Thursday, November 24, 2011

"'Think Long' coalition will propose overhauling California's tax system"

Jessica Levinson is quoted in this piece in the Sacramento Bee.

"If this is the way that they really feel you fix California and they have very deep pockets behind them, they may be able to really flood the airwaves with a really effective messaging campaign," said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School.
While voters may be in the "mood for reform because things just aren't getting better," Levinson cautioned that the group's biggest challenge could be breaking down complex changes, and their urgency, to voters.
"If it takes more than two sentences to explain something to the electorate, your chances start decreasing exponentially," she said.

"Will Charges Against former Bell City Council Members Be Dropped?"

Click here for more on

"If the defense attorneys for six former Bell City Council members have their way all charges against the officials will be dropped. The officials -- Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, Luis Artiga, George Cole, and Victor Bello -- are accused of, among other things, appropriating public funds. Simply stated, they have been charged with corruption. It may be worth stating the obvious, these officials, elected to serve the public, allegedly duped the public and used their funds for the officials' own benefit. Prosecutors have said that former officials essentially stole up more than $6 million in public funds. As some may remember, former City Manager Robert Rizzo reaped about $1.5 million per year in salary and other compensation."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Battles Over Corporate Political Disclosure Move to the SEC

Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is involved in this important issue.

Click here for Ciara's comment supporting a new disclosure rule. Click here for the new SEC rule on transparency of corporate political spending.  

"Obamajam: Is Fundraising During a Los Angeles Rush Hour Essential?"

Here is a piece written during President Obama's most recent visit to Los Angeles (during rush hour).

"Traveling in a secured environment and raising money are necessities for any President. However, query as to whether fundraising in rush hour in Los Angeles is also a must."

"Will California's Newly Drawn Senate Maps Stand?"

Here is a post on about the work done by California's independent redistricting commission, and various challenges to the newly drawn maps.

"[A] cynic would say this is much ado about nothing but sour grapes. Republicans are rightly worried that they could lose their one-third minority membership in the State Senate. If Democrats are able to garner two-thirds of the upper legislative house, it could make it much easier to implement a number of policies, including tax and fee increases."

"New Public Financing Program Implemented in District 15 Race"

Another piece on KCET, this one about public campaign financing in Los Angeles. You can find the piece here.

Here is an excerpt:

"Los Angeles' public campaign financing law has trigger funds provisions similar to those recently struck down by the Supreme Court. However, Los Angeles has found at least a temporary fix to that problem for the November 8 special election. Previously in Los Angeles qualified candidates could receive a 1-to-1 of public funds based on private contributions of up to $250 (e.g., based on a contribution of $100, a qualified candidate could receive $100 in public funds). Under Los Angeles' trigger funds provision, publicly financed candidates could become eligible to (among other things) receive a 3-to-1 match if a privately financed opponent and/or independent expenditure group spent over a threshold amount. However, in the wake of the Arizona Free Enterprise decision, Los Angeles will now provide all candidates with a 3-to-1 match of public to private funds on contributions of up to $250."

"State Senators Dine on Our Dime While Cutting the State's Budget"

Jessica Levinson's post on is here.

Here is an excerpt:

Over the past twelve months the State Senate has spent approximately $111,000 in taxpayer money on meals for themselves. To put this number in perspective over the previous 12 months the State Senate managed to spend over 10% less on taxpayer funded food.