lobbyists

Paul Fong Owes Lobbyist $100K

Paul Fong

State Assemblyman Paul Fong has owed $100,000 to one of Sacramento's most notorious lobbyists throughout his five-plus years in the State Assembly. A review of Fong's voting record shows the favor has not gone unreturned.

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New Ethics Laws Will Change Nothing

County Supervisor Joe Simitian has been dubious about new reform efforts, saying policies such as open calendars can be overbearing and/or unenforceable. (Photo by TeachAIDS, via Wikimedia Commons)

Santa Clara County is going forward with a new ordinance to govern lobbyists. By definition, everyone who has an issue or interest is a lobbyist. But this new ordinance would apply only to those who are paid to redress county government.

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Term Limits Help Lobbyists at the Expense of Good Government

For local elected officials, one eye is always on the clock due to term limits. (Image by Eric Fitzpatrick, via Flickr)

Voters love term limits for politicians, but they shouldn’t. The quaint notion that public service should be held only for utilitarian purposes for a short period of time, and that these limits create better government, is misguided and fundamentally flawed. The proof can be seen locally in the current mire that represents our public policy.

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Taxpayer Lobbying is Part of the Game

The recent incendiary headlines regarding the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) employing “lobbyists” was another attempt by opponents to avoid substance and attack the process of building our nation’s first high speed rail system. Make no mistake, this isn’t an abuse of taxpayer money and the holier than thou statements of some pundits are simply cowardly political attacks on very good people.

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To Text or Not to Text

While the idea sounded good in principle, City Council members are finding that it’s not as easy as it seems to put all the text messages that they receive about city business on the municipal record. The city is currently considering a policy that would make all personal electronic communications about official matters public. Ideally, the policy would include all personal emails, text messages, and even Facebook postings. But as Councilman Pete Constant learned, there is no way for him to transfer text messages from his personal iPhone to the municipal email system.

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