Politics, government and public life for Southern California

House Ethics Committee had a busy year

It was a busy year for the House Ethics Committee.

In its end-of-the-year report, the House Ethics Committee says it met 35 times in 2012. That's more than twice the number of meetings in the year before.

A great part of the committee's time is spent training Congressional staffers about the rules and regulations. It also answers questions - a lot of them, apparently. Over the past two years, the committee fielded 40 thousand requests for "guidance" from staffers via phone, email or personal visits to the Ethics office.

The other side to the House Ethics Committee is its investigative work.

Over the past two years, it looked into nearly 100 different matters. The committee publicly addressed 27 of its investigations - just under a third of the total cases.

Several of those cases involved Californians.

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California's Latino members of Congress campaigning for fellow politicos

A Democratic party official says Congresswomen Linda, left, and Loretta Sanchez are "our best messengers to Latino voters in these districts where the Latino vote is critical to our success."

Congressional candidates are busy getting out their messages to voters in these last few weeks before the November election. With the Latino vote being targeted around the country, a number of rising Latino Congressional stars are also working hard outside of their districts.

Redistricting has made this a particularly busy election year for Congressional Californians. Democrat Loretta Sanchez of Anaheim says when she learned in January what her new district would look like, she began knocking on the doors of "as many of the homes that are new to the district." She's also been registering new voters in her redrawn district.

But Sanchez has found the time to help out a fellow Democrat, State Senator Alan Lowenthal, who’s running for an open Congressional seat in Long Beach where 34% of district residents are Latino.

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