Ethics complaint closed

first_imgThe state’s political watchdog agency has closed an ethics complaint into Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s magazine consulting contract without conducting any investigation into whether the agreement violated conflict of interest laws, according to documents released Friday. The Fair Political Practices Commission concluded that there is no provision in state law that allows the agency to sanction a statewide elected official – such as the governor or the attorney general – for conflict of interest. Therefore, its members reasoned, the agency had no reason to carry out a probe into the question, documents obtained by The Associated Press under the California Public Records Act show. Attorneys representing a Petaluma family who filed the complaint said the agency’s announcement was baffling. “It doesn’t make any sense,” said Jonathan Davis, who represents Denise and Raymond Garibaldi, whose son committed suicide in 2002 after a period of steroid use. “The commission is taking the position that even if the governor was found to have violated conflict of interest laws when he signed a contract to receive millions of dollars, the commission nor any individual citizen can do anything about it. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We believe this is something that the Legislature needs to take a very serious look at,” he said. The terse, one-page, Oct. 4 letter from Mark Krausse, executive director of the FPPC, to the family noted that the agency enforces the Political Reform Act. The law provides sanctions for conflict of interest violations, but also says, in another section, that they “shall not be applicable to elected state officers for violations of section 87100, the conflict of interest provisions,” wrote Krausse. “The Fair Political Practices Commission is therefore unable to proceed with this investigation.” The Garibaldis’ complaint was one of two made in July to the commission in the wake of disclosure that the governor was earning at least $1 million annually from a contract with a fitness magazine publisher, American Media Inc. At the same time he was working for the publisher in September 2004, Schwarzenegger also vetoed legislation that would have regulated the sale of nutritional supplements, an industry that provided much of the ad revenues for the fitness magazines. Although the governor has insisted that he broke no rules, he gave up the consulting contract shortly after the company’s annual report filed with the Security and Exchange Commission by the company made the relationship public and raised a storm of protest over the agreement. Last month, Schwarzenegger signed similar legislation by state Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, into law that prohibits high school athletes from using certain performance-enhancing supplements and requires students and parents to sign a pledge not to use them. The governor’s office declined to comment Friday on the decision of the Fair Political Practices Commission. A spokesman for the commission said that a second complaint, filed by the California Democratic Party, remains under review. Some experts have argued that Schwarzenegger’s contract was not a conflict of interest because the proposed legislation would have regulated an entire industry – not a single company that did business with the governor. Still, some observers raised a larger question – why California’s top political regulator appears to have no ability to fine or sanction statewide office holders for conflict of interest. “This is a very strange provision in the law,” said Steve Levin, staff attorney for the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles. “It would seem to be prime issue for the FPPC to be looking into, what appears to be a classic conflict of interest.” Speier, who has introduced legislation to limit the governor and other statewide officeholders from earning outside income, said that there was clearly a defect in the Political Reform Act that needs to be addressed. “Whether it was a loophole by design or by mistake, it is clear that it must be addressed,” she said. She noted that, because the governor had resigned his position with the publisher, there was no longer an ongoing issue with Schwarzenegger having a conflict of interest and she would not call for further investigation. Lance Olson, an attorney for the Democratic Party, said that he believes the Fair Political Practices Commission should have looked deeper into the governor’s contract – whether or not the agency could impose sanctions. “They have an obligation to investigate, and they didn’t do diddly,” he said. “The fact that they could not sanction under the law doesn’t mean that people don’t want to know if the governor had a conflict of interest or not.” Olson, who wrote the other ethics charge against the governor, said that he does not believe the same legal argument will doom his complaint because he raised other questions including whether the governor properly disclosed the business relationship. One issue for the commission, however, could be manpower. The agency announced earlier this month it had dropped about 225 complaints against candidates or elected officials accused of breaking elections or ethics laws because of budget cuts. The commission has asked the governor’s office for $1.2 million in funding next year to help bring back its staffing level to where it was in 1991. Speier said she was concerned about the lack of resources at the agency. “I don’t feel comfortable that the FPPC does not have the resources to do the job,” she said. “What if the attorney general said we can’t continue prosecuting cases because we don’t have the personnel?” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Steve Kerr on Oracle fans: “We’ve got to give them more to cheer about”

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn’t necessarily agree with Klay Thompson about the lack of crowd noise inside Oracle Arena during a stunning defeat to the Phoenix Suns.But, yeah, he gets it.“I think I understood what he was talking about, but it’s all tied together,” Kerr said Monday at the team’s practice facility. “When you play well, when you play with great energy and a great pace and spirit, fans are …last_img read more

All About Doors

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Almost every house has at least two exterior doors. A bad exterior door is ugly, leaky, made from materials that injure the planet, and has a low R-value. A good door is attractive, doesn’t leak air, is manufactured with materials that are harvested or produced in a sustainable way, and has a decent R-value.Some architects design the main entry door to impress visitors who walk up to the house and ring the doorbell. But very few visitors arrive on foot, so most homeowners no longer need to impress doorbell-ringers. These days, most visitors park in the driveway and enter a house by the side door, just like family members.There are two basic categories of exterior doors: solid doors (usually made of wood) and insulated doors (usually make of polyurethane foam protected by skins of steel or fiberglass).Solid wood doors are expensive. If you can afford a solid wood door made out of a durable species of wood, and you like the look, that’s probably the way to go. Note, however, that the R-value of a solid-wood door is lower than the R-value of an insulated steel door or fiberglass door.If your exterior door is exposed to splashback, especially splashback mixed with rock salt (a problem in regions of the country where salt is spread to help melt ice), a steel door will eventually rust. That’s why fiberglass doors are preferable to steel doors.A solid wood door will have an R-value of R-2 or R-3. An insulated steel or fiberglass will have an R-value that is twice as good — generally R-5 to R-6, but in some cases as high as R-7. European manufacturers of Passivhaus-certified doors advertise R-values as high as R-11.Energy Star doors without a glass lite must have a minimum… last_img read more

Jaundice scare grips Cuttack city again

first_imgSupply of contaminated drinking water in most parts of the city through broken pipes has once again brought the city under the grip of jaundice. Tulasipur area covering at least three municipal wards of the civic body is the worst affected as over 75 persons here have been hospitalised for jaundice in last few days.District Collector N. C. Mishra on Friday visited the affected areas and ordered for random sample collection of all water sources to ascertain the cause and source of jaundice. Most households here entirely depend upon PHD pipelines for potable water and the pipelines have broken at many places.last_img read more

The Spoils of War

first_imgRs 77 croreAnnual fee from 22 endorsements and matches played. Sachin Tendulkar’s annual fee is Rs 64 crore.Dhoni’s endorsementsRealty CheckHis new home, Shaurya, is built on a 4,500-sq ft stretch in Ranchi’s Harmu neighbourhood. The Indian skipper built the duplex bungalow on a Rs 1-crore loan that was offered interest-free to him by the State Bank of India.31%of ads during the World Cup carried Dhoni as brand ambassador, according to tam Sports. He was No. 1 among celebrities in tv advertising. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag occupied ranks 5 and 6. In 2010, Bollywood stars led by Katrina Kaif, not cricketers, dominated.Rs 1 CROREawarded by BCCI after the World Cup win.Rs 2 CROREby Delhi Government. There’s also a house or plot in Mussoorie; stadium to be built in Dhoni’s name in Uttarakhand; residential plot by the Bangalore government; Hyundai car and plot by a Rajkot builder; land for a cricket academy in Jharkhand; Jharkhand Ratna award and an honorary doctorate by Jharkhand Government; lifetime ac pass by Indian Railways.last_img read more