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Blog Post
11/14/2014
Posted by John M. Simpson
Internet giant Google is so rapidly expanding both its data collecting and its political clout that it may become too powerful to be held accountable, according to a new study by our friends at Public Citizen. The 69-page report from the public interest group, titled Mission Creep-y: Google Is Quietly Becoming One Of the Nation’s Most...
News Story
10/29/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Six state propositions are on the ballot and none are sexy. All are snoozers. But each is significant. Some, in fact, are game-changers. Why else would the medical profession and insurance companies be spending well over $100 million to beat back Propositions 45 and 46? Prop. 47 would punish handgun thieves with a figurative slap on the wrist....
News Release
10/29/2014
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer advocates and victims of medical negligence released a new Yes on 46 TV ad today featuring a sweating, shaky surgeon who runs out of the operating room and dramatizes the potentially deadly risks of physician substance abuse. The ad, “Need A Drink?” also warns voters about the $100 million that the...
News Story
10/29/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Bias alert! I am proud to say that for 25 years I’ve been a board member of Consumer Watchdog, the nonprofit formerly known as the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. You could say I’m a dogged board member. We are famous for the passage of Proposition 103 in 1988, which saved California motorists over $102 billion — yes...
News Story
10/27/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
What will and won't happen if medical malpractice 'pain and suffering' awards are indexed for inflation   For haters of junk mail, Proposition 46 may be this election season's biggest nuisance. Groups supporting and opposing 46 have spared no expense in stuffing voters' mailboxes. Among other provisions, the measure would...
News Story
10/26/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
With the November general election a week away, some of the biggest election debates aren’t between candidates running for office but rather between people for or against ballot measures. They include a measure for a $7.5 billion California water bond hammered out from intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento,...
News Story
10/25/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Apple may be one of the most valuable companies in the world, but in one area, it falls decidedly behind its rivals: its spending on lobbying the politicians of Washington. According to its latest lobbying disclosure filing, Apple spent a total of $1,010,000 on lobbying activities in the September quarter, significantly below the level of spending...
News Story
10/23/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two health care-related initiatives on the November ballot have generated more than $100 million in spending, with insurers and doctors leading the fight to defeat both, according to campaign finance reports filed late Thursday. Opponents of Proposition 45, led by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., Wellpoint Inc. and...
News Story
10/22/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Silicon Valley keeps playing the D.C. game. Tech and telecom giants including Google and Facebook spent millions on political lobbying in the three-month period from July to September, according to data released Tuesday. Google spent nearly $4 million on its efforts to win favor with lawmakers, up 17 percent over the same period last year (but...
News Release
10/20/2014
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Google spent $3.94 million lobbying the federal government in the third quarter, off from its record $5.30 million in the previous quarter, but up 17 percent from $3.37 million in the comparable period in 2013, according to records just filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and analyzed today by Consumer...