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Money & Influence 11.24.2020

Inglewood caps campaign contributions at $100,000 to avoid new state law

“Campaign finance is a constant game of cat and mouse. As soon as states and cities institute campaign finance laws, bad actors try to circumvent them,” California Common Cause campaign finance consultant Sean McMorris said. “They’re essentially rolling out the red carpet for moneyed interests and saying we don’t care what anyone thinks.”

Money & Influence 10.27.2020

$220 million! On one California proposition fight? Here’s who’s spending big on the 2020 Election

Uber, Lyft and other tech companies have raised roughly $200 million on Proposition 22. All the spending — especially after 2010’s Citizens United ruling gave big corporations and unions the right to spend huge sums — rubs some people the wrong way. “So now you have a situation where, if money is speech, speech isn’t free,” said Sean McMorris of California Common Cause, an organization that has called for more transparency in elections. “You have more money, more speech.”

Money & Influence 07.22.2020

Democrats for Rent Control or Democrats for Rent?

Still, the big-dollar donations are impossible to ignore, argued Sean McMorris, a policy and organizing consultant with California Common Cause. “Those campaign contributions are going to create goodwill between [industry donors] and politicians — whether they be direct or through independent expenditure committees that benefit a particular candidate. The message is received. Any politician who says they can disconnect themselves from the large sums of money is lying.”

Money & Influence 06.29.2020

Must Read! Amidst LA Corruption, a Silver Lining and Golden Opportunity

The FBI indictments and ongoing investigations into corruption at L.A. City Hall, Councilman Jose Huizar being the latest to fall from grace, center around electeds and money—bribes, kickbacks, development projects, and political donations... As disturbing as the recent indictments are, there may be a silver lining; L.A.'s campaign finance laws appear to be working. Bear with me for a moment.

California’s campaign watchdog agency could soon lower fines for many political violations

"There are legitimate uses of streamlining, but we want to ensure the proposed penalty structure does not eliminate important deterrents to violators,” said Kathryn Phillips, a spokeswoman for California Common Cause.

Money & Influence 12.5.2018

‘Highly irregular’: Candidate took a salary from campaign contributions while running against Maxine Waters

A candidate paying himself a salary is “highly irregular,” said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, who thinks the vast majority of candidates would refrain from doing it for fear it would look bad to voters and potential campaign donors.

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