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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

Big Banks Bigger Fees 2012

A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that free checking remains available at more than 6 out of 10 small banks and credit unions but was only found at one-quarter of surveyed big banks (those with over $10 billion in deposits). The survey released today by the California Public Interest Research Group also revealed that fewer than half of branches surveyed obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all. 

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News Release | CALPIRG | Financial Reform

New Survey Shows Free Checking Widely Available At Small Banks But Banks Still Hiding Fees from Consumers

San Francisco November 15– A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions found that free checking remains available at more than 6 out of 10 small banks and credit unions but was only found at one-quarter of surveyed big banks (those with over $10 billion in deposits). The survey released today by the California Public Interest Research Group also revealed that fewer than half of branches surveyed obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all. 

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News Release | CALPIRG | Democracy

Youth Vote Posts Strong Showing in 2012 Elections, in California and Nationally

“Despite months of hand-wringing about a supposed young voter enthusiasm gap,” said CALPIRG State Director Emily Rusch, “yesterday’s results show that young people are willing to engage in our democracy, particularly if encouraged to do so.”

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News Release | CALPIRG | Democracy

CALPIRG Lauds California Supreme Court, FPPC for Taking a Stand against Post-Citizens United Dark Money “Laundering” Scheme, Calls for New Legislation to Expose the True Source of Contributions

CALPIRG applauds our State Supreme Court and Fair Political Practices Commission for taking a stand against the secret campaign contributions pervading our elections in California and across the country. This lack of transparency is particularly concerning with the recent track record of extremely wealthy donors and corporations deciding to invest millions of dollars to influence the outcomes of California elections. 

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Big Money and Dark Money in the 2012 Elections

A new analysis of pre-election data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by CALPIRG and Demos shows that outside spending in the first presidential election since Citizens United is living up to its hype: new waves of “outside spending” have been fueled by dark money and unlimited fundraising from a small number of wealthy donors.

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Media Hit | Transportation

New York Times: California Bullet Train Project Advances Amid Cries of Boondoggle

With a brashness and ambition that evoke a California of a generation ago, state leaders — starting with Gov. Jerry Brown — have rallied around a plan to build a 520-mile high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, cutting the trip from a six-hour drive to a train ride of two hours and 38 minutes. And they are doing it in the face of what might seem like insurmountable political and fiscal obstacles.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Toxic or Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the California Public Interest Research Group’s 26th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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KQED: CALPIRG Releases Annual List of "Toxic Toys"

Parents fond of the phrase “don’t put that in your mouth” may read the latest report from the California Public Interest Research Group as avidly as a suspenseful page-turner.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

Supercommittee Squanders Opportunity to Cut Waste

Though the Supercommittee failed to seize an opportunity, Congress still has time to tackle waste and cut where there is common ground. Our joint report offers them a roadmap that we hope they’ll follow.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Consumer Protection

New Protections for Cell Phone Customers

 Cell phone companies will alert consumers when they approach and then exceed their limits on voice, data or texting. Users will also receive an alert when their phone connects to a cellular system in a foreign country, which incurs pricy roaming fees. 

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