July 19th, 2012
Although corporations can and do make important contributions to our society using advantages that the government has wisely granted them, the people of the city and county of San Francisco do not consider them natural persons.

 —Text from a non-binding policy statement introduced by San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos that officially opposes the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee approved the measure on Monday, and the full board is expected to vote next Tuesday on whether or not to place it on the ballot for voters in November. What do you think of the declaration?

February 1st, 2012

Californians gave more than $12 million to super political action committees in 2011

In all, California residents gave more to super PACs last year than residents of any other state except Texas (which threw millions behind its own governor, Rick Perry), New York and Washington, D.C., according to filings submitted yesterday – the first time most super PAC donors have been made public.

See who’s donating to what super PAC in our new searchable database.

January 24th, 2012
Candidly, those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.

Chris Dodd, former U.S. senator and chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, to Fox News last week.

As anti-piracy legislation stalled in Congress last week, the movie industry’s top lobbyist, former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, warned Democrats not to count on Hollywood money if they turn their backs on the industry’s legislative priority. Read more.

(via centerforinvestigativereporting)

January 24th, 2012

Counterterror, disaster response centers not sharing information

Dozens of high-tech command centers built or beefed up throughout the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to promote better information sharing and disaster preparation have struggled to do just that.

No state has more intelligence fusion centers than California, with five of the 72 around the country that are formally recognized today by the federal government. They were first created in 2004 so local police, the FBI, private security professionals and telecommunications experts could meet at one table and swap tips about possible threats.

View Fusion centers and EOCs in California in a larger map

The precise number of emergency response centers nationwide is less clear, but between 2010 and 2011, the Golden State’s congressional delegation pulled down $7.8 million in federal earmarks for more than a dozen of them in the cities of Elk Grove, Whittier, Compton, Pasadena and elsewhere. Read the full story here.

December 13th, 2011


The Political One Percent of the One Percent

In the 2010 election cycle, 26,783 individuals (or one in ten thousand Americans) each contributed more than $10,000 to federal political campaigns. Combined, these donors spent $774 million. That’s 24.3% of the total from individuals to politicians, parties, PACs, and independent expenditure groups. Together, they would fill only two-thirds of the 41,222 seats at Nationals Park the baseball field two miles from the U.S. Capitol. When it comes to politics, they are The One Percent of the One Percent.

Reblogged from Dataviz by Sunlight
October 20th, 2011

Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is dominating the money race in California, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry also has mined millions out of the Golden State in just a few months, according to new campaign finance data released this week.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Romney has raised $3.9 million from Californians since he began his presidential campaign late last spring. Perry has raised $1.2 million from California donors since he entered the race in August.

A complete breakdown of California totals for each of the Republican candidates is above.

August 24th, 2011

Frank Quan’s family has lived at China Camp State Park in California, catching and selling shrimp, since the 1890s. He’s the last remaining resident of a Chinese fishing village that once thrived on San Pablo Bay. Now the state is closing China Camp State Park along with dozens of other parks because of budget cuts. What will happen to Frank?

(Source: californiawatch.org)

August 17th, 2011

California was at 20 percent in 2009.


“The latest numbers on poverty among U.S. children are so striking that they make you do a double take.”


Reblogged from PBS NewsHour
August 11th, 2011

California cash has buoyed Texan Rick Perry

The news this week that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is all but certain to enter the Republican presidential field has no doubt come as welcome news to some conservative Californians.

After all, it was a Californian – state Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Chico – who made headlines earlier this year by forming a committee designed to draft Perry into the race. And it was another Californian – La Jolla businessman Robert Schuman – who even more recently formed another committee in the hopes of wooing voters to Perry’s camp.

Looking at the historical record, this enthusiasm for the Texas governor should come as no surprise. Perry long has had his share of admirers in the Golden State, according to Texas campaign finance records.

Since he was elected governor in 2000, Perry – who is known as a prolific fundraiser – has brought in more than $457,000 from California donors – many of them political committees and interest groups with a stake in business causes.

A list of Perry’s California donors follows - read the full article here.

July 8th, 2011

Learn more about California’s pot growing boom and why it’s provoking a major pushback from federal law enforcement. A co-production of the Center for Investigative Reporting and KQED News in association with Frontline. You can also join @cironline and @KQEDLiveNews in a live Twitter chat tonight at 7:30pm - use #capot to join the conversation!

Explore the full series online: http://californiawatch.org/republic-of-cannabis

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.