Political Inside Game, Outside Game... All in One Day

January 31, 2012 · Filed Under CA Government, CA Politics, Legislation, Money In Politics · Comments Off 

You don't get many political multi-tasking days like this one: heated debate over legislation down to its final day to survive, a new alarm over the state's finances, and public disclosure of all the campaign cash raised by candidates and campaigns in 2011.

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Brown's Early Tax Initiative Donors: Hospitals, Oil, Tribes

January 23, 2012 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, Elections, Money In Politics, Taxes · 1 Comment 

Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative campaign reports more than $1.45 million in contributions. (Photo:Getty/Justin Sullivan)

Governor Jerry Brown looks to be off to a strong start in collecting cash for his November tax initiative, with cash coming from some of the same groups his predecessor argued were the problem in California politics.

Campaign finance records show as of this weekend, Brown had reported more than $1.45 million in contributions. Those dollars were raised in the first month of the governor's efforts, and will no doubt help pay for signature gathering now that his tax increase initiative has hit the streets.
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November's Ground Zero Initiative

January 22, 2012 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Politics, Money In Politics · 4 Comments 

The November election could feature a slugfest over an initiative focused on money in politics. (Photo: Getty/David McNew)

While talk about California's November ballot has focused largely on tax proposals or possible social and criminal justice measures, watch for the real political slugfest to be over an issue near and dear to the hearts of organized labor: union dues deducted from members' paychecks.

And the size of that slugfest may play a large role in determining the fate of other measures -- including Governor Jerry Brown's pitch for higher taxes.
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Campaign Cash Do-Over OK In Some Cases

October 31, 2011 · Filed Under Elections, Money In Politics · Comments Off 

KQED/John Myers

A legal analysis by the state's campaign finance watchdog agency says that donations never deposited into candidate accounts by accused treasurer Kinde Durkee can be solicited a second time.

But now, the multi-million dollar question in the allegations of embezzlement against Durkee: which donations were actually deposited... and thus are now final... and which were not?
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Campaign Treasurer Scandal: "It's Quite a Mess"

October 20, 2011 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, Money In Politics · Comments Off 

It was hard not to notice the campaign fundraising event held this week in Sacramento for Assemblymember Jose Solorio. Granted, it was for his 2014 Senate campaign. But Solorio's future political endeavors would no doubt be easier to pursue if his Assembly campaign account had in it the cash he he thought it did on September 2.

That's when Solorio was called by an FBI agent, who said investigators believed that much of his campaign cash had been unlawfully taken -- and spent -- by his campaign treasuer, Kinde Durkee.

"It's quite a mess," said the Orange County Democrat in an interview this week.
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Notebook: Vacant Seats, Smaller Donations?

August 6, 2011 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, Money In Politics · 1 Comment 

The dog days of summer, especially in this unusual year where the Legislature finished its work on deadline and then adjourned for a month, leave a lot of time for contemplation.

Hence, a Reporter's Notebook entry that could be called the "Summer of What If?"
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Senator Flips Vote, Union Contracts OK'd

May 2, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Politics, Money In Politics, Prisons · 32 Comments 

Today's lengthy debate in the state Senate, both in public and in private, serves as a reminder of the complicated intersection of policy and politics, as a late vote switch by a Republican senator kept six new state worker contracts alive -- including the hotly debated new agreement for prison guards.

The contracts were the subject of a pretty tense debate and seemed all but dead, until a late afternoon switch by Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) sent them to the Assembly for consideration.
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$119 Million and Counting for Whitman

September 15, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, Money In Politics, People · Comments Off 

Photo: Getty Images

Late on Tuesday, the campaigns of the two major candidates for governor sent in campaign contribution notices (as required by law) to the Secretary of State's office. Jerry Brown reported new contributions totaling $305,810; Meg Whitman reported contributions of $15,494,399.

Whitman's gargantuan daily tally was thanks to one donor in particular: the candidate herself, who's now spent a record-breaking $119 million of her own money to become California's next governor.
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Sharpening The Political Watchdog's Teeth

July 7, 2010 · Filed Under Elections, Money In Politics · 3 Comments 

California's landmark political reform law fails to shine a bright enough light on who's giving money and how campaigns are being run.

That's the assessment of the new chair of the state's political watchdog agency, and the reason he is about to launch an effort that could ultimately lead to voters updating the law they enacted in 1974.
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$68 Million. Nine Points.

May 19, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, Money In Politics · 1 Comment 

Crank up some old George Jones, folks:

"Well, the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch, heartaches are a-going to the inside..."

Tonight's statewide, nonpartisan poll is confirmation that the battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination is just that -- a battle. And for the newcomer who has now spent more personal cash than anyone in California history, it's an unwelcome battle.

Meg Whitman's lead over Steve Poizner now stands at just nine points, a dramatic downsizing from her 50 point lead in March and the clearest sign yet that Poizner's conservative rhetoric and relentless attacks seem to have worked.
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