Rethinking Transparency and Accountability: Part 1

By Mark Moses
Virtually everyone in local government claims to champion transparency and accountability, but few attempt to define either of these terms or identify what conditions support and maintain them. Too often, municipal leaders rely on gimmicks and process to demonstrate that their government organization is meeting these laudable goals, rather than focus on building the culture...

TAGS: campaign finance, Government Spending, municipal bankruptcy, Transparency, Transparent California

Rethinking Transparency And Accountability: Part 2

By Mark Moses
As with transparency, accountability is championed in government settings. Government officials and employees must be accountable to the public for the decisions they make and the money they spend, but what is really meant by accountability, and how should we think about it in a local government context? The best description of accountability that I...

TAGS: accountability, campaign finance, municipal bankruptcy, Transparency

Tracking Political Spending by Government Unions

By Edward Ring
With a rough top-down analysis, it’s easy enough to estimate how much government unions collect and spend every year in California. They have roughly a million members, paying roughly $1,000 per year in dues. That would be one billion dollars per year. They spend about a third of that to fund political campaigns for candidates and ballot...

TAGS: California public sector unions, campaign finance, Dark money, Elections, public sector union reform

Government Union Money Dwarfs Corporate Influence in California Elections

By Edward Ring
The disparity in fundraising in California between Democrats and Republicans is systemic. From statewide offices to local races, government unions — not corporations — make or break candidates, and it’s not even close. A survey of  California’s Secretary of State website will debunk any suggestion that Democrats are protecting California’s citizens from the big bad corporations. If...

TAGS: California government unions, campaign finance, campaign spending, Dark money, public sector union political spending

California Union Watch 2022 Quarter 1 Review

By Brandon Ristoff
The California Union Watch Twitter account (@CalUnionWatch) has been tracking government union contributions over the first quarter of this year (January 1, 2022 through March 31, 2022). Here are the five biggest union contributors from this year so far. We will be only focusing on state-level elections. 5. California Professional Firefighters The California Professional Firefighters...

TAGS: campaign finance, government union