More PR trouble *

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Another batch of questionable public relations contracts with a political twist has caught the media's eyes. The Times' Jason Felch reports today that the giant Metropolitan Water District has paid $4.5 million to various ex-officials and friends of friends to provide advice in the past five years, with scant written justification. Prominent Orange County Republican Curt Pringle got $139,000. Local Democrat Richard Polanco received $105,000, and also has an old quote turned back on him. In 1991, the Times writes, he blasted the MWD in an appearance before its board:

"I'm here to talk about sweetheart contracts, shadow lobbying — and the general underhanded way this agency operates."

Another ex-state assemblyman. Mike Roos, sits high on the list. He received $245,000 in consulting fees in just two years.

* Also: A Fleishman-Hillard subcontractor charged the DWP higher than usual rates, the L.A. Business Journal reports on the front page. Julie Gertler of Consensus Planning Group says no, they didn't.


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