CalWatchdog Morning Read – August 22

CalWatchdog Morning Read – August 22
  • CalWatchdogLogoLegislators’ new campaign slush funds
  • Casino hires dad to lobby his daughter?
  • Two OC GOP legislative candidates running from Trump
  • Holes in Denti-Cal
  • Prop. 47 led to 52,000 fewer arrests

Good morning. Happy Monday. Legislators begin another week of whittling down the seemingly never-ending piles of bills left to consider before the session ends later this month.

But a new report highlights what many of the legislators have been doing outside of the building.

“Hamstrung by strict limits on political contributions, California lawmakers have found a way to continue to extract large sums from some of Sacramento’s most powerful special interests.”

“Increasingly, they’re using ‘ballot measure committees,’ little-known and barely regulated accounts that are supposed to promote or oppose state and local initiatives, but in practice are paying for consultants and polling firms, new suits and trips to Mexico. And the money for the politicians’ perks comes in the form of five-figure donations from the same special interests that state rules were intended to curtail.”
 
Highlights on how money was spent to woo donors include: $17,000 one assemblyman spent on appetizers and $25,000 another former legislator spent on suits for his donors. 
 
The San Jose Mercury News has all that and much more. 
 
In other news:
  • “A casino operator has hired former Rep. Gary Condit’s firm to lobby the state Legislature at a time when the legislative panel overseeing gambling issues is chaired by Condit’s son-in-law,” writes the Los Angeles Times.
  • How two Republican state legislative candidates in tight races are running from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, from The Orange County Register.
  • “The government spends more than $1 billion annually on California teeth, offering dental coverage to 13 million low-income residents who qualify for Medi-Cal services. But, most California dentists refuse to participate in the Denti-Cal program, leaving patients with impossible wait times that lead to expensive health consequences,” reports Capital Public Radio.
  • “A 2014 California voter-approved initiative that reduced penalties for certain drug and property crimes has led to the lowest arrest rate in state history as police frequently ignore those illegal activities, experts say,” reports The San Jose Mercury News/AP

Assembly:

  • In at 1 p.m.

Senate:

  • In at noon. 

Gov. Brown: 

  • No public events announced. 

Tips: [email protected]

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Medi-CalDonald TrumpDenti-Cal

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