Running for office in California costs more and more money, but legal spending limits make it hard to pay all the bills. So special interests groups are stepping up to run campaigns without candidates--complete with TV spots and mailers, but supposedly "independent" from the people whose names are on the ballot. Democrats in the Whittier area may think they're choosing between Assemblymen Rudy Bermudez and Ron Calderon to replace termed-out State Senator Martha Escutia, but the big money pits the insurance industry against the prison guards. In La-Puente-Baldwin Park, it's optometrists versus ophthalmologists. In the San Fernando Valley, it's insurance and real estate dealers against Indian tribes and hotel and restaurant workers. That's the reality of what are called "independent" expenditures on behalf of candidates by special interests.
- Reporter's Notebook: Clippers One Step from NBA Division Finals
If the Clippers haven't been the doormat of the NBA, they've been close to it since they came to Los Angeles. Tonight, for the first time, they're a game away from the western division finals, tied with the Phoenix Suns, just like the Lakers were a few days ago. Joe Stevens reports on sports for the Long Beach Press Telegram and the rest of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.
Morain's article on independent campaigns
CGS' report, Keeping it Clean: Public Financing in American Elections
Los Angeles Clippers
National Basketball Association (NBA)
Stevens' article about the Clippers, NBA semi-finals