LA Times:Big money from special interests attempts to sway three local elections

Written by admin on July 13th, 2010

On the local level in California, the inrush of campaign financing from special interests is at an all time high.

Story here:,0,6660645.story

Most of the $2.9 million that the interest groups spent on the contest went to oppose Salas and support Vargas. The contributing committees included Californians for Balance & Fairness in the Civil Justice System, another group created and controlled by the Civil Justice Assn. of California.

The association lobbies the Legislature against bills they believe would allow unreasonable lawsuits against its members, which include oil companies BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron; insurance firms AIG, Allstate, Farmers and State Farm; pharmaceutical giants Bristol-Myers Squibb and Bayer; and the tobacco firm Altria, which owns Philip Morris USA.

“Our political activity is aimed, as it has always been, at helping elect legislators who will bring more balance and fairness to the civil justice system,” said John H. Sullivan, president of the Civil Justice Assn. of California.

Salas was bolstered by the arch-nemesis of Sullivan’s group, the Consumer Attorneys of California, which represents trial lawyers who often sue big corporations. The organization contributed heavily to the California Alliance, which campaigned in support of the assemblywoman. The California Nurses Assn. was another big contributor to the alliance.


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