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Blog Post
5/22/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Vail Drilling - an oil company and one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's largest donors - had to pay a $6,500 fine this week for failing to disclose a $500,000 contribution it made to the governator's campaign fund. The fine was announced by the state ethics board, responsible for overseeing the campaign laws, because the company was late reporting its...
News Story
3/15/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
SACRAMENTO, CA -- Eager to accommodate Sacramento's political leaders, interest groups picked up the tab for elected officials' meals, overseas trips, concerts and sporting events last year, perpetuating what critics decry as the influence game at the Capitol. Statements of economic interests filed last week by elected officials with the state's...
News Story
3/15/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The health insurance industry is working on a transformation that could come right out of "Extreme Makeover." Long cast as villains for denying coverage or refusing to pay for treatment, insurers now are representing themselves as indispensable partners in health care overhaul. In their pitch to lawmakers, the...
News Story
3/11/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
It’s great being a California lawmaker. People hold doors for you, they call you sir and the state provides you with a staff and a couple of cars at your disposal. And then there’s the gifts from your colleagues and the special interest groups who want your attention… Especially the special interest groups. According to...
Blog Post
2/18/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Months into California's budget stalemate and less than 24 hours into his tenure as California's Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth is already holding a $1,000-a-head fundraiser (thanks to Capitol Weekly for posting).  So, other than it just being an utterly insane PR move, doesn't the new Republican leader have a little more...
News Release
2/18/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog called on the California Department of Managed Health Care to make public all communications between top Department officials and insurance company representatives regarding the treatment of autism.  Currently, many insurers refuse to pay for treatment even though such coverage is required by law....
News Story
2/9/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Some lawmakers use the gifts to finance the good life, expenditure reports show. Sacramento, CA -- Some California lawmakers haven't let the state's financial calamity keep them from enjoying the good life; they've been using campaign cash for first-class travel abroad, expensive dinners, salon makeovers and visits to luxurious spas. Spending...
Blog Post
1/15/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
California is such a mess that that the state's webcast cut off (on my L.A. computer, anyway) halfway through Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's State of the State speech this morning. It was probably the shortest such speech in modern times. No plans, no boasting, just one grim warning after another: We are in our third special session and we've...
Blog Post
12/16/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Michael Rothfeld of the LA Times recently highlighted Governor Schwarzenegger's many public appearances this year on behalf of his donors. Rothfeld detailed one of Arnold's main mutual back-scratching arrangements, when in October of this year, Anschutz Entertainment Group completed a two-year project to generate solar power on the Staples Center...
News Release
12/11/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Rules Would Apply to All Ballot Measure Funds Controlled by Elected Officials   Santa Monica, CA -- Political reform advocates at Consumer Watchdog urged members of the California Fair Political Practices Commission to approve a regulation considered today that would require candidates to disclose how money raised for ballot measures will be...