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Modesto awarded $3.7 million contract without following normal bidding rules

But spokesman Sean McMorris with the good-government group Common Cause California said in an interview that if Modesto believes Rank Investigation & Protection is the best company, then the city should have proved it by having it compete through a request for proposals. “If this is the best person for the job,” he said, “they still will get the contract if it goes out to an RFP.” McMorris said there is no justifiable reason for a city not to issue a large contract through a request for proposals or other formal competitive process that will draw a lot of responses, giving a city a full range of companies to evaluate before picking one.

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.

Ethics 10.9.2018

Are political swamps in California and Washington mostly drained? This study says they are.

Kati Phillips, a spokeswoman for California Common Cause, said the index shows there’s work still to be done in the Golden State. “We’ve worked to drain the swamp in California, but we still have our share of alligators,” she said.

Is Montebello fair in how it allocates road repair money?

“Generally speaking as a matter of practice, most city council members will recuse themselves on votes that impact their own personal street,” Feng said. “(But) recusal rules only apply when somebody has a direct financial interest.”

Voter fraud conviction inspires bill loosening oversight of lawmaker residency

California Common Cause wrote to the committee that it would establish a double-standard placing legislators "uniquely above the law" by giving them "carte blanche to lie about their residence for voting purposes," while courts have no way to review whether they actually live at the domicile they claim.

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