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Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA) - Jun 27, 2005
So. Pasadena projects fund worry some
"Anytime a certain public official has control over taxpayer funds to spend as they will, there is a possibility they will use it for private benefit rather than for the public benefit," said Carmen Balber of the Santa Monica-based FTCR.... more


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - May 24, 2005
Law not issue in Claremont;
City's campaign finance measure has been enforced
"Claremont has kind of taken the position that we'll tell everybody that this is the law, but we don't like it so we're not going to enforce it," said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which spo... more


Los Angeles Times - May 21, 2005
Court Gives Campaign Finance Laws a Green Light;
Ruling means strict limits on donations in three cities may finally take effect.
The rules were intended to go after what frequently happens in small cities: A small cadre of contractors end up working with a city and it becomes something of an old boys' club. It certainly will rein in 'You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.'... more


Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA) - May 19, 2005
Council unhappy about ordinance
"Pasadena does now have to accept what the voters said in 2001: That city officials shouldn't be able to take money from people they award public benefits,' said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate for the initiative's sponsor, FTCR.... more


Santa Monica Daily Press - May 13, 2005
City's Lawsuit Against Self Dies
Councilman not surprised about high court's decision
Carmen Balber, a consumer advocate with FTCR, the Santa Monica-based group that drove the initiative, said the decision means officials in Santa Monica will have to ensure the public projects they approve are not funded by campaign contributors.... more


LookOut News (Santa Monica, CA) - May 10, 2005
State Supreme Court Refuses to Take up Conflict Law
The California Supreme Court has declined to take up Santa Monica's challenge to one of the nation's strictest conflict of interest laws, likely putting an end to a four-year legal battle between the City and sponsors of the successful ballot measure.... more


PASADENA WEEKLY - May 01, 2005
Payback Time
Pasadena officials could face misdemeanor convictions and heavy fines for alleged 'pay-to-play' under Supreme Court-backed anti-corruption initiative
"Pasadena has no other legal options. They have to enforce Measure B," said consumer advocate Carmen Balber, a spokeswoman for initiative authors the Oaks Project, which operates under the Ralph Nader-backed Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA) - Mar 19, 2005
New council members serve on school boards
"When somebody is voting to provide a service or voting on the expenditure of city taxpayer dollars, are they doing that from a biased perspective because they have an interest as a school board member?" said Douglas Heller, executive director of FTCR.... more


Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA) - Feb 01, 2005
City loses court decision on anti-corruption measure
The initiative's backers were elated with the decision and called on Pasadena, and the two other cities that passed nearly identical measures, to stop the legal wrangling and simply let the anti-corruption rules take effect.... more


The LookOut (Santa Monica, CA) - Feb 01, 2005
Appeals Court Deals Blow to City
Voters approved the strongest conflict of interest initiative in the nation to fight corruption in four California cities, and it\'s time that protection was carried out in those cities and brought to other cities across the state, said Carmen Balber, con... more


Los Angeles Daily Journal - Feb 01, 2005
Court Rebuffs Challenge to Corruption Initiative
The Oaks Initiative, which was backed by activist Harvey Rosenfield's Santa Monica-based FTCR, prohibits city officials from taking campaign contributions, large gifts or jobs from people who receive city contract work worth more than $25,000.... more


Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA) - Jan 29, 2005
Court rules city (Pasadena) must pay activist's attorney fees
A California Appeals Court ruled Friday that the city of Pasadena had no right to challenge the constitutionality of a voter-approved anti-corruption measure when it was defending a lawsuit brought to certify the vote.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jul 20, 2003
What Are They Thinking?;
Generation X Is Last to Consider How Social Security and Financial Planning Will Affect Their Futures
"It's pretty amazing that something like endangered sea turtles will get Gen-Xers into the street quicker than their own retirement," said Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR and, at 36 years old, a self-described member of Generation X.... more


The Los Angeles Daily Journal - Oct 23, 2002
Putting Political Reform to the Test
New Law Against Influence-Peddling Creates Legal Tangle
In 1999, a political reform group looked around California and saw influence-peddling everywhere - from Irvine, where developers gave gifts to the politicians who approved their projects, to San Diego County, where builders who made campaign contributions... more


Sacramento News & Review - Oct 03, 2002
Climate changed by cash and war
So, why would Davis wait until the very last minute to act on a bill that used new protections and the threat of fines to encourage corporate executives to report financial fraud in their companies?... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 01, 2002
Davis vetoes tough corporate accountablity bill
Gov. Gray Davis has vetoed legislation to create a confidential state "whistleblower's hotline" and to protect employees who refuse to participate in illegal activities at work.... more


The Ventura County Reporter - Aug 15, 2002
Upping the Ante
The WorldComs and Enrons of the universe are already suffocating under their own dirty laundry. And in the state of California, next week may mark the need for an extra chute.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jul 20, 2002
Campaign Plan Found to Violate 1st Amendment;
Ruling: Judge voids voter-OKd Pasadena initiative barring certain donations to city officials. Backers of the measure voice dismay.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge declared a controversial campaign finance reform initiative in Pasadena unconstitutional only weeks after ordering the city to put the law on its books.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jun 04, 2002
Pasadena Told to Implement Law OK'd by Voters
The campaign reform initiative was approved more than a year ago. Judge still could consider its constitutionality.
A Superior Court judge has ordered Pasadena to sign into law a controversial campaign reform initiative approved by voters more than a year ago.... more


Associated Press - May 13, 2002
Unlimited campaign money mean likely record spending this year
California's politicians are expected to break campaign finance records this year as they enjoy - for what may be their last election season - running for office in a state with absolutely no campaign contribution limits.... more


Pasadena Star-News - Apr 23, 2002
City Hall watchdog slapped with suit; Government watchdog faces cross-complaint
He sued City Hall to force officials to put a voter-approved anti-corruption ballot measure on the books, and now the city is suing back.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Apr 17, 2002
Campaign Reform Goes Unenforced;
Politics: Santa Monica, Pasadena and Claremont delay action on voter-passed limits on gifts or jobs to officials whose actions aided the giver.
The people spoke, but those in power didn't listen. So say proponents of a controversial campaign finance initiative passed by voters in three Los Angeles County cities more than a year ago.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 02, 2002
Law Stands Limiting Gifts to Officials
Citing procedural grounds, judge dismisses a challenge to measure approved by voters.
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a voter-approved measure in Santa Monica that would limit the gifts elected officials can receive from companies that have done business with the city. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Debra Yang did not... more


Pasadena Star News - Mar 19, 2002
Activist sues city officials over initiative
Amy sued Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Clerk Jane Rodriguez and other city officials on Friday, alleging they have "nullif(ied) the will of the people" by failing to file a voter-approved, anti-corruption initiative with the Secretary of State's office.... more


Irvine World News - Mar 14, 2002
Council dilutes watchdog group's reforms
Oaks Project of Santa Monica sought tougher conflict-of-interest law
"Where's the beef," Oaks volunteer Paul Bunch said. "This report does not represent the conflict of interest reform that voters want. All there is is a suggestion. There's no teeth. A recommendation is not reform." ... more


The San Luis Obispo Tribune - Feb 24, 2002
Officials Stress Need for Prop 41 to Fix Voting Machine Problems
The push to replace aging voting equipment was born in Florida, but long before the now-infamous 2000 election, the experts who spend their days thinking about elections knew there were potential problems with punch-card voting machines.... more


Claremont Courier - Jan 30, 2002
Initiative Goes to Court
A Superior Court judge heard arguments last week on the merits of a lawsuit brought by the city of Santa Monica against its city clerk. At issue is the same conflict-of-interest initiative that was passed by Claremont voters last year under the ballot tit... more


Inland Valley Times - Jan 26, 2002
Backers continue fight for conflict-of-interest law
Backers of a law that puts broad conflict-of-interest limits on elected officials in five California cities were in court Friday arguing that a lawsuit brought by the city of Santa Monica was frivolous. The law was approved by voters in Claremont, as wel... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 12, 2001
'Champagne Campaign' Pops as Riordan Launches
The armband brigade at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights does some cutting and folding to put the Legislature on notice.... more


The Press-Enterprise (San Bernadino Edition) - Sep 17, 2001
Ethics rules called for
San Bernardino County supervisors say they've taken steps to keep government clean
SAN BERNARDINO: In six California cities, from San Francisco to Santa Monica, voters have overwhelmingly approved conflict-of-interest laws.... more


The Associated Press - Sep 14, 2001
Terrorist attack-related news from Southern California
The Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights on Friday urged taxpayers to sign over their tax refund checks to the families of those who died in the terrorist attacks.... more


Sacramento News & Review - Sep 13, 2001
Watchdogs prowl the Capitol
Volunteers from the "War Room" lobby to stop the Edison bailout bill
Today's battle would be crucial. If this mostly volunteer army could stop the offensive by Governor Gray Davis and the Democrats, there was hope for killing the $2.9 billion bailout package to Southern California Edison, and maybe even restoring the prosp... more


Sacramento News & Review - Sep 06, 2001
Bail of Tears
Editorial
It's hard to see how the governor's plan to save Edison has been forged for "our sake." And the word "rescue" seems an absolute misnomer. You don't have to be a consumer activist named Harvey Rosenfield to recognize that Davis is supporting a straight-ahe... more


Pasadena-Star News - Sep 03, 2001
CITY'S MEASURE B LAWSUIT LOSES
Pasadena- The city lost its attempt last week to join a lawsuit against Measure B, the voter-approved initiative that aims to prevent city officials from taking kickbacks.... more


The Daily News - Aug 01, 2001
Limits urged on campaign contributions
A community activist has called on the City Council to toughen its ethics rules by adopting an ordinance already in place in several other Southern California cities.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 31, 2001
Governor vetoes bill disclosing if signature gatherer is paid
Gov. Gray Davis has vetoed a bill that would have informed voters whether the person gathering signatures for a new initiative is a volunteer or is a paid collector.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 30, 2001
Irvine Studies Ethics Limits
Mayor Agran urges stricter campaign donation rules, which other California cities have adopted. Some see legal difficulties.
Irvine may join a handful of California cities that have passed controversial campaign and ethics rules intended to prevent elected city officials from using their office to enrich themselves.... more


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Jun 30, 2001
Claremont considers law firms
Officials on Monday will interview two legal firms they are considering using to challenge Measure A, City Manager Glenn Southard said Thursday.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 27, 2001
Ballot Victories Only Half the Battle, Campaign Reformers Say
Three cities where voters approved donation curbs balk at implementing them.
Campaign reform advocates turned to the ballot boxes in three Southern California cities over the past six months and won victories that they thought would help end the corrupting influences of political donations.... more


Inland Valley Times - May 24, 2001
Council discussion sparks renewed debate of conflict measure
Two Claremont officials decide in midst of review of garbage truck bids to try to implement Measure A.
Almost a month after the City Council decided to ignore a new law restricting conflicts of interest for city officials, the debate over the controversial Measure A resurfaced when two council members changed their mind about implementing it.... more


LA Weekly - May 18, 2001
Maybe Politics Doesn't Pay
Santa Monica frets over anti-corruption measure
When Santa Monica voters handily approved a Ralph Nader-backed anti-political-corruption initiative last November, the town\'s reform-minded city government - which boasts one of the strictest campaign-finance laws in the state - found itself in an awkwar... more


Pasadena Star-News - May 02, 2001
City blocks taxpayers' measure; mulls stance
The city is blocking the implementation of a voter-approved political initiative while the City Council decides whether it wants to enforce the initiative or fight it in court.... more


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Apr 25, 2001
City council won't enforce Measure A
The city will neither enforce Measure A nor file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the conflict-of-interest initiative passed by voters last month, the City Council announced Tuesday.... more


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Apr 17, 2001
Second panel member resigns
Supporters of the conflict-of-interest law scoffed at the need for Overturf\'s resignation, saying the Community Services Commission would not be affected by Measure A because the panel is not allowed to award contracts.... more


Inland Valley Times - Apr 09, 2001
Law ensures that officials will represent public
Claremont voters recently enacted Measure A, a law forbidding any city official from receiving rewards, gifts over $50, campaign contributions or jobs from anyone to whom they award public benefits worth more than $25,000.... more


Inland Valley Times - Mar 29, 2001
Claremont will fight Measure A in court
Rather than wait to see what other cities will do, the City Council will challenge a popular ballot measure aimed at restricting the impact political donations have on city affairs.... more


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Mar 28, 2001
Council seeks court's opinion on Measure A
The City Council voted late Tuesday to seek a court\'s opinion on the constitutionality of Measure A, the conflict-of-interest measure approved by voters March 6.... more


Inland Valley Times - Mar 28, 2001
Claremont considers options related to Measure A
Former mayor, commission members say conflict-of-interest measure will dampen enthusiasm of professionals volunteering for city.
As City Council members debated Tuesday whether to challenge a new conflict-of-interest law approved by voters this month, several city commissioners said they would resign if the law is enforced.... more


North County Times - Mar 20, 2001
Proposition W escapes from court unscathed
A court of appeals failed to rule that the campaign reform initiative that made it to Vista\'s ballot last year is unconstitutional and instead ruled the case as moot.... more


Inland Valley Times - Mar 17, 2001
Court's inaction keeps law alive
Claremont weighs next move with Oaks Initiative poised to take effect
The city\'s challenge to a new law that radically restricts political fund-raising was quashed when an appellate court chose not to decide on the law\'s constitutionality, officials said Friday.... more


Pasadena Star-News - Mar 09, 2001
City Hall gears up to battle Measure B
An initiative aimed at keeping City Hall from going the way of Tammany Hall got a thumbs-up from voters Tuesday, winning with 60 percent.... more


Inland Valley Times - Mar 09, 2001
Government influence measure still could be challenged
Voters were in the mood Tuesday to put more limits on their elected officials, overwhelmingly passing a new law to restrict the influence of money in local government despite arguments that the proposed limits are unconstitutional.... more


Claremont Courier - Mar 03, 2001
Measure A: Yes
Editorial
There exists no greater challenge to the quality of our political behavior than the role of money in election campaigns. Unfortunately, campaign contributions often are necesssary to gain access to a legislator. And most often, he or she who collects th... more


Pasadena Weekly - Mar 02, 2001
Measure B
Editorial
An analysis by City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris says Measure B would prohibit city officials from accepting specified gifts, honoraria, income and campaign contributions from a person after the official makes or votes to approve certain public decisio... more


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Mar 02, 2001
Ballot measure merits Claremont voters' support
Editorial
The basic thrust of Measure A in Claremont is simple and unassailable: Public officials should not be taking money from those who have business with the city. The problem, as always with such issues, comes in finding a way to stop it.... more


North County Times - Feb 16, 2001
Campaign reform group wants trial to end
After failing to enact a campaign finance reform initiative in the city of Vista, the group behind the measure asked an appeals court Thursday to throw out a case challenging the initiative's constitutionality.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Feb 16, 2001
Legal battle continues over campaign finance measures in Vista
A legal battle over two competing campaign finance measures on the November ballot in Vista isn't over yet.... more


North County Times - Feb 15, 2001
Campaign reform measure back in court
The group behind a failed campaign finance reform initiative that was challenged by the city of Vista will ask an appeals court today to throw out a ruling in the case that found the initiative was unconstitutional.... more


The Bakersfield Californian - Feb 11, 2001
Editorial: Set local campaign limits
The dollars have been counted and the totals are mind-boggling. Incumbent 4th District Supervisor Ken Peterson spent nearly $500,000 to get re-elected, outspending his opponent, Cathy Palla, 4 to 1.... more


Irvine World News - Jan 25, 2001
City committee will look into campaign finance reform
A campaign finance reform effort that emerged last summer with much controversy resurfaced this week when the City Council voted unanimously to form a committee to study the current ordinance.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 16, 2001
Legal battle continues over campaign finance measures in Vista
A legal battle over two competing campaign finance measures on the November ballot in Vista isn't over yet.... more


Pasadena Weekly - Dec 07, 2000
The money trap
As candidates ready for local elections and financial stakes grow in these races, City Council members take action to oppose campaign finance reform initiative.
Just days before last week\'s candidate filing deadline closed for the Pasadena City Council race in March, council members unanimously opposed a campaign finance reform measure that seeks to limit the powers and perks of elected and appointed city offici... more


Pasadena Star News - Dec 02, 2000
Contribution limit measure draws criticism
A City Council committee is recommending plans be shelved for a March ballot initiative that would set campaign contribution limits for Pasadena officials.... more


Pasadena Weekly - Nov 30, 2000
A measure of protection
Pasadena council members oppose Nader-backed campaign finance reform initiative
Comparing an upcoming Ralph Nader-backed local ballot initiative to a condom, one supporter this week called on Pasadena voters to take safety precautions against political corruption by voting for the measure in the March elections.... more


Inland Valley Times - Nov 29, 2000
Claremont voters will decide conflict-of-interest measure
CLAREMONT -- City Council members Tuesday decided to let voters decide on a law that would set several conflict-of-interest standards for Claremont public officials.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Nov 29, 2000
Politicians poison Vista politics, thwart will of people
While all Americans focus on the Electoral College and the presidential recount, Vistans should be looking at the troubling disregard of the Vista City Council for the will of the voters in the city election.... more


Pasadena Star News - Nov 22, 2000
Council opposes initiative
PASADENA -- Ralph Nader may get a taste of his own medicine in the March 6 Pasadena election, if the City Council writes a counter-measure to compete with his initiative on campaign finance reform.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Nov 10, 2000
Council's Prop. V prevails in Vista
VISTA -- Voters here approved two campaign-finance measures, but Proposition V, which was put on the ballot by the City Council, takes precedence because it got the most votes.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune   - Nov 08, 2000
Campo, Gronke break into the lead
VISTA -- Lawyer Paul Campo and teacher Steve Gronke took early leads last night in the race for two City Council seats. And two campaign-finance reform measures appeared headed toward approval, with Proposition V -- a council-authored measure -- sligh... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 02, 2000
S.F. Campaign Measure Could Aid Dark Horses
One of 2 election reform propositions
For campaign finance reformers and longshot supervisor candidates, Proposition O is a fantasy come true. If San Francisco voters pass the measure on Tuesday, every supervisor hopeful who raises $7,500 could get upwards of $60,000 in public funding. Th... more


Los Angeles Times - Oct 31, 2000
Plan Seeks To Prevent Conflicts of Interest
Measure LL in Santa Monica Would Prohibit Officials from Accepting Gifts, Money or Jobs from Those Who Benefit From Their Votes.
Voters in Santa Monica and two other California cities will consider a citizen-led ballot measure next week that supporters say would level the playing field of local politics by barring elected officials from accepting gifts, money or jobs from developer... more


LA Weekly - Oct 27, 2000
Proposition LL: Yes
Editorial Endorsement
This measure, from the pen of longtime Ralph Nader associate Harvey Rosenfield, prohibits any city official who approves a city contract or other benefit from receiving a campaign contribution or gift from the recipient of that benefit for a six-year peri... more


Washington Times - Oct 23, 2000
Nader-led initiatives on ballots in 6 cities
Voters in six California cities will get a chance next month to pass pioneer reforms aimed at ending any special-interest influence on local decision-making.... more


Santa Monica Mirror - Oct 10, 2000
City Loses Suit To Squelch Prop LL Rebuttal
Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Valerie Baker has ruled that The City of Santa Monica must print a rebuttal argument submitted by the backers of Proposition LL in the ballot pamphlet that all city voters will receive for the November election. ... more


North County Times - Jun 10, 2000
Council miffed about money measure


Los Angeles Times - Jun 02, 2000
Ballot Item Proposed To Restrain Special Interests
Citizens Group Seeks Votes In Irvine, Five Other Cities Next Fall. Critics Say The Proposal Is Misguided And Would Be Ineffective.
A citizens group unveiled a special ballot item Thursday that aims to restrain the hand of special interests in local governments across California, but some municipal officials have criticized the measure as misguided and ineffective.... more


San Francisco Examiner - Jun 01, 2000
Petition to throttle campaign donations
Ballot measure would leave tricky question of political gifts to voters
A consumers advocacy group says it has gathered enough signatures to allow San Francisco voters to decide whether city officials can accept campaign contributions and gifts from city contractors.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jun 01, 2000
Contribution-limit vote sought in Vista
Voters may decide whether to restrict campaign contributions and other financial benefits to government officials here if an initiative qualifies for the ballot.... more


Ventura County Star - Mar 03, 2000
If Prop. 30 Fails, Insurers Will Have Fooled Electorate Again
Oaks Project Opinion Editorial By Jeff Christopherson
They are pulling our strings again and most of us haven't a clue, but we could find one if we look back at the last election.... more


KPFK - The Lawyer's Guild - Feb 24, 2000 audio
The Oaks Project and the Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2000
Radio program. 35:32... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Dec 22, 1999
New curbs sought on financial gains for Vista officials
Activists associated with Ralph Nader and Harvey Rosenfield would like voters to impose new restrictions on campaign contributions and other financial benefits to government officials.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 17, 1999
Several Area Cities Targeted for Campaign Reform Drive
Led by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, a new organization is launching a campaign in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Claremont and three other California cities to change the way races for public offices are financed.... more


The Christian Science Monitor - Apr 14, 1998
California's New Boot Camp for Ballot Initiatives
The Oaks Project wants to help people take a leading role in American politics.
During the midday rush outside Ralph's supermarket, David Potorti leans forward on one foot toward scurrying passersby: "Twenty seconds of your time, sir, that's all I need."... more




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