Special Reports

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  • A measure of justice for a mother who met a tragic end Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    A 28-year-old mother of three died as a result of taking part in a radio station water-drinking contest. This is the story of the resulting wrongful death suit that has forced the radio industry to take a different attitude towards dangerous stunts.

  • AmEx is giving us a great big holiday gift Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Penelope, a 26-year-old lawyer in her first job out of law school, learned first-hand an unintended consequences of newly enacted federal legislation cracking down on credit card companies: Credit card companies are taking aim at consumers.

  • Spoiled: California food safety legislation dies on the vine Monday, November 23, 2009

    Food-borne illness sickens 76 million Americans, sends 300,000 people to hospitals and kills 5,000 individuals annually. Still, in the nation’s biggest farm state, most food safety bills are killed or gutted, victims of a powerful agricultural lobby and legislators who have relied on Washington to decide how best to protect food. Here’s a hard look at how the issue fared in Sacramento in 2009.

  • Bowed but far from broken, big banks still hold sway Monday, November 16, 2009

    Financial institutions, including several banks that received taxpayer bailouts, spent almost $4.01 million on lobbying in Sacramento in the first three quarters of the year as they sought to blunt legislation to rein them in. The industry successfully blunted and blocked several bills intended to provide consumer protections and halt abuses that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression.

  • Schwarzenegger raked in subprime lender campaign money Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took more campaign donations, $2.9 million, from subprime lenders than any state politician in the nation during this decade. His aides said the money had no impact on his decisions.

  • Banking lobby spent its way around regulation Monday, September 21, 2009

    Banks and other corporations most heavily involved in the subprime mortgage industries spent $58 million in campaign contributions and lobbying in Sacramento, all in an effort to keep state regulators off their backs and weaken proposals to curb risky lending.