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Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Consumer Watchdog fights to make your voice heard by calling out dirty politicians and attacking the influence of the special interests that keep them in power. From Sacramento to Washington D.C., we follow the money trail from special interests to policymakers and track bad public policy back from politicians to their donors. Our web site CapitolWatchdog.org is dedicated to pulling the curtain back on corruption in California's state capitol.  Our LA Watchdog project is now keeping watch on corruption in the City of Los Angeles's Department of Water & Power, Mayor's Office and City Council. 

Gov Newsom Fires Top Oil Regulator & Institutes Sweeping Ethics Review of Agency In Response To Watchdog Report of Conflicts

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog today thanked Governor Gavin Newsom for firing the state’s top oil and gas supervisor and instituting an ethics review of the state’s oil well approval and inspection process in response to its recent report of conflicts at the agency and request.

Consumer Watchdog Urges Governor Newsom to Fire Oil Regulators With Conflicts of Interests

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Watchdogs Call For Resignations & Permit Freeze As California Oil Regulators Approve Surge In Well Permits While Personally Invested In Oil Companies

Los Angeles, CA -- A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate.  One of the regulators is among the top three in command at the State’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).

Insurance Commissioner Lara Gives Insurance Industry Money Back, But Questions Remain About Circumstances Of Influence-Peddling At Agency

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s decision to return over $54,000 in contributions from donors tied to a company seeking the Commissioner’s approval for an acquisition was an “important first step that protects the credibility of the elected position you hold.” The non-profit advocacy organization urged the Commissioner to return the money in a letter yesterday.

Wildfire Legislation On Track or Train Wreck?

Can Sacramento help wildfire victims get paid without bailing out the investor-owned utilities that claim they cannot pay for all of the wildfires they start?

The debate came to a head today in the California Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, where a parade of skeptics gave tenuous support to a proposal by the Newsom Administration. It tries to make sure shareholders pay for fires utilities start and ratepayers pay for fires where the utilities aren't at fault.

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Governor Newsom’s Energy Commission Report Taking on Gas Price Manipulation

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that the California Energy Commission under Governor Gavin Newsom is finally taking steps to confront artificially high gasoline prices in California by acknowledging the role of oil refiners' supply and retail price manipulation in sky-high pump prices.  

Consumer and Recycling Advocates Condemn Loss of Last Recycling Center West of 405 Freeway

Santa Monica, CA --- At the site of the soon-to-be shuttered Santa Monica Community Recycling Center, consumer advocates called on California lawmakers and regulators to rescue the failing redemption industry. The center, closing Saturday, is the last redemption center west of the 405, serving 200,000 people on LA's Westside. 

Appellate Court Holds Mercury Insurance Accountable for Phony Premium Overcharges

Los Angeles, CA -- A state Court of Appeal in Orange County has upheld $27 million in civil penalties imposed by former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones against Mercury Insurance Company for falsely claiming premium overcharges its agents tacked on top of its approved rates were “broker fees.”

California Insurance Commisioner Ricardo Lara Receives “D” Average on Report Card

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Los Angeles, CA – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who has approved $292 million in auto and homeowners’ insurance rate increases since being elected, has received a “D” average from the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog on his first four-month report card.