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News Story
1/22/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s political ethics watchdog, made a small but significant change to its lobbying rules last week. It adopted a rule that requires trade groups, corporations, unions and other special interests that hire lobbyists to separate and publicly itemize their expenses in the “...
News Story
1/22/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Google has once again proved it is Silicon Valley's biggest lobbying spender, splashing out more than $16m (£11.2m) for the second year running in its attempts to bend the ear of government. The data is from records for 2015 analysed by non-profit group Consumer Watch, which monitors the lobbying activities of Silicon Valley's 16...
News Release
1/21/2016
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Google’s federal lobbying expenses in 2015 topped $16 million for the second year in a row, according to records just filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and analyzed today by Consumer Watchdog. Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, monitors the lobbying disclosure reports...
News Release
1/21/2016
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- The Fair Political Practices Commission today approved a new regulation requiring more disclosure of shadow payments by the state’s biggest lobbyists on advertising and other spending to influence lawmakers. Consumer Watchdog said a loophole in the rules could allow big industries or other lobbyists to continue concealing...
News Story
1/21/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Amazon dramatically increased the amount of resources it dedicated to trying to influence federal regulations last year. The company spent $9.07 million on lobbying in 2015, an incredible 91.4% surge from its 2014 spend, Consumer Watchdog reports.  That's a corporate record for the company.  Because companies...
News Story
1/21/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Amazon almost doubles its spending from 2014; Facebook 'friends' D.C. Google and Comcast were one and two in federal lobbying spending in 2015 among 16 tech and communications firms monitored by Consumer Watchdog, according to records filed with Congress. Google topped the list at $16.66 million, followed closely by Comcast at $15.63....
News Story
1/21/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
California's elections watchdog is poised to force groups that hire lobbyists to reveal more about hundreds of millions of dollars spent to sway state lawmakers on climate change, education and other issues. In 2015, spending on lobbyists in the most populous U.S. state topped $243 million - nearly as much as the payroll for all of California...
News Story
1/17/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
The dire warning arrived in a mailer to thousands of state voters from a group called the California Drivers Alliance. "Gasoline restrictions ... will hurt families in LA," the geographically targeted mailer warned, alerting the recipient that legislation being debated in Sacramento would "take away our ability to drive to work in...
News Story
1/3/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
With four tax initiatives on track for the November ballot, California voters are going to have to decide how much is too much. A pair of competing measures to extend 2012's expiring Proposition 30 tax hikes, a plan to boost the tobacco tax by $2 a pack and an initiative to put additional taxes on property valued at $3 million or more are all...
News Story
12/17/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Last December, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a longtime adviser, Michael Picker, to head the California Public Utilities Commission. The CPUC oversees privately owned electric, gas and transportation companies and has been under fire for a series of scandals and missteps since 2010. That’s when a gas pipeline owned by PG&E exploded in a San...