Southern California breaking news and trends

Campaign to end the death penalty raises nearly $3 million

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave $250,000 to the Proposition 34 campaign, which would end California's death penalty.

So far, those campaigning to end the death penalty in California have vastly outraised their opponents in the brewing battle over Proposition 34, scheduled for the November ballot. According to records put together by MapLight, a money in politics watchdog, the ballot initiative that would end capital punishment and replace it with life without parole has raised $2.9 million. It's opponents, meanwhile, have about $44,800 in the bank.

Capital punishment, it turns out, has some wealthy foes: Nicholas Pritzker, whose financial empire includes the Hyatt hotel chain, gave $500,000 to Prop 34. Other big donors include the ACLU, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and Quinn Delaney of the Akonadi Foundation.

Donations against the proposition have mostly come from law enforcement groups so far, including the Peace Officers Research Association of California and the Sacramento Deputy Sheriffs' Association. 


Ethics Commission signs off on campaign finance reforms for LA City Hall

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

The Ethics Commission signed off on a batch of campaign finance reforms today, including a requirement that only those donations from Angelenos can count toward matching funds.

Under a package of campaign finance reforms given preliminary approval today by the Ethics Commission, only those donations given by Los Angeles residents would count toward the city’s matching funds programs and candidates for the Los Angeles City Council would be required to receive funds from at least 200 donors living within their districts.

The reforms are intended to give more influence to the average voter and less to major donors and independent expenditure campaigns.

The city of Los Angeles provides city council candidates with public funds if they opt into the program and raise $25,000. For controller and city attorney candidates, the threshold is $75,000, and for mayoral candidates it is $150,000.  Starting with the March 2015 primary, that money must come from Angelenos in order to qualify for matching funds.