Thursday, December 24, 2015

Los Angeles "D.A.'s office can try to oust Carson mayor from water board, attorney general says"

Terrific to speak with Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times for this piece.

Jessica Levinson, a clinical law professor at Loyola Law School who serves on the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, said the attorney general's office typically grants permission to allow such suits to proceed. The office "clearly found Robles' arguments to be less than compelling," Levinson said. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"Leader of Legislature's moderate Democrats will resign to seek government relations job"

Great to speak with Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times for this scoop

“In some ways the revolving door provisions are somewhat symbolic,” said Jessica Levinson, professor of election law at Loyola University in Los Angeles and an expert on political ethics.

Levinson, who serves as president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, said revolving door limits are meant to reduce perception that former legislators are using elected office as stepping stones for personal gain — or that sitting lawmakers are unduly influenced by former colleagues.
“We don’t totally trust lawmakers to cycle in and out of government,” Levinson said. “If everyone was altruistic and honest all the time, we wouldn’t have the Political Reform Act,” which sets ethical standards for politicians.

"PAC shielded $2.3 million in donations by L.A. charter school backers"

Great to speak with Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times for this one

Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have presumed that voters would have full knowledge of who was contributing to campaigns when it struck down many limits on the amount of donations, said Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor who specializes in election law and heads the L.A. City Ethics Commission.
"The purposes of the disclosure laws are to give the public information, which is much more useful the faster it comes," said Levinson. "The concern is that you can use an intermediary and, essentially, legally mask who is behind a donation.