FPPC

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

Consumer Watchdog will present new evidence at the upcoming Petroleum Market Advisory Committee meeting to show that refiners have used market power to raise gas prices. The committee will be discussing recommendations for the legislature on how to fix the California petroleum industry.

Details on that, the DTSC's Independent Panel Review, which will be discussing the scandal surrounding the now-shuttered Exide battery recycler, and the FPPC's move to close a loophole that allows lobbyists to avoid registering, below.

Loophole Would Keep Lobbyist Spending In Shadows

UPDATE, Thursday Jan 21: The Fair Political Practices Commission approved new rules requiring lobbying interests to report tens of millions in shadowy payments to influence the legislature. But the FPPC’s failure to close a loophole could make the rules moot by allowing companies to funnel those funds through a middle-man and continue keeping most of their spending in the dark.
 

Kaiser Gets Away with Hiring Regulator Who Worked on Mental Health Failure

If Kaiser Permanente can't evade the state's scrutiny into its mental health fiasco, it will just buy the regulators doing the scrutiny. And get away with it when caught. 

On Thursday, the Fair Political Practicies Commission approved a fine for a state official who was involved in the 2012 audit of Kaiser's mental health plan and then a month later started at the HMO and worked on responding to the survey.

Shining Light Into A Big Black Hole (Or The Undisclosed Millions Big Industry Spends Lobbying)

The Fair Political Practices Commission is promoting new lobbyist disclosure rules after massive spending by the oil industry at the end of the last legislative session killed a law that would have reduced petroleum use in California by 50%. 
 

Political Money Watchdog Wants More Transparency, Less Vague Payments

At the end of California's last legislative's session, a mailer landed in thousands of mailboxes slamming an historic climate change proposal that would have slashed petroleum use in cars and trucks in half by 2030. It was sent by a grassrootsie-sounding group called the California Drivers Alliance. But in reality, it was just Big Oil's mouthpiece, Western States Petroleum Association. 
 

Corporations Find Ways Around Conflict of Interest Rules at CA Tax Board

The obscure yet powerful California Board of Equalization (BOE) is a petri dish for how companies skirt conflict of interest rules.

The nation's only elected tax board decides cases involving sales, property, or income taxes; and the agency collects dozens of taxes and fees, which generates nearly $60 billion in revenue. Because of their power, the Legislature passed a law that board members must recuse themselves or return contributions before voting on issues affecting companies that have given them $250 or more in the preceding 12 months. 

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