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News Story
10/30/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Over and over and over again, when elected officials are asked about conflicts of interest created by campaign donations, they fall back on the same answer. No need to worry. They can’t be influenced, because they make decisions based on conviction, not cash. We are free to believe this. We are also free to believe there is no climate...
News Story
10/30/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Even in the midst of the heated presidential campaign, two news stories about alleged corruption in California government managed to draw significant headlines and public attention. One came when the state auditor issued a call for significant changes in procedures at the Public Utilities Commission, which sets rates for almost all electricity...
News Release
10/23/2016
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Google increased its 2016 third-quarter federal lobbying spending 4.2 percent to $3.81 million from $3.65 million in the comparable 2015 period, but fell to second place in lobbying expenditures among 16 technology and communications companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog. AT&T took the lead as its spending soared more...
News Story
8/17/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
With the lines between media firms and tech firms blurring, coverage of the tech sector presents one of the most profound accountability challenges in modern journalism The first time I visited Facebook’s office in Washington, D.C., I was asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement. I didn’t. Then there was the time I got through an entire...
News Release
7/20/2016
Posted by John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON -- Google trimmed its spending on federal lobbying in the second quarter of 2016 by 8.2 percent from the year before to $4.24 million, according to disclosure forms just filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, but still significantly outspent other tech and communications giants. Google spent $4.62 million, million on...
News Release
7/11/2016
Posted by Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA -- A report released today by California’s electric grid manager, the California Independent System Operator, supports utilizing a 1999 California law from the electricity deregulation era to create a Western grid.  Consumer Watchdog warned it would once again commoditize electricity, divorce the costs of generation...
News Story
6/27/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO >> Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday he has reached a deal with lawmakers on proposed legislation to improve transparency and make other reforms at the embattled California Public Utilities Commission. The proposal comes nearly eight months after the Democratic governor vetoed six bills looking to crack down on the commission,...
Blog Post
6/26/2016
Posted by Jamie Court
Governor Brown and legislative leaders announced a series of agreed-upon reforms to target the corruption that's haunted the Public Utilities Comission during the Brown-era and immediately prior to it.    There are some substantive changes on the list that move the ball foward for rooting out the next corruption scandal and...
News Story
6/26/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Brown, lawmakers reach pact on transparency, accountability Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to significant reforms at the California Public Utilities Commission, which has been under criminal investigation over the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant and finds itself in the middle of several other controversies. The deal was announced Monday by...
News Story
6/26/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
In a bid to end back-room deals between utility companies and their state regulators, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders proposed a sweeping overhaul of the California Public Utilities Commission on Monday, tightening ethics rules and handing some of its powers to other agencies. The commission’s leaders would need to report in public...