnist  Arianna Huffington is vowing to lead a charge for public financing of campaigns by proposing a ballot measure to enact such laws. Bustamante and Green Party candidate Peter Camejo also support public financing.   Full story

Schwarzenegger Says He Would Target Redistricting, Fund-Raising For Reform

San Diego Union-Tribune, by Bill Ainsworth and John Marelius, 9/19/03

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan yesterday that aims to clean up government by banning fund raising during budget deliberations and taking redistricting away from the Legislature.  Jim Knox of California Common Cause Knox said Schwarzenegger "had some good ideas, but they don't go far enough" because the Republican rejects public financing of campaigns.   Full story

Fund-Raising Is Frenzied in Compressed Campaign

Los Angeles Times, by Fund-Raising Is Frenzied in Compressed Campaign, 9/13/03

Fund-raising has become a major issue for California voters. A Los Angeles Times Poll found this week that nearly eight in 10 likely voters who support the recall say Gov. Davis spends too much time raising money.   The top two candidates trying to replace him, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, have mingled with donors as often as three times a day, raising over $2.7 million in the last week.   Full story

Winemakers For and Against Recall Uncork Their Coffers

Los Angeles Times, by Rone Tempest, 9/12/03

Big players in the state's wine industry are actively opposing the recall of Gov. Gray Davis. Gallo, the nation's second-biggest winemaker, has pumped $100,000 into a committee dedicated to keeping Davis in office.  California wine industry has given a total of $297,000 to candidates and committees in the recall campaign.   Full story

Push For Campaign Financing

Sacramento Bee, by Gary Delsohn and Margaret Talev, 9/12/03

Arianna Huffington, a political commentator who says she's running for governor to reform Sacramento politics, said Thursday she'll file an initiative early next week for public financing of California campaigns.  "It will completely transform our politics because then you will be the only ones owning the politicians, not the special interests," Huffington told a crowd of more than 1,000 at Sacramento City College.   Full story

Actor Bulks Up On Political Donations

San Jose Mercury News, by Barry Witt, 9/11/03

Arnold Schwarzenegger launched his bid for governor Aug. 6 by declaring "I don't need to take money from anybody".  But whether he needs the money or not, the Republican actor has pocketed more than $4 million in campaign contributions in the past four weeks, with much of it coming from corporate donors who easily can be categorized as special interests themselves.  Full story

Contributors Buying Political Influence Despite Recall Rhetoric

Sacramento Bee, by Don Thompson, 9/11/03

Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting millions from other special interests, while tribes, unions and others provide the financial base for Democrats Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Gov. Gray Davis. When it comes to special interest contributions, Jim Knox, executive director of California Common Cause said, "the only thing that surprises me is we haven't seen more of it."   Full story

Davis Donor Tapped For Post

Sacramento Bee, by Lesli A. Maxwell, 9/9/03

Gov. Gray Davis has quietly nominated a generous political donor for a 12-year term on the University of California Board of Regents -- one of the most coveted gubernatorial appointments in the state. Jim Knox, executive director of California Common Cause, said "Those positions, more than most gubernatorial appointments, almost appear to be for sale."   Full story

Questions of Finance Dog Bustamante

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Louis Sahagun, 9/9/03

Even as he struggles to end a political controversy over his fund-raising tactics, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante could be running afoul of the California law governing how he spends the money, political rivals and some attorneys said Monday.  Lieutenant governor's plan to pay for and star in $4 million worth of anti-Prop 54 ads may violate the law, some say.   Full story

Bustamante's Tribal Money Shows How Capitol Works

Sacramento Bee, by Dan Walters, 9/8/03

"The state's current finance law, written in the Legislature itself, is riddled with loopholes.... The Capitol is a bazaar in which thousands of interest groups -- employing hundreds of lobbyists and spending perhaps a quarter-billion dollars a year on campaign contributions, lobbying fees and other expenses -- haggle.   Full story

California Campaign Gifts Spur Lawsuit

Washington Post, by Rene Sanchez and Evelyn Nieves, 9/5/03

California Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante (D), a leading candidate on the state recall ballot, is facing growing scrutiny and criticism over his decision to accept nearly $3 million in campaign contributions from Indian gambling interests, including an extraordinary $2 million pledge from one tribe earlier this week.   Full story

FPPC Unlikely to Act on Fund-Raising

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 9/4/03

The agency responsible for enforcing campaign laws is unlikely to consider action against Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante any time soon for raising money in six- and seven-figure chunks for his gubernatorial run, officials said Wednesday — even though state law generally caps each donation at $21,200.   Full story

What Limits? New Law Can't Stop Big Money

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain, 9/3/03

In November 2000, voters passed a measure billed as a way to clamp a lid on campaign contributions and close loopholes that helped the wealthy.  But in the recall election, the first statewide test of Proposition 34, six- and seven-figure checks are flying.
  Full story

$2-Million Donation Fits Tribe's Bold Profile

Los Angeles Times, by Tony Perry, 9/3/03

Though the political world may have been set abuzz by the Viejas Indian tribe's $2-million contribution to the gubernatorial hopes of Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, members of the tribal council said Tuesday that the mega-contribution is consistent with the tribe's long-held philosophy of activism and self-reliance.   Full story

Target of Anger

Los Angeles Times, by Peter Nicholas and Jeffrey L. Rabin, 8/31/03

Recall backers are critical of Gov. Davis' fund-raising, attack ads and response to the budget and power crises.  Davis' skill at getting donations, which he sees as prudent, becomes a liability.  During his first term as governor, Gray Davis averaged about $1.5 million a month in campaign contributions, shattering state records.  Now his fund-raising talent is an oft-cited argument for his ouster.   Full story

Money Flowing Past Loopholes in Recall Race

New York Times, by John M. Broder, 8/30/03

"Just three years after Californians voted to impose controls on campaign financing, the unexpected recall election is turning into a spending frenzy without limits.... When it comes to the recall, experts say, California's complex campaign financing controls, a clutter of legislation, voter initiatives and court opinions, appear to be more loophole than law."   Full story

Davis' Nod to Tribes Criticized

Los Angeles Times, by Gregg Jones and Miguel Bustillo, 8/30/03

Public policy analysts on Friday condemned a proposal that Gov. Gray Davis made behind closed doors to give Indian tribes the right to choose two members of the commission that regulates tribal gambling in California, calling it "an incredible sellout".  Indian tribes have spent more than $120 million on state political campaigns since 1998, more than any other single entity or industry in the state.   Full story

Reconnecting Politicians to the Citizenry

Los Angeles Times, by Ellen Stern Harris, 8/30/03

"You correctly describe how California's current campaign financing works: 'politicians shake down contributors and pay them back with favors at the citizenry's expense.' Fortunately, there's now a better model. It's called 'clean-money campaigning.'..."   Full story

Tribes' Election Support Sought

Los Angeles Times, by Gregg Jones, Joe Mathews and James Rainey, 8/29/03

Gov. Gray Davis on Thursday offered Indian tribes a key role in picking members of the state commission that regulates tribal gambling.  McClintock and Bustamante went even further, endorsing lifting a cap on the number of slot machines tribes can operate.  All are seeking the tribes' campaign contributions for the recall election.   Full story

Davis, Schwarzenegger Far Ahead in Fund-Raising

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Joel Rubin, 8/29/03

Gov. Gray Davis and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger emerged Thursday as by far the most prolific fund-raisers in the recall campaign.  The governor has amassed nearly $4 million to fend off the effort to oust him, according to campaign reports filed with the state Thursday.  Schwarzenegger has raised $3.1 million since announcing last month his decision to run for governor in case Davis is recalled.   Full story

Tribes To Meet Candidates Gaming For Casino Dollars

San Francisco Chronicle, by Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, 8/28/03

Gov. Gray Davis and two of the candidates trying to replace him -- Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock -- are expected to go before the state's powerful Indian gaming leaders today, hoping to walk away with hefty campaign contributions.   Full story

Outsider's Quick Turn as Politician

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan and Joe Mathews, 8/27/03

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vowed to "clean house" in Sacramento, after what he suggested would be a campaign financed with his own millions, has hired professional fund-raisers who are soliciting money from developers and other donors with a stake in state business.  So far, Schwarzenegger has collected at least $1.4 million from outside donors.   Full story

Former Davis Donors Give to Rivals; Schwarzenegger Breaks Money Vow

Los Angeles Times, by Dan Morain and Joel Rubin, 8/26/03

Several donors who once backed Gov. Gray Davis are now giving to others on the Oct. 7 recall ballot, including Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has abandoned his pledge not to take donations from outside interests. Davis has amassed $5 million so far this year. Davis' challengers have raised a total of $10 million.   Full story

Bustamante Using Donor Loophole

San Jose Mercury News, by Barry Witt and Howard Mintz, 8/26/03

Despite a voter-approved measure that was supposed to keep big money donations out of California politics, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante is exploiting a gaping loophole in the law that will allow him to collect up to $4 million in large sums from a handful of special-interest donors.   Full story

Schwarzenegger Rakes in Money

San Francisco Chronicle, by Mark Simon, 8/26/03

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting the financial help he promised he would never need in his race for governor as California business interests poured $788,000 into his campaign committees over the weekend. Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, Peter Ueberroth, and Gov. Gray Davis each raise over $300,000 in the past few days.   Full story

Seeds of an Uprising

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 8/24/03

"The changes needed to make state government functional again are not that numerous.... Repealing or loosening term limits.... Turning legislative redistricting over to the state Supreme Court or a special commission.... Plug the loopholes that encourage corrupt relationships in which politicians shake down contributors and pay them back with favors at the citizenry's expense...."  Full story

Davis Winning the Race For Money

San Francisco Chronicle, by Mark Simon, 8/23/03

Embattled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis remains a campaign fund-raising force to be reckoned with, collecting more than $2.5 million in his effort to retain his job, more than nearly all of the candidates running to replace him.   Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) gives $2 million to himself, and Peter Ueberroth (R) gives $1 million to himself.   Full story

Sacramento Fails to Clean the Air

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 8/22/03

"IN THE CENTRAL Valley, California is no longer the Golden State. It's turning into a State of Haze because of the region's infamous dirty air.... Many lawmakers are ducking action on major legislation to clean the skies.... doing the dirty work for farm lobbyists and nervous Democratic leaders loath to pass a bill opposed by powerful agricultural interests. "  Full story

Part II of a Privacy Plan

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 8/21/03

"SB27 would require businesses to disclose -- upon customer request -- where they have shared confidential information for direct-marketing purposes.   The financial-services industry is reportedly working behind the scenes for an amendment to exempt banks from the Figueroa bill.... The Assembly should pass SB27 when it comes up for a final vote today -- and banks must be included in the bill...."  Full story

Speier's Perseverance

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 8/20/03

"It took an advocate of Speier's tenacity to keep the [consumer privacy] issue alive in a Capitol where many legislators were fattening their campaign treasuries with contributions from the financial-services industry. Finally, a citizen revolt -- in the form of 600,000 signatures for a ballot initiative even more restrictive than SB1 -- forced the industry to withdraw its opposition."  Full story

Senate OKs Privacy Bill

Los Angeles Times, by Carl Ingram, 8/20/03

The Senate gave final legislative approval to a compromise consumer privacy bill that would prohibit banks and other businesses from selling a customer's financial information without permission.  The Assembly Banking Committee had rejected the bill after heavy pressure from banking industry contributors, but the banking industry compromised when Californians for Privacy Now threatened to place an even stricter financial privacy bill on the ballot after gathering nearly 600,000 signatures.   Full story

Reform How Elections Are Funded

Contra Costa Times, by Gary Krane, 8/17/03

"Most Californians want to get rid of Gray Davis because they are disgusted with how much he's become a pawn of special interests, such as the correctional officers' association and wealthy private donors...."  Full story

Senate's Burton Going Out on Top

Los Angeles Times, by Carl Ingram, 8/2/03

Senate leader John L. Burton (D-San Francisco) raised $1.2 million during the first six months of the year, even though he's retiring.  Nearly all of Burton's contributions came in blocks that would have been prohibited under the limits of Proposition 34, approved by voters in 2002, except for a loophole created by the Fair Political Practices Commission.   Full story

Chocolate Decadence

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 7/22/03

"Electric power industry officials called it a 'Night of Chocolate Decadence'... The guests, affiliated with the state's largest utilities and energy companies, ponied up $1,000 checks for [Assembly chairwoman Sarah] Reyes' campaign coffers.... A bill to re-regulate the electric power industry, strongly opposed by the industry, died days later in the committee that Reyes chairs."   Full story

Clean Money, Clean Elections For California

San Francisco Chronicle, by Edward Asner, 7/18/03

"The deluge of special-interest money in politics has put the lie to our founding fathers' promise of a government 'by and for' the people....  Arizona and Maine are different. Both states now have 'clean money, clean elections' systems in which qualified candidates may run for office using public financing.... Now it's California's turn."   Full story

Adoption of New Building, Fire Codes Caught Up in Politics

Los Angeles Times, by Nancy Vogel, 7/16/03

Politics have entangled the adoption of new building and fire codes for California, with Republicans charging Tuesday that two of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis' appointees to the Building Standards Commission are too beholden to labor to vote fairly on the issue.   Full story

The Big Squeeze on Americans' Privacy

Los Angeles Times, by Patt Morrison, 7/15/03

"Nowadays the human body... is worth thousands in marketing information. That's why all these corporations want your legislators to let them get to your personal data without your knowing it — and certainly without needing your permission...."   Full story

Privacy Backers Hit in War Chest

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Berthelsen, 6/30/03

Banking and insurance interests gave more than $700,000 in campaign contributions in the last election to members of a state legislative committee that defeated a financial privacy protection bill.  The nine Assembly Banking and Finance Committee members who abstained or voted no in the June 17 hearing received a total of more than $667,000. The three members who voted in favor of it received $37,450 in total.   Full story

Davis Halted Timber Tax After Donations

Redding Record Searchlight, by Associated Press, 6/26/03

Gov. Gray Davis blocked a $22 million tax on the timber industry this spring, just months after five timber companies and a trade group donated a combined $105,000 to his re-election campaign, it was reported Tuesday.   Full story

Our Privacy Pays the Price When State Legislators Sell Out

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 6/18/03

"The state Legislature stepped up to the plate with a chance to protect our privacy, and whiffed again....  Cost of a legislator? $150,000.  Cost of killing a bill? $20 million.  Cost of a mention in this column? Priceless."   Full story

It's Party Time For Lobbyists

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan, 5/27/03

Legislators have summoned lobbyists to at least 153 campaign fund-raisers during the budget crisis. Lobbyists are responding to requests for campaign money with piles of $1,000 checks from clients seeking budget favors.   Full story

Records set in $130 million California governor's race

San Francisco Chronicle, by Associated Press, 2/1/03

Gov. Gray Davis broke his own campaign spending record to win re-election last year, apparently setting a new national benchmark for a non-presidential race, campaign records show...   Full story

Governor's Race May Have Cost Most Ever

Los Angeles Times, by Michael Finnegan, 2/1/03

Davis and rivals spent at least $130 million, while some 2006 hopefuls are already off and raising  Full story

If You Like Davis' Trick, I've Got Some Snake Oil for You

Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez, 1/17/03

“The governor and Legislature are not in charge of state government. Sacramento is owned by Indian gambling interests, and, to roughly the same extent, by prison guards....”   Full story

Davis Plan Spares Prisons

San Francisco Chronicle, by Mark Martin, 1/13/03

Gov. Gray Davis, who has accepted more than $3 million in campaign contributions from the prison guards' union, wants to increase the Department of Corrections budget while cutting funds for nearly everything else...   Full story

Coast Panel's Work Demands Integrity

Los Angeles Times, by Ellen Stern Harris, 1/3/03

"That -- rather than a Great Wall of Mansions -- is what the Coastal Commission is supposed to protect.  And whether it takes the state Supreme Court or the Legislature or a clean-money campaigning initiative, that is what we need to fight for."   Full story

Governor's Race Renews Finance Debate

Contra Costa Times, by Sandy Kleffman and Andrew LaMar, 11/13/02

Now that it's over, the 2002 California governor's race is the latest poster child for campaign finance reform, advocates say. Record spending will continue.   Full story

Donors to Davis Get Coastal Permits

San Francisco Chronicle, by Lance Williams, 10/20/02

Wealthy, politically connected donors giving a total of $8.3 million to Gov. Davis obtain development permits from the Coastal Commission along the state's spectacular 840-mile coastline. Ordinary property owners don’t...   Full story

The California Chainsaw Massacre

Salon.com, 6/6/00

Clear-cutting is increasing in California largely because of one company, Sierra Pacific Industries.  Sierra Pacific held a fundraiser for Gov. Gray Davis that netted Davis $129,000 in contributions from Sierra Pacific and other timber industry companies. Five months later, Davis appointed Sierra Pacific executive Mark Bosetti to the state Board of Forestry.   Full story

 


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