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Reforming Politics

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
12/3/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The Fair Political Practices Commission is pushing new rules that would require interest groups for the first time to disclose how they spend millions of dollars on ads and other efforts to influence state policy. Lobbyist employers would have to itemize expenditures that exceed $2,500. And they would have to disclose the recipients of the...
News Story
11/20/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials said Thursday their customers would receive full refunds for any over-payments related to inaccurate bills sent out amid the utility’s bungled overhaul of its billing system, under revised settlement terms submitted to a judge this week. DWP and city officials said they support the...
News Release
11/20/2015
Posted by Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA — The latest proposed settlement of a $44 million LADWP overbilling scandal offers some improvements over the last two, but still unfairly disadvantages ratepayers, Consumer Watchdog said today in a letter to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Ratepayers who have received large bills and entered...
News Release
9/1/2015
Posted by Eddie B
Santa Monica, CA – Gov. Jerry Brown has signed misguided legislation hiking the ballot initiative filing fee to $2,000 from $200 that will do nothing to stop frivolous initiatives but will undermine the public’s right to direct democracy, Consumer Watchdog said today.   Prompted by an unconscionable initiative, which was later...
News Story
8/17/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog urged the California State Assembly Monday to defeat a bill co-sponsored by former Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom that would hike the ballot initiative filing fee from $200 to $2,000. AB 1100, co-sponsored with Evan Low, D-Campbell, has been approved by the State Senate and is awaiting a vote by state...
News Release
8/16/2015
Posted by Eddie B
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog said today it was disappointed that the California Senate passed AB 1100, by Evan Low, D-Campbell, and Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, and decided that hiking the ballot initiative filing fee to $2,000 from $200 was more important than protecting the public’s right to direct democracy. Prompted by an...
News Story
8/7/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
For $200, Californians with varying ideas can propose a measure that might wind up on the ballot. One current proposal would call California’s chief executive president instead of governor. Another would mandate displaying the state flag more prominently at a variety of events and public buildings, including above the U.S. flag when they...
News Story
8/6/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
When the state Senate goes back into session this month, its members will have the delicate task of revising California’s 72-year-old filing fee for initiatives so that it will discourage over-the-top measures but still allow the “citizens’ democracy” that for more than a century has been a major part of the state’s...
News Release
6/9/2015
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called on Governor Jerry Brown to remove Matthew Jacobs, Chairman of the Board for the California Housing Finance Agency, after he began evicting longtime tenants in order to convert their rent-controlled housing into luxury condos. In a letter to the governor, Consumer Watchdog said it’s...