Sep 20, 2013
Down in LA, there's trouble brewing at the DWP: Officials there say they are having trouble tracking some $40 million in ratepayer money that was spent on public relations-related efforts.
From the LAT's Jack Dolan: "The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, controlled by DWP managers and union leaders, have received up to $4 million per year since their creation more than a decade ago after a contentious round of job cutbacks at one of the nation's largest municipal utilities."
"Nearly all of the nonprofits' money comes from DWP ratepayers, records show. About $1 million per year has been used to pay the salaries of a handful of administrators, according to the limited records the utility has provided to The Times under the California Public Records Act. Separate federal tax records offer only summaries of the organizations' outlays, including more than $360,000 spent on travel from 2009 to 2011."
"Officials at the nonprofits, the DWP and the employees' union, Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, declined to be interviewed about the institutes' activities and spending."
Three members of a top political strategy and consulting firm have been fined for lobbying lawmakers and the bureaucracy without registering as lobbyists.
From the Bee's Laurel Rosenhall: "The California Strategies public affairs firm and three of its partners will pay a combined $40,500 fine for breaking the state's political ethics laws under a settlement the Fair Political Practices Commission approved today."
"The commission voted 4-0 to approve the agreement made public last week that requires Jason Kinney, Rusty Areias and Winston Hickox to pay the fine, register as lobbyists and disclose their clients. In the agreement, the three well-connected Democrats admit they lobbied the Legislature and the Air Resources Board without disclosing themselves as lobbyists and filing disclosure documents, as state law requires."
"This is the first time that the commission has ever dealt with an issue like this, of shadow lobbying," said FPPC chair Ann Ravel."
Speaking of the FPPC, the panel also established new rules requiring political campaigns to make public how much they pay bloggers.
From Capitol Weekly's John Howard: "California’s political watchdog has approved a rule forcing political campaigns to disclose when they pay bloggers to post comments on such social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, as well as others."
"The Fair Political Practice Commission’s decision, which has followed months of debate, requires the campaigns to publicly report payments of $500 or more to bloggers. The intent of the rule is to tell the public who is financing commentary, thus enabling voters to make informed decisions."
"But some were skeptical about the state’s ability to enforce the new rule."
To her Wall Street owners: Hillary Clinton: “But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. so, you need both a public and a private position.” - Hillary Clinton: "I'm kind of far removed from the struggles of the Middle Class"
This just more proof that California is even more ****ed up than we thought
Thanks for doing away with the conservative pretense that it's OK to have Big Money in politics so long as it's disclosed. I mean we knew it was a bogus argument, but somebody on the right had to finally admit it I guess.
Meanwhile, beyond the pretending you're doing, the real reason these people want to be anonymous is to control candidates with money and not have the voters know.
But I love the anti-union spin you put on it. Very creative.