California lobbyists are facing increased scrutiny by the Fair Political Practices Commission.
The FPPC prosecuted 14 lobbyists in 2012 for violations of the California Political Reform Act, up from just one lobbyist prosecuted two years earlier, says the commission's year-end report. The FPPC also sent 54 warning letters to lobbyists who violated the law in 2012, said the FPPC's enforcement chief, Gary Winuk. Warning letters go out when evidence shows the law was broken, but circumstances do not warrant imposing a fine.
Lobbyists are required to file quarterly financial statements with the secretary of state's office that disclose who their clients are, how much they're being paid, and which bills or agencies they're lobbying. Any failure to file those reports can result in an investigation by the FPPC. Winuk attributed the rise in lobbying prosecutions to better coordination between the FPPC and the secretary of state's office.
The FPPC's report also touts a rise in prosecutions of money laundering and an increased focus on behested payments. The agency reports that its major successes in 2012 included fining Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson $37,500 for failing to report on time the payments he asked donors to make to charities.
BY THE NUMBERS
California's rate of homeownership continued a years-long slide last year and is now the second lowest in the nation, according to a new Census Bureau report. During the last quarter of 2012, just 54.1 percent of Californians lived in homes that they or their families owned, the Census Bureau said. Only New York, at 53.1 percent, had a lower rate.
"I do want to dispel the rumor that if you drink the water in San Francisco, it makes you gay. That's not what happens. It was vodka for me."
ASSEMBLYMAN TOM AMMIANO, an openly gay San Francisco Democrat, at a news conference touting legislative measures aimed at fighting water contamination
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