Campaign Finance

Corporations Find Ways Around Conflict of Interest Rules at CA Tax Board

The obscure yet powerful California Board of Equalization (BOE) is a petri dish for how companies skirt conflict of interest rules.

The nation's only elected tax board decides cases involving sales, property, or income taxes; and the agency collects dozens of taxes and fees, which generates nearly $60 billion in revenue. Because of their power, the Legislature passed a law that board members must recuse themselves or return contributions before voting on issues affecting companies that have given them $250 or more in the preceding 12 months. 

UPDATE: FPPC thinks twice, will not limit financial disclosures

In a quiet email and with no explanation, the Fair Political Practices Commission reversed course today and said it was withdrawing proposed new rules to limit online disclosure of politicians' financial dealings.

Will Ethics Board Kill Disclosure of Politicians' Fundraising for Pet Charities?

Yesterday, the Fair Political Practices Commission sent out an interested persons notice that it's considering removing disclosure of behested contributions solicited by politicians from its website after a period of 7 years. 

It's Good to be King

It’s called “behesting.” An elephant-sized loophole in California’s campaign finance laws, behesting is campaign donors’ and lobbyists’ best way to curry favor with public officials without running into pesky gift bans or campaign contribution limits. Even the oblique name – a gift given at the “behest” of an elected official – keeps these unofficial contributions flowing under the radar.

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