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FROM THIS EPISODE

State legislators are gunning for the California Medical Board with a proposed new law that would give the Board's power to investigate doctor misconduct to the Attorney General. The unpaid Board is accused of failing to act against doctors who prescribed medicines that caused patients to die. Board members and their defenders say it's overworked and underfunded. Also, campaign spending limits imposed by Los Angeles City voters are overpowered by so-called “independent” political action committees.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the deadly collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh has increased political unrest in that country, and brand-name western clothing makers are accused of shirking responsibility. What about consumers who demand low prices?  Could Bangladesh go the way of other Asian countries that enforce laws on wages and working conditions?

Banner image: Sam Metsfan

Producers:
Anna Scott
Kerry Cavanaugh
Christian Bordal

Main Topic Are Californians Safe from Their Doctors? 18 MIN, 52 SEC

The Los Angeles Times has reported that drugs prescribed by doctors played a role in almost half Southern California's deaths from prescription-drug overdoses over a five-year span. At least 30 patients in Southern California died of overdoses while the State Medical Board was conducting investigations. One investigation took four years, during which eight of the doctor's patients died of overdoses or related causes. That's led Democratic State Senator Curren Price of Los Angeles to co-sponsor a bill that would transfer the Board's investigative authority to the Attorney General.

Guests:
Curren Price, Jr., Los Angeles City Council (@CurrenPriceJr)
Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times (@ScottGloverLAT)
Henry Fenton, Fenton Nelson

Reporter's Notebook Are Super PACs 'Gutting' Spending Laws in LA Mayor's Race? 6 MIN, 18 SEC

Almost 30 years ago, Los Angeles voters approved strict spending limits on political campaigns. Individuals or corporations can contribute $1300 to a primary candidate and another $1300 if there's a runoff election. But in this year's race for Mayor, one third of the money raised by Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti — $6 out of $17 million — has come from so-called "Super PAC's" which have virtually no limits on them at all. Ben Bycel was executive director of the city's Ethics Committee, which oversees the process, in the 1990's.

Guests:
Benjamin Bycel, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission (formerly)

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