California Lawmakers Use Secretive Process To Kill Would-Be Laws: ‘Where Good Bills Go To Die’

By Andrew Sheeler, Lindsey Holden, and Stephen Hobbs, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

August 16, 2022

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article26…

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo, went into the last month of California’s legislative session somewhat hopeful about prospects for his biggest bill.

CSAA Faces Lawsuit Over Claims It Overcharged Auto Insurance Policyholders $150 Million

By Lyle Adriano, INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA

August 11, 2022

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/csaa-faces-l…

A lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court claims that CSAA – California’s seventh-largest auto insurance company – overcharged customers during the COVID-19 pandemic by at least $150 million.

California Commissioner Withholds Auto Insurance Rate Approvals, Rattles Market

By Renée Kiriluk-Hill, BESTWIRE

August 10. 2022

https://news.ambest.com/NewsContent.aspx?&refnum=243607

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is pumping the brakes on private passenger auto rate hike requests from carriers, including Geico, which he said overcharged policyholders during COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, according to spokesperson Gabriel Sanchez.

CVS Can't Escape HIV Patients' Disability Bias Suit

By Patrick Hoff, LAW 360

August 8, 2022

https://www.law360.com/health/articles/1518877/cvs-can-t-escape-hiv-patients-disability-bias-suit

CVS Pharmacy can't avoid a proposed class action alleging its prescription drug benefits program discriminates against people with HIV and AIDS, as a California federal judge said the company's separate corporate entities can't shield it from federal health care law.

As Auto Insurance Rates Increase, Legislative & Nonprofit Actions Crop Up

By Lurah Lowery, REPAIRER DRIVEN NEWS

August 4, 2022

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2022/08/04/as-auto-insurance-rates-i…

There have been recent legislative and nonprofit actions announced in California and Illinois regarding high auto insurance rates as news of June rate increases by GEICO and State Farm are just a couple of many that don’t seem to be going away any time soon.

LexisNexis Survey Shows Strong Interest In Connected Services Among Vehicle Buyers

By Dave LaChance, REPAIRER DRIVEN NEWS

July 27, 2022

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2022/07/27/lexisnexis-survey-shows-s…

Nearly 8 in 10 car buyers signed up for a free trial of their vehicle’s connected services when it was offered by a dealer, and nearly half converted to a paid subscription when their free trial ended, according to a LexisNexis Risk Solutions survey published Tuesday.

Suit Seeks Release of CDI Meeting Records In California ‘Pay To Play’ Lawsuit

By Dave LaChance, REPAIRER DRIVEN NEWS

July 18, 2022

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2022/07/18/suit-seeks-release-of-cdi…

A California consumer rights organization is asking a court to order Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office to disclose records of all meetings with representatives of insurance companies involved in what it calls the office’s “pay-to-play scandal.”

Californians Should Decide Whether Its OK For Their Cars Spy On Them

Op-Ed Commentary by Justin Kloczko, Consumer Watchdog for CALMATTERS

Appeared in: Mercury News, Marin Independent Journal, East Bay Times, Santa Ynez Valley News, Lompoc Record, Santa Maria Times, San Francisco Examiner, The Desert Sun, Ventura County Star, Davis Enterprise, Akron Beacon Journal, The Daily Oklahoman, Abilene Reporter-News, South Bend Tribune, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Arizona Daily Star

July 18, 2022

Report: Pilot ‘Mobile Recycling’ Programs Aren’t Fix for California’s Crumbling System

By Brooke Staggs, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Appeared in: Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze

July 15, 2022

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/07/15/report-pilot-mobile-recycling-pro…

The concept sounds promising.

Report: California Insurers Are Lowballing Or Denying Wildfire Coverage

The California Department of Insurance says the report "contains demonstrably false claims"

By Kevin Smith, SAN BERNARDINO SUN

July 12, 2022

https://www.sbsun.com/2022/07/12/report-california-insurers-are-lowball…

If you own a home that suffered smoke damage from a wildfire, don’t be surprised if your insurance coverage falls short — or is denied.

Brewers Need Cans. California’s Broken Recycling System Is Making Them Hard To Find

By Sofia Fernandez, LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 12, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-07-12/california-beer-brewe…

Cindy Le, the operations director at Almanac Beer Co. in Alameda, had customers lining up for her Black Magic IPA and Peaceful Pils this spring. She was just running out of ways to sell it.

The Observer: Proposed Law Requiring Oil Refiners To Disclose Profits Is Only First Step

Opinion Column by Jim Shields, THE WILLITS NEWS

July 2, 2022

https://www.willitsnews.com/2022/07/02/the-observer-proposed-law-requir…

As I reported to you last month, there’s a proposed law that would require oil refiners to disclose their per gallon profits on a monthly basis. The bill recently already passed out of the California Senate by a vote of 22-4.

California State Senator Pushes For New Bill Requiring Oil Refineries To Disclose Profits

By Tom Wait, KCBS TV-2 Los Angeles, CA

June 28, 2022

https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/california-state-senator-pushes…

With oil companies raking in record profits, one state senator is pushing a new law that would require refiners to disclose how much they make on every gallon of gas they sell. 

58 California Legislators Have Taken Over $10,000 In 'Dirty Donations'

By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY

June 12, 2022

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2022/06/12/18850413.php

A May 2022 update to its Tracking the Dirty Dollars Project by Sierra Club California provides some clarity why California’s environmental policies don't live up to the “green” words of the state’s politicians. This update reveals that only 15 legislators have not received campaign contributions from polluters and their allies since January 1, 2021.

KPFA 94.1FM Pacifica Radio - Berkeley, CA: Consumer Watchdog Files Complaint Against Insurance Commissioner Lara For Not Disclosing Source Of Campaign Funds

By KPFA 94.1FM Pacifica Radio - Berkeley, CA

June 8, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog explains why the group filed a complaint with the FPPC regarding the CA Insurance Commissioner's failure to disclose the source of certain funding to his campaign for re-election. 

Cost to Californians $10 Trillion by 2045 From Oil And Gas, Consumer Watchdog Reveals in New Report

By Dan Bacher, ELK GROVE NEWS

June 3, 2022

http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2022/06/cost-to-californians-10-trillion-by…

Los Angeles, CA—A new report released today by Consumer Watchdog reveals that the true cost to the public of California’s oil and gas production and combustion is estimated to reach $10 trillion by 2045.

California Commission Investigating Insurance Commissioner's Campaign Funding

By Timothy Darragh, BEST WIRE

May 31, 2022

https://news.ambest.com/NewsContent.aspx?refnum=241834&altsrc=23

SACRAMENTO, CA -- A California commission on campaigns and finance has opened a money laundering investigation into the campaign of Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, days before his fight to retain his office in the Democratic primary race.

California Wants To Force Insurers To Reward Homeowners For Fireproofing Homes

By Grace Gedye, CAL MATTERS

May 26, 2022

https://calmatters.org/economy/2022/05/fire-insurance-rules/

IN SUMMARY

New rules proposed by California’s Department of Insurance would require insurers to take homeowners’ efforts to reduce wildfire risk into account when setting premiums. But they would still allow non-renewals.

 

The Dilemma Of Property Insurance On The Hill

By David Jerome, IDYLWILD TOWN CRIER

May 25, 2022

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is rolling out new regulations mandating that insurers in the state offer discounts to policyholders who undertake fire hazard mitigation and structure "hardening." The rules are intended to make decisions about rate and risk more transparent and more tuned to the specific risk of an individual property, as opposed to just the zone it is in.

Bill Requiring Refiners To Disclose Monthly Profits Passes Out OF California Senate

By Ian Taylor, BUNKERSPOT

May 25, 2022

https://www.bunkerspot.com/americas/56310-americas-bill-requiring-refin…

SB 1322 (Allen) – a bill that would require oil refiners to disclose their profits on a monthly basis – has passed out of the California Senate by a vote of 22 to 4 and will now be heard in the California Assembly.

California Gets New Rules Covering Medical Malpractice Payments. Here’s What Will Change

By Melody Gutierrez, LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 23, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-23/california-new-rule…

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to raise the amount of money that patients can receive in medical malpractice cases, increasing pain and suffering payments for the first time since lawmakers placed a cap on monetary damages nearly five decades ago. 

California To Raise Medical Malpractice Caps After 47 Years

By Victoria Colliver, POLITICO PRO

May 23, 2022

Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a bill to update California's medical malpractice damage cap, ending a long-fought battle to adjust the pain-and-suffering limit that has remained unchanged for 47 years.

"After decades on negotiations, legislators, patient groups, and medical professionals have reached a consensus that protects patients and the stability of our health care system," Newsom said in a statement following the bill's signing, which was not public. 

Advocates and Victims' Families Look Forward To Gov. Newsom Signing Med Mal Cap Reform Bill

By Staff Reports, KCRW 89.9FM Santa Monica, CA

May 19, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio news broadcast segment.

Advocates and victims' families look forward to Governor Newsom signing AB 35 into law to raise the cap on medical malpractice damages in California after nearly 50 years. 

KCBS 740AM San Francisco, CA: Consumer Advocates and Victims' Families Approve of Raising of Med Mal Cap

By Staff Reports, KCBS 740AM San Francisco, CA

May 18, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Consumer Advocates and victims' families approve of the passage of AB 35 which will raise the cap on medical malpractice damages for the first time in nearly 50 years. 

California Focus: Doubt Removed; Oil Refiners Gouging Us

Column by Tom Elias, CHICO ENTERRISE-RECORD

May 17, 2022

https://www.chicoer.com/2022/05/17/doubt-removed-oil-refiners-gouging-u…

There was some room for doubt back in February, when gasoline prices rose precipitously: Until the oil companies who refine most California gas unveiled their first-quarter profits, it would be impossible to be sure the spike stemmed from price gouging.

California Lawmakers Raise Awards For Malpractice Lawsuits

By Adam Beam, ASSOCIATED PRESS

May 13, 2022

https://apnews.com/article/health-lawsuits-california-legislature-gavin…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Legislature on Thursday agreed to increase how much money people can win in medical malpractice lawsuits, resolving one of the thorniest disputes in state politics by raising a cap on damages for the first time in 47 years.

'Oil Refiners Exploited The Crisis': Report Shows Oil Refiners Are Gouging California Drivers

By Alexi Chidbachian, KTTV FOX TV-11 Los Angeles, CA

May 11, 2022

https://www.foxla.com/news/oil-refiners-exploited-the-crisis-report-sho…

LOS ANGELES - A recent investor profits report shows that California oil refiners are gouging Californians as they earn more than double the number of other refiners.

Column: Everyone Wins In Compromise To Increase Malpractice Payouts — Especially Victims

Column by George Skelton, LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 9, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-09/skelton-malpractice…

SACRAMENTO — It’s being called the Sacramento equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling. Or a Middle East peace pact.

Long-warring enemies have suddenly negotiated a historic compromise over how much money medical malpractice victims can be awarded for pain and suffering.

Western States Petroleum Association Spent $17.5 Million On CA Lobbying Over 3 Years, $952,367 In 2022

By Dan Bacher, DAILY KOS

May 6, 2022

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/5/6/2096432/-Western-States-Petro…

Deep regulatory capture by Big Oil is thriving in California, despite continual boasting by politicians that the state is the nation's "green" and "progressive" leader.

Editorial: Elect Levine To End Lara's Insurance Commissioner Scandals

California needs consumer protection, not partying, dining and cozying up with industry lobbyists and executives

By The MERCURY NEWS and EAST BAY TIMES Editorial Boards

April 28, 2022

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/28/editorial-elect-marc-levine-to-e…

California needs a new insurance commissioner - one that voters can feel confident represents their interests.

ELECTION 2022: An Independent Regulator - Marc Levine Would Be An Insurance Commissioner For The People — And The Planet.

By The LOS ANGELES TIMES Editorial Board

April 28, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-04-28/marc-levine-endorsemen…

Ricardo Lara’s first year as California insurance commissioner — the elected office charged with regulating the state’s $310-billion insurance industry — was an ethical disaster.

Victims of Medical Malpractice Could Win More In Damages Under New Deal Reached By California Lawmaker

By Bob Egelko, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

April 27, 2022

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Victims-of-medical-malpract…

Consumer advocates, physicians and legislative leaders announced a long-sought agreement Wednesday to rewrite change a 1975 California law that placed a $250,000 limit on damages for pain and suffering caused by medical malpractice.

Sacramento Reaches MICRA Deal

By Victoria Colliver, POLITICO PRO

April 27, 2022

California’s nearly 50-year-old medical malpractice compensation limits may soon be increased as part of a deal announced Wednesday that could end a decadeslong fight that’s pitted doctors and insurance companies against patients and families seeking justice in the courtroom for wrongful injuries or deaths.

California’s Malpractice Payouts Would Rise Under A Deal To Avoid A Costly Ballot Fight

By Melody Gutierrez, LOS ANGELES TIMES

April 27, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-04-27/california-malpract…

SACRAMENTO — Cash payments in California medical malpractice cases would go up for the first time in nearly five decades under a deal between rival interest groups announced Wednesday that avoids a costly battle at the ballot box in November. 

US Gas Prices Are Over $4 A Gallon. These Oil CEOs Took Home Over $20 Million

Oil and gas CEOs received nearly $45m more in combined total compensation in 2021 compared to 2020 amid a spike in prices

By Iffah Kitchlew, THE GUARDIAN UK

April 25, 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/25/us-gas-prices-oil-c…

While gas prices soar for consumers, one group of people isn’t faring so badly.

California Bill Setting Greater Disclosures on Insurance Department Bottled Up in Committee

By Timothy Darragh, BestWire

April 22, 2022

A bill requiring greater disclosure between California Department of Insurance personnel and insurance companies and other measures failed to get out of a state House committee, virtually dooming them for this legislative session.

The California House Insurance Committee held AB 2323 without a recommendation.

Inflation Means A Bay Area Resident Will Spend $4,400 More For The Same Stuff This Year

By Kellie Hwang, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

April 12, 2022

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/san-francisco-inflation-170…

Buying pretty much anything in the Bay Area is generally more expensive, but adding rising inflation into the mix has made things even harder.

Just the thought of filling up the gas tank at $6 a gallon can induce anxiety. 

New Lawsuit Against SD Plastic Surgeon Charged In Patient's Death

By Jennifer Kastner, KGTV ABC TV-10 San Diego, CA

April 7, 2022

https://www.10news.com/news/team-10/new-lawsuit-against-sd-plastic-surg…

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A Bonita plastic surgeon who's charged with involuntary manslaughter in a patient's death is coming under fire again. This time it's over a different patient. He's still allowed to practice without notifying patients.

Newsom Unveils Bottle Recycling Plan

By Dustin Gardiner, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

April 6, 2022

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Newsom-proposal-California…

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration unveiled a $330 million proposal Friday that aims to breathe new life into California's ailing bottle deposit program by opening up thousands more locations where consumers can redeem empty bottles and cans for their nickel and dime deposits. 

Ex-LA City Attorney’s Office Lawyer Pleads Guilty In DWP Billing Case

By City News Service, THE DAILY NEWS OF LOS ANGELES

April 5, 2022

https://www.dailynews.com/2022/04/05/ex-la-city-attorneys-office-lawyer…

LOS ANGELES — A former senior lawyer in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge connected to lawsuits involving the 2014 Department of Water and Power billing system debacle.

KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA: LADWP Billing Scandal Meeting Report Implicates City Attorney Mike Feuer's Involvement

By Natalie Savidian, KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA

April 5, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Jamie Court with Consumer Watchdog calls for Mike Feuer to explain why he shouldn't resign after the explosive report implicating him as present in an LADWP extortion scandal meeting. 

S.F. Bottle Recycling Program Draws Ire Of Advocacy Groups

By Dustin Gardiner and J.D. Morris, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

April 5, 2022

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/sf-bottle-recycling-170525…

When San Francisco launched its mobile recycling program at the start of the year, city officials hailed the "first-of-its-kind" effort as a way to make recycling easier for consumers struggling to redeem their empty cans and bottles for 5- and 10-cent deposits. 

Consumer Watchdog To Crack Down On Connected Car Tech In California

By Jonathan Lopez, GM AUTHORITY

April 1, 2022

https://gmauthority.com/blog/2022/04/consumer-watchdog-to-crack-down-on…

As modern passenger vehicles adopt the latest in connected vehicle technologies, there is a growing concern that new connected car tech may be used to unfairly target consumers and breach citizens’ right to privacy, as outlined in a new report from the non-profit organization Consumer Watchdog.

SPYING CARS

By Susannah Luthi, POLITICO PRO

March 30, 2022

SPYING CARS: According to a new report from Consumer Watchdog, car companies are collecting and sharing a growing amount of drivers' personal data, Luthi writes.

How To Stop Insurance Companies and Automakers From Stealing California Driver’s Privacy

By Lynn Walford, AUTO CONNECTED CAR NEWS

March 30, 2022

https://www.autoconnectedcar.com/2022/03/how-to-stop-insurance-companie…

Jamie Court from Consumer Watch dog writes, carmakers and auto insurance companies are trying to track your every movement in your car and use that information against you.  Now Californians have a chance to stop them.

Report from California Watchdog Group Calls for Privacy Protections from Connected Cars

By Staff Reporters, INSURANCE JOURNAL

March 30, 2022

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2022/03/30/660471.htm

A new report from a consumer group calls out what it says are privacy problems posed for consumers from connected cars and it points to new rules to be developed in California as a potential model across the country.

Auto-Delete State Workers’ Emails? Some Departments Scrap Records In As Little As 90 Days

By Wes Venteicher, SACRAMENTO BEE

March 23, 2022

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/articl…

When the California Department of Insurance announced a plan to start deleting employees’ emails automatically after 180 days, an employee raised concerns that had nothing to do with scandals at the top of the department.

KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA: Consumer Watchdog Says Oil Refiners Need To Open Their Books

By Mike Simpson and Charles Feldman - IN DEPTH - KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA

March 18, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Jamie Court with Consumer Watchdog explains how the big 5 oil refiners who own 96% of the market are profiteering on California consumers and should have to open their books. 

Class Action Lawsuit Filed In San Diego Federal Court Over Chrysler Minivans' Recall, Fire Risk Defect

By Staff Reporters, KGTV ABC TV-10 San Diego, CA

March 22, 2022

https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/class-action-lawsuit-filed-in-sa…

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A class action lawsuit was filed in San Diego federal court against Chrysler regarding a defect that allegedly causes its Pacifica minivans to catch fire and explode.

Getting Answers: How Would Forcing Oil Companies To Publicly Disclose Profits Help Consumers?

By Staff Reporters, GOOD DAY SACRAMENTO, KOVR CBS TV-13, Sacramento, CA

March 16, 2022

https://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/2022/03/16/mystery-gas-surcharge/

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Gas prices continue to skyrocket, and Sacramento and Modesto hit new all-time highs again on Wednesday.

As California gas prices continue to reach those record highs, frustration is growing from drivers.

KPCC 89.3 FM SoCal Public Radio: Push For Transparency On Big Oil's Profits

By Staff Reporters, KPCC 89.3FM SoCal Public Radio

March 14, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Public advocates are supporting CA State Senator Ben Allen's new proposed legislation to force big oil refiners to open their books to see if they are indeed profiteering off California consumers. 

KXJZ-FM Capitol Public Radio, Sacramento, CA: New Bill Aims To Force Oil Refiners To Open Books

By Staff Reporters, KXJZ-FM Capitol Public Radio, Sacramento, CA

March 14, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment. 

Consumer advocates support CA State Senator Ben Allen's new bill to force the big oil refiners to open their books to determine if they are artificially boosting prices. 

Why California Gas Prices Are So High and Vary So Widely: ‘Mystery Surcharge’ and More

By Connor Sheets, LOS ANGELES TIMES

March 14, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-03-14/gas-prices-vary-fro…

You’re filling up your Toyota Camry at a gas station in Los Angeles County — home to six oil refineries that pump out more than a million barrels a day, nearly 60% of the refinery capacity in California. With so much oil so close to home, you might think gasoline would be pretty cheap.

KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA: Consumer Advocates Support New Proposed Bill To Rein In Oil Refiner Profiteering

By Margaret Carrero, KNX 1070 AM, Los Angeles, CA

March 11, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

CA State Senator Ben Allen and Consumer Watchdog unveiled new transparency legislation that would open the books on the big oil refiners who are profiteering at the gas pump right now. 

KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA: Oil Refiners Are Laughing All The Way To The Bank

By Staff Reporters, KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA

March 11, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment. 

Jamie Court with Consumer Watchdog tells how CA State Senator Ben Allen is introducing a bill to reign in oil refiners who are artificially jacking up gas prices in CA and laughing all the way to the bank. 

Newsom Proposes Gas Rebate As Prices Exceed $5/Gallon. Why So High?

By Amy Ta, produced by Brian Hardzinsk, KCRW 89.9FM - Press Play

March 9, 2022

https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/press-play-with-madeleine-brand/oil-ukr…

A gallon of gas in California today averages $5.57, according to AAA, and that’s the highest in the nation. Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday proposed a rebate aiming to ease fuel costs, though details are scant. 

Secret Bounties Can Net Consultants Millions to Influence California Officials

By Sophia Bollag, SACRAMENTO BEE 

March 1, 2022

https://www.sacbee.com/article258526768.html

Fabian Núñez and Rusty Areias had a job to do.

The former lawmakers who left public service for private consulting were hired by a workers compensation company to convince the Department of Insurance to allow an acquisition deal to proceed. If they succeeded, they say they were promised a $2 million bounty fee.

Demi Dominguez’s Mother Calls for California Medical Board Reform

By Jose Franco, KGET NBC-TV, Bakersfield, CA

February 24, 2022

https://www.kget.com/news/local-news/demi-dominguezs-mother-calls-for-c…

LOS ANGELES — Bakersfield’s Tracy Dominguez is calling for reform of the Medical Board of California.

Domnguez lost her daughter, Demi Dominguez and premature grandson Malakhi in 2019, due to Demi’s undiagnosed pre-eclampsia.

KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA: Victims of Medical Malpractice Need More Rights In California, Say Advocates

By Craig Fiegner, KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA

February 24, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog says victims of medical malpractice need an independent Medical Board in California, not controlled by doctors as it currently stands.

California Insurance Commissioner Candidate Introduces Bills Addressing Alleged Ethical Lapse at Regulatory Office

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

February 24, 2022

https://news.ambest.com/newscontent.aspx?altsrc=108&refnum=239981

A California lawmaker running for insurance commissioner has proposed a pair of bills to address what he said is a lack of transparency and ethics in the office.

State Senator Lena Gonzalez Introduces Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill in CA Legislature

By Dan Bacher, DAILYKOS

February 17, 2022

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/2/17/2080895/-State-Senator-Lena-…

On February 17, Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) introduced a bill in the California Legislature that would mandate that California’s public pension funds stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

Column: Businesses Have Been Ripping Off Consumers For 50 Years. Here’s How We Can Strike Back

Column by Michael Hiltzik, LOS ANGELES TIMES

February 17, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-02-17/businesses-have-been-…

Raise your hand if something like this has happened to you:

— You booked a hotel room, and discovered when you checked in — or checked out — that the hotel added an undisclosed daily “resort fee” to your bill, for services you never would or did use.

State Farm Doesn’t Have To Refund $100 Million To Homeowners, State Supreme Court Rules

By Bob Egelko, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

February 9, 2022

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/State-Farm-doesn-t-have-to-…

State Farm Insurance will not have to refund $100 million to homeowners after the state Supreme Court denied appeals Wednesday by California's insurance commissioner and a consumer organization, which both contended the customers had been overcharged.

State Senator Dave Min Introduces Bill To Ban Offshore Drilling In California Waters

By Dan Bacher, DAILY KOS

February 9, 2022

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/2/9/2079471/-State-Senator-Dave-M…

SACRAMENTO, CA — In a major challenge to the powerful oil industry in California, Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) today introduced a bill to ban offshore drilling in state ocean waters, including oil production under current lease agreements.

Allstate Price Optimization Hearing in California Scheduled for May

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

February 8, 2022

https://news.ambest.com/newscontent.aspx?altsrc=108&refnum=239697

Sacramento, CA -- A California administrative law judge has set a date of May 10 for an evidentiary hearing and possible motion for sanctions in a long-running case involving Allstate Insurance Co. and Allstate Indemnity Co. and allegations of price optimizing costing drivers an extra $1 billion.

Western States Petroleum Association Spent $17.5 Million Lobbying CA Officials Past 3 Years

By Dan Bacher, DAILY KOS

February 2, 2022

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/2/2/2078099/-Western-States-Petro…

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, has spent over $17.5 million lobbying the California Legislature and other state officials over the past three years.

Florida and California Consider Changes That Could 'Decimate The Rooftop Solar Market,' Experts Say

By Ben Adler, YAHOO NEWS

February 2, 2022

https://www.yahoo.com/news/florida-and-california-consider-changes-that…

California and Florida are considering revoking a policy that has encouraged homeowners to install rooftop solar panels — causing fear among solar panel owners and installers, and creating divisions in the environmental community.

Newly Public Documents Allege Allstate Overcharged Loyal California Customers $1 Billion

By Aaron Sankin, THE MARKUP

February 1, 2022

https://themarkup.org/allstates-algorithm/2022/02/01/newly-public-docum…

A pair of newly public documents filed with a California administrative law judge show experts accusing the company of systematically overcharging customers it believed to be the most loyal around $1 billion over the past decade. 

Column: There’s A Battle Brewing Over Changes To California Solar Incentives. Newsom Is In The Middle

Column by George Skelton, LOS ANGELES TIMES

January 31, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-31/skelton-rooftop-sol…

SACRAMENTO — Rooftop solar is generating intense heat on Gov. Gavin Newsom. And he’s quietly trying to cool it down.

He’s doing that by pressuring warring interest groups and the California Public Utilities Commission.

New Analysis Reveals Fossil Fuel Industry's Job Claims Are 'Wildly Inaccurate' In California, U.S.

By Dan Bacher, ELK GROVE NEWS

January 27, 2022

http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2022/01/new-analysis-reveals-fossil-fuel.html

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, claims that there are 368,000 jobs in the oil industry in California.

Column: This ‘Cost Recovery Fee’ Seems More Like Double Dipping

By Staff Writers, ATLANTA BUSINESS JOURNAL

January 20, 2022

https://www.atlantabusinessjournal.com/column-this-cost-recovery-fee-se…

If there’s a single business you should be able to trust implicitly to watch over you and protect you, it’s home security.

After all, these are companies you pay each month to keep you safe from unwanted intrusions.

Critics Say Newsom's Proposed 2022-23 Budget 'Falls Short' on Confronting Fossil Fuels

By Dan Bacher, DAILY KOS

January 11, 2022

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/11/2073926/-Critics-Say-Newsom-…

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom on January 10 unveiled his 2022-23 state budget proposal including a $45.7 billion budget surplus, receiving both criticism and praise from environmental and climate advocates.

Opinion: California's Recycling Scandal Isn't Just 'Nickel And Dime' Fraud. It's Millions Of Dollars

Opinion By Thomas Elias, THE DESERT SUN

January 10, 2022

https://www.desertsun.com/story/opinion/2022/01/10/californias-recyclin…

In California’s recycling program, nickel and dime deposits add about $1.5 billion a year. But at least $200 million of that goes to criminals, according to a new report from the usually reliable Consumer Watchdog advocacy group.

California Is Sitting On $350 Million In Unclaimed Bottle Deposit Funds, Thanks To ‘Recycling Deserts’

By Dustin Gardener, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

January 4, 2022

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/California-is-sitting-on-3…

SACRAMENTO — Every time Californians purchase a bottle of beer or can of soda, they pay an extra nickel or dime — a deposit they can theoretically get back if the container is returned to a recycling center.

Consumer Group Slams Delay in San Francisco Recycling Effort

By Staff Writers, ASSOCIATED PRESS

December 20, 2021

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2021-12-20/…

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A prominent advocacy group has labeled San Francisco “the poster child” of California's troubled bottle and can recycling program, saying not a single grocery store in the city is required to refund nickel-or-dime deposits.

Bakersfield Doctor With Repeat Offenses Surrenders License To Practice

By Ishani Desai, The BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

December 18, 2021

https://californianewstimes.com/bakersfield-doctor-with-repeat-offenses…

A local mother said Friday her deceased pregnant daughter was denied justice when the Medical Board of California decided to forgo an administrative hearing for a Bakersfield doctor accused of negligence in her death and agreed to let him surrender his license.

Doctor Surrenders Medical License Following Accusations Of Neglect In The Death Of Demi Dominguez

By Anthony Wright, ABC TV-23 Bakersfield, CA

December 16, 2021

https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/doctor-surrenders-medical-lice…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield OB-GYN Dr. Arthur Park has agreed to surrender his medical license in an agreement with the Medical Board of California. Park was accused of negligence in the death of Demi Dominguez in 2019.

Former Doctor Of Demi Dominguez Agrees To Surrender Medical License

By David Kaplan, BAKERSFIELD NOW

December 16, 2021

https://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/former-doctor-of-demi-dominguez-a…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Bakersfield OB-GYN has agreed to surrender his license to the Medical Board of California. This comes after being accused of medical negligence in the death of 23-year-old Demi Dominguez. 

Bottles And Cans

By Debrah Kahn, POLITICO PRO

December 6, 2021

California's dropping recycling rate is increasing its greenhouse gas footprint, according to a new analysis commissioned by the group Consumer Watchdog.

The state's recycling rate for containers was 58 percent last year, far below its goal of 80 percent, POLITICO's Debra Kahn reports. That means some 13.4 billion bottles and cans went unrecycled.

Roseville Wastewater Assistant Director Accused Of Using Public Funds To Pay For Employee’s Law School Tuition

By Jeannie Nguyen and Connor Malone, FOX TV-40 Sacramento, CA

November 18, 2021

https://fox40.com/news/local-news/roseville-wastewater-assistant-direct…

ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — A Roseville city employee has been arrested after investigators said he was caught spending public money that he wasn’t authorized to use. Now, he’s facing felony charges.

Thanksgiving Travel Is ExpectedTo Make A Major Rebound In The Bay Area. Here’s How To Prepare

By Kellie Hwang, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

November 19, 2021

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Thanksgiving-travel-is-expe…

After a dramatic downsizing last year due to the COVID pandemic, Thanksgiving travel is poised to make a near-total turnaround in the Bay Area and U.S., according to airport officials and industry experts.

Whistleblower Or Flamethrower? California Medical Board Member Calls Out His Colleagues

By Melody Gutierrez, LOS ANGELES TIMES

November 17, 2021

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-11-17/california-medical-…

SACRAMENTO — The pleas for help find him. They arrive by email or seep into his social media account. One showed up in a tightly sealed letter to his home. After years of feeling ignored by the Medical Board of California, the writers hope he’ll finally be the one who hears them.

Coalition Forms To Champion Medical Negligence Cap Initiative

By Andrew Sheeler, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

November 11, 2021

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article25…

In 2022, California voters will decide whether to raise the $250,000 cap on payouts in medical negligence lawsuit payouts, indexing it for inflation and empowering judges and juries to decide compensation in cases involving catastrophic injury or death.

US Backs Patients In High Court CVS Disability Bias Case

By Rachel Stone, LAW 360

October 29, 2021

https://www.law360.com/articles/1435636?scroll=1&related=1

Law360 (October 29, 2021, 8:19 PM EDT) -- The U.S. threw its support behind a group of people living with HIV who urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that federal law covers their discrimination claims against CVS, alleging their health plans' prohibition on getting specialty medication from local pharmacies unfairly affected them.

KGO AM SF, CA: Consumer Advocates Call Out CA Medical Board For Lack Of Discipline On Dangerous Doctors

Host - Michael Finney, KGO AM San Francisco, CA

October 9, 2021

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment:  Part 1  -  Part 2. 

Michael Finney talks with Consumer Watchdog's Carmen Balber about the California Medical Board's lack of discipline on dangerous doctors. 

Advocates Say Governor Newsom's $15 Billion Climate Package Fails to Deliver Action on Fossil Fuels

By Dan Backer, ELK GROVE NEWS

September 24, 2021

http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2021/09/advocates-say-governor-newsoms-15.h…

Sacramento, CA -- Against a backdrop of trees at the site of the KNP Complex Fire in Sequoia National Park as wildfires rage across California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Comeback Plan’s $15 billion climate package — the largest of its kind in the country. 

Auto Insurers Scored Windfall Profits From Pandemic Lockdowns

By Staff Reporters, REPAIR DRIVEN NEWS

September 6, 2021

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2021/09/06/auto-insurers-scored-wind…

Consumer groups analyzing insurers’ underwriting performance from 2020 have concluded that auto insurers reaped billions of dollars in excess profits due to reduced accidents during the lockdowns, and say consumers are still owed billions in additional refunds.

U.S. Launches Broad Investigation Into Tesla Autopilot Over Numerous Crashes

By Alan Ohnsman, FORBES

August 16, 2021

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2021/08/16/us-launches-broad-i…

U.S. regulators have opened up the biggest review of Tesla’s Autopilot since the driving-assistance feature was introduced, centered around a string of collisions with emergency vehicles that resulted in numerous injuries and at least one fatality.

Oil Well Permit Approvals Dropped Dramatically This Year, Group Says

By Andrew Sheeler, CAPITOL ALERT - SACRAMENTO BEE

July 27, 2021

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article25…

Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog reports that permit approvals for new or reworked oil wells dropped by 64% in the first six months of 2021, while the number of permit applications from oil and gas companies fell by 52%.

California's Largest Utility Aims To Bury 10K Miles Of Power Lines to Prevent Fires

By Kyle Barnett, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

July 22, 2021

The largest utility in California is planning to bury 10,000 miles of power lines in an effort to prevent fires in the drought-stricken state.

Pacific Gas & Electric said the move is intended to "further harden its system" to prevent accidental outbreaks of wildfires. Several fires in California have been attributed to PG&E equipment over the years.

PG&E’s Plan To Bury Thousands Of Miles Of Lines For Fire Prevention Could Exceed $15 Billion

By Sonseeahary Tonsall, Eric Rucker, Ian McDonald, KXTL FOX TV-40, Sacramento, CA

July 21, 2021

https://fox40.com/news/wildfire-watch/pge-announces-plan-to-bury-thousa…

CHICO, Calif. (KTXL) — Pacific Gas and Electric announced on Wednesday that it plans to bury 10,000 miles of lines in parts of the state with higher fire danger.

Striking USC Nurses Demand More Staff and Training, Cite ‘Profound Patient Safety Issues’

By Carly Olson, LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 14, 2021

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-07-14/usc-keck-norris-cance…

Nurses at two USC hospitals that handle some of the country’s most challenging medical cases are protesting working conditions they say put both medical staff and hospital-goers at risk, the latest in a series of strikes by nurses nationwide that have spotlighted hospital safety. 

Consumer Report Claims Insurers Overcharged California Motorists $5.5B During First Year of Pandemic

By Staff Reporters, INSURANCE JOURNAL

June 29, 2021

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2021/06/29/620665.htm

Most California insurance companies continued to charge pre-pandemic auto insurance rates despite a vast majority of Californians driving far less last year, according to an analysis by Consumer Watchdog on Tuesday.

The report shows auto insurers reaped “a windfall of about $5.5 billion.”

We Pay CRV, But Where Can We Get Our Money Back?

By Zarina Khairzada, SPECTRUM NEWS 1 LA

June 22, 2021

https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/news/2021/06/22/crv-costs-turn-int…

LOS ANGELES — Dozens of bags filled with plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers have been piling up in Nancy Hannickel’s backyard in West Los Angeles.

Hannickel is not happy about it and can’t find somewhere to get the full CRV refund that had been paid for them.

How Much Fracking Is There In California? Newsom, State Regulators Can’t Tell

By Colby Bermel, POLITICO

June 17, 2021

https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2021/06/17/how-much-fr…

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly said that fracking accounts for less than 2 percent of California oil production, but he appears to have vastly underestimated its use as the state prepares to ban the technique by 2024.

Tensions Mount Over Bill To Revamp The Medical Board of California

By Victoria Colliver, POLITICO PRO

June 2, 2021

Patient advocates lambasted last-minute amendments made to a bill concerning the Medical Board of California, including the gutting of a provision to remake the panel with a public-member majority.

What happened: An earlier version of CA SB806 (21R), by Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), increased the size of the board from 15 to 17 members, allowing for eight physicians and nine public representatives. But amendments made late last week eliminated that proposal from the bill.

Biden, Unlike Trump, Thinks Businesses Shouldn’t Be Free To Abuse Consumers

By David Lazarus, LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 21, 2021

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-05-21/column-rohit-chopra-c…

Rohit Chopra is expected to receive the U.S. Senate’s blessing any day now to become the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. His job will be to restore credibility to a watchdog agency that was largely sidelined during the Trump administration.

CA Lawmaker Proposes Bill To Make Getting A CRV Refund Easier For Recyclers

By Staff Reporters, KPIX CBS TV-5 San Francisco, CA

May 3, 2021

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2021/05/03/ca-lawmaker-proposes-bill-…

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — It’s been a year since KPIX first uncovered systemic troubles with California’s bottle and can recycling program. During the pandemic things just got worse. Now lawmakers are looking for a fix. 

Charged For Your Free COVID Vaccine? Federal Gov't Wants You To Report It

By Samantha Chatman, WLS ABC TV-7 Chicago, IL

April 29, 2021

https://abc7chicago.com/health/charged-for-a-free-covid-vaccine-feds-wa…

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some people are frustrated after they said they were charged for their COVID-19 vaccines. The federal government has made it clear that these shots are 100% free to consumers. So why are people still being billed?

Climate Activists Applaud Gov. Newsom's Fracking Ban But Caution It Still A ‘Half-Measure’

By Staff Reporters, PRESS TV

April 24, 2021

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2021/04/24/650179/Climate-change-Califor…

Climate action advocates have cautiously praised California Governor Gavin Newsom's plan to ban hydraulic fracturing by 2024, but stressed that the move is still a half-measure as it allows continued oil drilling for the next two-and-a-half years.

California's New Fossil Fuel Pledge 'Significant' But Still a 'Half-Measure,' Say Climate Advocates

By Kenny Stencil and Jessica Corbett , COMMON DREAMS

April 23, 2021

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/23/californias-new-fossil-fue…

Climate campaigners on Friday cautiously applauded California Gov. Gavin Newsom's moves to cut off new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024 and evaluate phasing out oil production by 2045, while also stressing that the timeline still needs to be accelerated.

South Shore Woman Gets COVID Vaccine Bill From Jackson Park Hospital After Free Shot

By Samantha Chapman, WSL ABC TV-7 Chicago, IL

March 25, 2021

https://abc7chicago.com/chicago-covid-vaccine-near-me-illinois-jackson-…

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has learned that a Chicago hospital is charging patients after getting their free COVID-19 vaccine after a South Shore woman reached out after receiving a bill from Jackson Park Hospital.

State Senator Plans To Ask California Medical Board Tough Questions To Protect Central Valley

By Iliana Capellan, KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA

March 19, 2021

https://www.kget.com/news/local-news/state-senator-plans-to-ask-califor…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Last week we told you about the fight the Dominguez family continues to battle for justice for Demi Dominguez and her son Malakhi De Leon, both of who died in 2019. 

Family of Demi Dominguez Speaking Out Regarding Pending Revocation of Doctor's License

By Lezla Gooden, KERO ABC TV-23, Bakersfield, CA

March 12, 2021

https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/family-of-demi-dominguez-speak…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Two years after her death, the family of Demi Dominguez is speaking out after it was announced the Medical Board of California is seeking to revoke the license of one of her doctors.

Suspected Wrongdoing at the DWP and City Attorney’s Office Is Uncovered

By Sue Pasco, CIRCLING THE NEWS

March 10, 2021

https://www.circlingthenews.com/suspected-wrongdoing-at-the-dwp-and-cit…

The following tale, which has more turns than a mystery novel, involves the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, misconduct at the City Attorney’s Office and the increasingly high utility rates paid by residents.

This Year’s Winter Storm Could Become The Costliest Weather Event In Texas History

By Kyle Arnold, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

February 19, 2021

https://www.bakersfield.com/ap/national/this-year-s-winter-storm-could-…

DALLAS — The deep freeze and snowfall that paralyzed Texas this week could be the costliest weather event in state history as home and auto claims start to pour in, insurance industry officials warn.

Marchers Call For Systemic Reform After Young Black Father-To-Be Dies Following Some 8 Hours In Manteca ER

By Scott Linesburgh, THE STOCKTON RECORD

February 13, 2021

https://www.recordnet.com/story/news/local/2021/02/13/this-shouldnt-hav…

MANTECA – Sharon Washington-Barnes led a group of more than 40 people on a 1.5-mile march through southwest Manteca, visiting each of the medical facilities they felt failed her late brother, Shawn Washington II.

Earthworks Report Reveals California Fails To Safely Manage Toxic Oil And Gas Waste (That’s Also Radioactive)

new report released by Earthworks, along with allies VISION California and Center for Biological Diversity, reveals that California, often portrayed by the state’s politicians and national media as the nation’s “green” leader, is actually one of the worst states in the U.S. when it comes to regulating the oil and gas industry’s waste.

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

January 28, 2021

Elected Watchdogs in Scandal-Plagued Cities Show How SF Might Avert Future Corruption

By Max Pringle, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC PRESS

January 13, 2021

https://www.sfpublicpress.org/elected-watchdogs-in-scandal-plagued-citi…

This article is part of a project examining ways to use the ballot to hold local government accountable. It was supported by the Solutions Journalism Network’s Renewing Democracy program.

HIV Patients CVS Lawsuit Reinstated; Suit That Claims AIDS Patients Lost Medical Information, Guidance May Proceed, Court Rules

By Bob Egelko, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

December 10, 2020

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Suit-that-claims-AIDS-patients…

HIV/AIDS patients who said they lost access to potentially vital medical information when their health plans started requiring them to obtain their medications from CVS pharmacies can sue for discrimination, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

CVS Caremark, Others Must Face HIV Patients' Claims Over Pharmacy Program

By Brendan Pierson, REUTERS LEGAL

December 9, 2020

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court has revived a proposed class action by California HIV/AIDS patients alleging that pharmacy benefit manager CVS Caremark discriminated against them by requiring them to use its own specialty pharmacy in order to benefit from in-network rates through their employer-sponsored health plans.

California Oil Regulators Issued Hundreds Of Improper Permits, Audit Finds

By Janet Wilson, PALM SPRINGS DESERT SUN

November 26, 2020

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2020/11/26/audit-calge…

California oil regulators ignored their own regulations and issued improper permits for hundreds of new wells last year, according to an audit by the state Department of Finance that was finalized this week.

Newsom's French Laundry Dinner Shows How Lobbyists Get Access To Power In Sacramento

By Alexei Koseff, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

November 23, 2020

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Newsom-s-French-Laundry-di…

SACRAMENTO - When he dined at the French Laundry in Yountville this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom enjoyed not only fine cuisine at a three-star Michelin restaurant, but also the company of several influential figures with regular business before his administration.

ONE RULE FOR US - Fury As California Lawmakers Ignore Warning To Fly To Hawaii For Covid Conference After Newsom Broke Rules For Dinner

By Magda Ibrahim , THE SUN UK

November 19, 2020

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13239989/fury-california-lawmakers-hawaii…

EIGHT California lawmakers are facing a furious backlash after flying to Hawaii for a conference despite health officials warning against out-of-state travel amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

Connected Cars Including Tesla Hackable Consumer Watchdog Reports

By Lynn Walford, AUTO CONNECTED CAR NEWS

November 15, 2020

https://www.autoconnectedcar.com/2020/11/connected-cars-including-tesla…

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Consumer  Watchdog released a video showing how a box it built with the help of technologists could hack into the wireless connection of a Tesla and take over the screen with a “This Tesla’s Been Hacked” message.

Expansion Of Landmark California Data Privacy Law Leading

By Jocelyn Gecker, ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 4, 2020

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/11/03/expansion-of-landmark-california…

SAN FRANCISCO — Two years ago, California became the first state to pass a sweeping digital privacy law seen as the strongest of its kind in the United States. Early returns Tuesday showed a measure to refine and expand the law leading with 57% of more than 7 million votes counted.

Can the Ballot Be Used to Hold Local Government Accountable?

By Max Pringle, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC PRESS

November 2, 2020

https://www.sfpublicpress.org/can-the-ballot-be-used-to-hold-local-gove…

San Francisco has faced many scandals in which public officials abused their power for personal, political or organizational gain. Most recently, the Department of Public Works was rocked by an FBI investigation into alleged kickbacks, slush funds and illicit permitting influence. 

Culver City, CA Stands Up To Big Oil, Votes To Phase Out Drilling In Largest Urban Oil Field In U.S.

In a year of record fires, record heat and the unprecedented Coronavirus in California, the City Council of Culver City, the site of the largest urban oil field in the U.S,  voted on October 26 to phase out oil drilling. This vote took place as the Gavin Newsom Administration has expanded oil and gas drilling in California — and the City Council members hope that Newsom will take note of the historic decision.

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

October 29, 2020

CA Regulators Issue 6 New Fracking Permits Yesterday, Bringing The Total This Year To 54

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

October 17, 2020

http://redgreenandblue.org/2020/10/17/ca-regulators-issue-6-new-frackin…

The agency approved the permits after an independent technical review by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, according to Matt Baker, Deputy Secretary for Energy of the California Natural Resources Agency.

Judge Fines L.A. $2.5 Million For ‘Serious Abuse’ In Handling Of Evidence In DWP Case

By Dakota Smith, LOS ANGELES TIMES

October 6, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-10-06/la-fined-serious-ab…

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay a $2.5-million fine, ruling in favor of a consulting firm that accused City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office of concealing evidence in a high-profile lawsuit involving the Department of Water and Power.

Proposition 24: Big Tech Quiet In California Data Privacy Initiative Fight

By John Woolfolk, THE MERCURY NEWS

October 5, 2020

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/10/05/prop-24-big-tech-quiet-in-califo…

Proposition 24 on the November ballot is pitched as an expansion of California's already robust consumer data privacy law, an iron cuff on the claws of companies that profit handsomely from tracking and selling your online search, travel and purchase habits to marketers.

KPCC 89.9FM Pasadena: A New Bill Aims To Expand Consumer Privacy Laws, But Opponents Say To Read The Fine Print

Host - Larry Mantle, AIR TALK - KPCC 89.3 FM SCPR Pasadena, CA

September 30, 2020

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment: https://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2020/09/30/66072/a-new-bill-aims-…

This November, Californians will find a new privacy bill on their ballots. 

Californians Could Sign Ballot Measures Online If Group Has Its Way

By John Wildermuth, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

September 24, 2020

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Californians-could-sign-ba…

A consumer advocacy group wants to pull most of the rickety card tables, dog-eared paper petitions and pushy initiative signature gatherers from California's shopping centers and sidewalks and move it all to the internet.

Newsom Aims To Phase Out New Hydraulic Fracking Permits In California By 2024

By Janet Wilson, THE DESERT SUN

September 24, 2020

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2020/09/23/newsom-aims…

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday vowed to work with the state legislature to phase out new permits for hydraulic fracking by 2024, but left untouched a more widely used oil extraction technique in the state that has been linked to hundreds of oil spills.

California Ban On Fracking By 2024 Criticized As Too Late

By Don Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS

September 23, 2020

https://apnews.com/article/legislature-climate-hydraulic-fracturing-env…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom moved Wednesday to end issuing new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024, a delay criticized by many environmental groups but characterized as legally and politically realistic by another.

Prop 24 Seemingly Seeks To Expand Internet Privacy, Critics Say It Won't

By Angelica Cabral, THE CALIFORNIAN

September 8, 2020

https://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2020/09/08/proposition-24-centers-internet-privacy/5739293002/#

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of four articles highlighting notable ballot propositions. The other propositions The Californian covered were 17, 21 and 22. 

Proposition 24 is a bit confusing.

If Cali. Gov. Newsom Wants To Cut Back On Oil And Fracking, Why Are New Drilling Permits Up 190% In Past 6 Months?

As the California Resources Corporation and other oil companies filed for bankruptcy and COVID-19 cases shattered California daily records in the second quarter of 2020, oil regulators under Governor Gavin Newsom also shattered records for dispensing new oil and gas production well drilling permits, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance said in a report released today.

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

September 3, 2020

WELL, WELL, WELL

By Colby Bermel, POLITICO PRO CALIFORNIA

September 2, 2020

WELL, WELL, WELL: New oil and gas production drilling permit approvals are up 190 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to a Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance report provided to POLITICO.

State Senator Questions Medical Board About Its Handling Of Bakersfield Doctor After Patient Deaths

By Kerry Klein, KVPR NPR Bakersfield, CA

September 1, 2020

https://www.kvpr.org/post/state-senator-questions-medical-board-about-i…

A San Joaquin Valley legislator is seeking answers from the Medical Board of California as to why the oversight agency allowed a Bakersfield doctor to remain in practice even though it determined he had been negligent with patients.

Andrew Yang Takes Lead Role In California Data Privacy Campaign

By Katy Murphy, POLITICO

August 31, 2020

https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2020/08/31/andrew-yang…

SACRAMENTO — Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang is throwing his weight behind California’s November data privacy ballot measure — not just endorsing the initiative but chairing its advisory board, the Proposition 24 campaign announced Monday. 

OC Family On The Hook For $4,400 Bill Claiming They Used Equivalent Of 50 Swimming Pools’ Worth Of Water

By KCBS LA Staff, KCBS TV-2 Los Angeles, CA

August 24, 2020

Click here to view the video of this story: https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/08/24/garden-grove-orange-county-w…

GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) – The Do family lives in a modest single-family home in Orange County.

State Insurance Commissioner, Advocacy Group Reverse Opposition To Wildfire Bill Following Amendments

By Jeff McDonald, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE

August 21, 2020

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/story/2020-08-21/sta…

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the Los Angeles advocacy group Consumer Watchdog issued separate statements Friday announcing they no longer opposed a wildfire-insurance bill.

Lawsuit: Zoom Lied About Security Measures, End-to-End Encryption

By Ryan J. Farrick, LEGAL READER

August 14, 2020

https://www.legalreader.com/lawsuit-zoom-lied-security-measures-end-to-…

The lawsuit claims that Zoom never had end-to-end encryption, despite it telling customers that it did. 

Zoom is facing another lawsuit alleging that the video communications company has deceived consumers by making false claims about its privacy measures.

Zoom Faces More Legal Challenges Over End-to-End Encryption

By Tara Seals, THREATPOST

August 13, 2020

https://threatpost.com/zoom-legal-challenges-end-to-end-encryption/1583…

The video-conferencing specialist has yet to roll out full encryption, but it says it’s working on it. 

Video-conferencing behemoth Zoom has been hit with yet another lawsuit stemming from its claim to offer end-to-end encryption for sessions.

California Bill Addressing Property Rates in Wildfire-Prone Areas Awaits Hearing

By Don Jergler, INSURANCE JOURNAL

August 11, 2020

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2020/08/11/578753.htm

The stage has been set for a major battle over a California bill due to be heard in the next few weeks in a key committee that opponents say is a direct attack on insurance consumer protections and proponents say is the best way to make insurance more available in an increasingly wildfire-prone state.

Op-Ed Commentary: California State Legislators Use Coronavirus As An Excuse To Hijack Democratic Process

By Harvey Rosenfield, SPECIAL TO THE SACRAMENTO BEE

August 11, 2020

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article244870462.html

Three democratic procedures safeguard Californians against hasty and dangerous actions by the California State Legislature:

▪ Every bill gets a legislative hearing.

▪ Committee staff provides an impartial analysis of each bill.

▪ Members of the public are heard. 

Zoom Sued for Misleading Consumers on Data Security Practices

By Andrea Vittorio, BLOOMBERG LAW

August 11, 2020

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/privacy-and-data-security/zoom-sued-for-m…

Zoom Video Communications Inc. allegedly misrepresented the level of security used to protect communications on its platform, giving users “a false sense of security” and violating D.C.'s consumer protection law, according to a new lawsuit filed there.

The All-Star Economic Task Force Advising Newsom During The Pandemic Remains A Mystery

By Phil Willon, LOS ANGELES TIMES

August 10, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-10/newsom-coronavirus-…

SACRAMENTO —  Faced with a pandemic that has put millions of Californians out of work and eviscerated businesses large and small, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised that “health and science” would guide state officials in repairing the economy and steering it toward recovery.

Homeowners’ Insurance In Wildfire Areas: Industry, Consumer Groups Battle Over Rate Boost

By Kathleen Pender, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

August 8, 2020

https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Homeowners-insura…

Nearing the end of their legislative session and the beginning of wildfire season, state lawmakers are pushing through an industry-backed homeowners' insurance bill despite fierce opposition from consumer groups and California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Op-Ed: Legislators Scheming With Insurance Companies To Raise Rates

With Californians in COVID lockdown, industry lobbyists are working to overturn voter-approved consumer protections

Op-Ed Commentary by Harvey Rosenfield

August 2, 2020

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/08/02/opinion-legislators-scheming-wit…

State lawmakers are preparing a gift for you: a massive increase in the premiums you pay to insure your home and property.

What’s In A Name? Everything, Unhappy California Initiative Backers Say As They Sue State

By John Wildermuth, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

August 2, 2020

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/What-s-in-a-name-Everythin…

Campaigns in four of the 12 initiative measures in California’s November election have sued state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, charging that his office wasn’t fair and neutral when it prepared the titles and summaries that will appear on the ballot.

California’s Medical Malpractice Cap Vote Moved to 2022 Ballot

By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL

July 22, 2020

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2020/07/22/576522.htm

Californians will have to wait until the pandemic ends to vote on an initiative to change the state’s medical malpractice cap.

Proponents of a measure to change California’s medical malpractice cap announced today they have reportedly collected 900,000 signatures, enough to qualify the initiative for the November 2022 ballot.

KGO AM SF, CA: Debate On Homeowners' Insurance Bill AB 2167

By Michael Finney, KGO AM SF, CA

July 18, 2020

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Host Michael Finney mediates a debate between Consumer Watchdog's Harvey Rosenfield and Rex Frazier of the Personal Insurance Federation of California about the details of bill AB 2167 to change the homeowners' insurance market in the state of California. 

California's Department of Conservation Rolls Out New Ethics Policy After Years Of Complaints

By Mark Olaide, PALM SPRINGS DESERT SUN

July 15, 2020

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2020/07/15/new-ethics-…

The California Department of Conservation, which has for years weathered accusations of a cozy relationship with the oil industry, has quietly introduced a new ethics policy that has drawn praise from advocates of good governance.

Consumer Advocate Hits Out At Insurers' Senate Funding As Major Bill Looms

By Lyle Adriano, INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA

July 8, 2020

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/consumer-adv…

Consumer Watchdog has warned that members of the California State Senate have taken $2,353,000 in campaign contributions from both insurance companies and insurance industry trade associations in the last two election cycles.

Bakersfield OB-GYN Placed On Probation In Connection With Allegations Of Repeated Negligent Acts

By Amber Frias, KGET NBC-TV, Bakersfield, CA

June 25, 2020

https://www.kget.com/news/local-news/bakersfield-ob-gyn-placed-on-proba…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The medical license of a Bakersfield ob-gyn has been placed on probation for five years after allegations that gross negligence and repeated negligent acts led to a new mother’s death.

Column: As Focus Turned To Coronavirus Crisis, Insurers Pushed For A Sneaky Rate Hike On Homeowners

By Michael Hiltzik, LOS ANGELES TIMES

June 19, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-06-19/insurers-coronavirus-…

It’s fair to say that most Americans see the coronavirus pandemic as an enormous and fearsome burden.

Not the insurance industry. In California, the industry is using the crisis to bring about a sneaky change in insurance rules that could lead to massive increases in homeowner premiums.

Backers of Controversial California Homeowners Insurance Bill Like Its Momentum, Timing

By Don Jergler, INSURANCE JOURNAL

June 17, 2020

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2020/06/17/572626.htm

Backers of a controversial bill in California, which they say is designed to increase insurance coverage in high-risk wildfire areas by amending Proposition 103, believe it has the right timing and plenty of momentum to go all the way.

Newsom Cut 128 Oil Regulation Jobs Because the Oil Industry Asked Nicely

Dear Gavin, Your budget sucks, too.

By Nicole Levin, KNOCK-LA

June 13, 2020

https://knock-la.com/gavin-newsom-environmental-budget-cuts-344ab8791856

“Because one thing I know about cuts, there’s a human being behind every single number. Behind every category is a dream that is either deferred, in some case a dream that is denied. I am sober about it, I’m not naive about cuts.” — Gavin Newsom, May 14, 2020

California Wants To Get Fire Coverage For Burned-Out Towns. Here’s Why Watchdogs Are Worried

By MACKENZIE HAWKINS, CAPITOL ALERT - SACRAMENTO BEE

June 10, 2020

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article24…

After several years of catastrophic burns — and the insurance industry pulling back from some fire-prone communities — many California homeowners will face the upcoming fire season without proper coverage.

California Study Finds Lower Birth Weights Near Oil, Gas Wells

Study looked at 3 million birth certificates and oil, gas info - Low birth weights found in rural areas near active wells

By Emily C. Dooley, BLOOMBERG

June 3, 2020

Pregnant women living in rural areas close to active oil and gas wells are at higher risk o f having babies that weigh less than those born in urban areas, a study of millions of birth records in California shows.

Group Seeks To Toughen California Bonding For O&G

By Staff Writers, KALLANISH ENERGY

May 26, 2020

https://www.kallanishenergy.com/2020/05/26/group-seeks-to-toughen-calif…

A consumer group wants California Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign an executive order to block oil companies from getting state approval for new wells without full bonding for their cleanup, Kallanish Energy reports.

That request was made last week by Consumer Watchdog.

Socialism For The Oil Companies: YOU End Up Paying Cleanup Costs On “Orphan Wells”

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

May 21, 2020

http://redgreenandblue.org/2020/05/21/socialism-oil-companies-end-payin…

Consumer Watchdog called upon Governor Gavin Newsom to prevent oil companies from receiving approvals for new oil wells without first requiring full bonding for their clean-ups, according to a press release from the group today.

Consumer Group Urges Newsom: No New Wells Without Oil Co. Bonding For Permits

By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY MEDIA SF

May 20, 2020

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/05/20/18833152.php

“Given the state’s grave deficit, it’s imperative that no new wells be approved without full bonding for their clean-up and a requirement to plug a certain number of idle wells in exchange for a new permit,” the letter said.

Coronavirus Forces California Initiative Backers To Hold Off Until 2022

By John Wildermuth, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 

April 30, 2020

https://www.msn.com/en-us/Travel/news/coronavirus-forces-california-ini…

Worried about the effect the coronavirus pandemic may have on the November elections, backers will delay until 2022 a California initiative that would raise the dollar limit for damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.

California Battle On Malpractice Caps Delayed To 2022 Ballot

By Staff Writers, ASSOCIATED PRESS

April 30, 2020

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/California-battle-on-malpractice-c…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has delayed by two years what likely would have been one of the most expensive California ballot battles leading up to this November's election, initiative supporters said Thursday.

Mottek On Money: Consumer Advocates Ask CA Insurance Commissioner To Suspend Auto Insurance Hikes

By Frank Mottek, KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA

April 27, 2020

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast: 

https://omny.fm/shows/mottek-on-money/mottek-on-money-special-edition-monday-april-27th

The founder of Consumer Watchdog, Harvey Rosenfield, asks the state insurance commissioner to suspend auto insurance rate hikes during the crisis and discusses other consumer issues.

CORONAVIRUS STALL: Watchdog Urges Suspension Of Insurance Rate Hikes

By Kevin Smith, THE DAILY NEWS OF LOS ANGELES

April 23, 2020

https://www.dailynews.com/2020/04/23/watchdog-wants-auto-insurance-hike…

A Los Angeles-based watchdog group is urging California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to suspend all auto insurance rate hikes through Sept. 1 or for the duration of shelter-in-place restrictions, whichever comes later.

Nursing Homes Want To Be Held Harmless For Death Toll. Here’s Why Newsom May Help Them

By Maura Dolan, Harriet Ryan and Anita Chabria, LOS ANGELES TIMES

April 23, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-23/nursing-homes-legal…

For weeks, nursing homes have been the epicenter of coronavirus outbreaks and deaths in California, making them prime targets for civil lawsuits and even criminal prosecutions.

Illinois Coronavirus: Matteson Man Billed Nearly $2K After Being Tested For COVID-19

By Samantha Chapman, ABC TV-7, Chicago, IL

April 21, 2020

https://abc7chicago.com/coronavirus-illinois-test-testing/6118404/

MATTESON, Ill. (WLS) -- A Matteson man said he got tested for the coronavirus, and is now being asked to pay nearly $2,000 for it.

Now, on top of a scary health battle, Donald Utoh said he's now having to fight a financial one.

Aetna's Ex-Settlement Admin Cuts Deal To End Privacy Case

By Dorothy Atkins, LAW 360

April 20, 2020

https://www.law360.com/insurance/articles/1265146/aetna-s-ex-settlement…

Law360 (April 20, 2020, 3:04 PM EDT) -- Aetna Inc. has reached a deal to resolve its lawsuit alleging a settlement administrator revealed the HIV status of more than 10,000 Aetna members through a bungled class action settlement mailing, according to filings in California federal court.