MAPLight.org LA: uncovering campaign finances

MAPLight.org LA: uncovering campaign finances

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Hey, part of the Sunlight Foundation network for government accountability and transparency is MAPLight.org, the investigative group that keeps track of big money interest group
campaign contributions and its corruptive influence on Congress.

Maplight has a new
government transparency site, MAPLight.org Los Angeles. The new site arms
users with campaign finance data allowing them to uncover detailed
information about special-interest contributions given to Los Angeles
elected officials, turning ordinary citizens into political watchdogs.

"Special interests would not be spending millions to fund politicians'
election campaigns unless they wanted something in return," said Daniel
Newman, MAPLight.org's executive director.

MAPLight.org Los Angeles shows what's possible in the emerging movement of
Web 2.0 government transparency.

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2 Comments

twodogkd

We need a Maplight in the Inland Empire.
All those running for reelection took money from contractors etc, and they voted on contracts or other matters benefiting those who provided campaign donations.
Garbage contracts, buying up property under threat of eminent domain and selling it to a favored developer (I believe for less than the cost to taxpayers).
Giving exorbitant tow deals and rates to tow companies ($175 to $311 PER HOUR — time starting in the tow yard — PLUS the daily parking fee of around $46 to over $50, PLUS sticking citizens with a city imposed "Franchise Fee" of $65 per car, PLUS $40 for a dolly if needed, PLUS if you try to pick your car up after hours then there is another fee, can't remember exactly but something like $87.50 per quarter or half hour.
TOTAL THAT UP AND THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL PAY to get your car out of the tow yard (if there are not any city imposed other charges for processing), if you have extra hundreds in the bank and can find a way to get to the tow yards that same day.
These charges apply to Officer ordered tows. People involved in an accident who have called AAA to tow their cars, have been ordered by the local police to use the OFFICER ORDERED TOW, allegedly for safety reasons, but I don't believe it.
At a City Council meeting the tow people said owners do not pick up over half the cars towed, and I am guessing his stats were for BEFORE these increases and extra fees hit.
While this may seem like a petty small item, repeat items being passed like this week in and week out and it puts a different picture on what is happening here in the IE, or should say City of Riverside, CA
The Council voted also to make ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS NO STREET CLEANING ZONES, which leaving no where to move cars to, means lots of ticket revenue for cars left in the street, and doubled tickets if citizens pull off onto the lawn.
Two or more favored RE developers gave campaign donations and walked away with property and one developer also had a sweetheart deal with the City to use 400 spaces in a a deluxe downtown garage in a prime location from 8 to 5 pm for less than half the cost to replace these spaces.
The City also finds reasons to repeatedly do no bid (and on the upcoming agenda bid only 3 allegedly) or not competitively bid contracts.
I think the Inland Empire is one area that really needs a MAPLight to shine down on the Council, the BY ROTE VOTES, and what to me is the appearance of repeatedly favoring special interest over the best interest of the Citizens of Riverside.
A glaring example of this is their efforts to push Greyhound out of Riverside without a care for the 83,000 passengers trips provided in/out of Riverside each year.

Allen Laudenlsager

Objecting to a specific plan is not trying to torpedo health care in general. The keys to finding a system that works is really quite simple of you take the politics out of the discussion. No matter who supplies the health care; government or private companies, we need the following:
1. Portability so that if I change jobs or move to another state I keep my coverage.
2. 2. The same cost as an individual as an employee of a big corporation. Yes, I would have to start paying what my company used to pay but no more than the total that both my employer and I used to pay.
3. If I can be covered for a preexisting condition when I start a new job at a specific cost, then I should be able to get the same coverage as an individual
This is my list, you may have a different list, but we are debating how not what. Both sides miscaricaturize being against a specific plan for health care that includes changes to immigration as being against health care in general. If we could get the politicians to stop loading in unrelated issues, we might get something done.

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