Posts Tagged: influence
Sunrise in the Mojave Desert, CAstle Peaks. (Photo: sierralara, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The window of opportunity is rapidly closing for Senate Leader Toni Atkins and the California Legislature to save the Mojave Desert from Cadiz, Inc.’s reckless plan to suck the water out from under one of the Earth’s driest places and sell it to water golf courses and suburban lawns as far away as Orange County. Killed by Barack Obama and revived by Donald Trump, the water mining project would dramatically overdraw the aquifer below the desert and almost certainly stop the flow of water to the springs that preserve the Mojave’s fragile biodiversity.
Welcome to the 10th running of Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 list, our annual look at people who aren’t elected to office but who wield decisive influence on California politics or policy — or both. Much has changed in the nine years since we started this exercise. We shifted from a Republican to a Democratic governor, emerged from the Great Recession to become the world’s fifth-largest economy and watched GOP voter registration dip to third-party status behind decline-to-state. Hardball politics got even harder.
Money in the halls of power. (Illustration: Kentoh)
FollowTheMoney: California established a separate classification for federal Super PACs to better facilitate disclosure of activities in state elections. Once a Super PAC raises $2,000 or more to influence a race for state office, it must file reports with the state that clearly identify both the funding behind the activity as well as detailed information about the specific political activity.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: N.F. Photography)
ANALYSIS: Influencing legislation is a complicated business. There is no high-tech computer model that can predict whether a bill introduced in the California Legislature will become a law and, if so, the form it will take. However, there are many, knowable influences that regularly shape state legislation in California.
The state Capitol in Sacramento at night. (Photo: Susanne Pommer)
Cutting deals is part of the Capitol culture — it’s how laws are made. But does this deal-making come close to the legal line, or even cross it? Let’s continue our review of California criminal statutes that might apply to the wheeling and dealing of the Legislature.
Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden, chair of the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee, at a 2007 Capitol hearing. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
It’s been almost 70 years since Michael J. Machado was born in San Joaquin County, but he still calls Linden home. Having seen the decades pass has given him a perspective on small town farming in the Central Valley. “Linden hasn’t changed much since I was born,” Machado reflected recently, “It’s tripled in size since I was a boy, now with a bursting population of 2,500.”
Marijuana plant. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
If California legalizes recreational marijuana, the state should develop a single highly regulated marijuana market—for medical and recreational uses. This is among the key findings of a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). It analyzes the regulatory approaches taken by Washington and Colorado — the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana.
The campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: LAgirl5252
A move is afoot in the Capitol to bring back a higher education watchdog and restore a data trove of 1.7 billion records on public colleges and universities that were placed in limbo by Gov. Jerry Brown.
A major Sacramento-based lobbyist and his firm have been fined a record $133,500 for throwing fundraisers for politicians and candidates – parties that violated the state’s laws governing gifts and campaign donations to public officials. The enforcement arm of the state’s Fair Political Practice Commission posted the settlement with lobbyist Kevin Sloat and the firm, Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, on the FPPC web site on Monday.