Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP (BM&H) "specializes in campaign, election and administrative law and litigation at all levels of government." [1]

Principals

  • "Republican lawyer who works as legal counsel to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has filed an initiative that would raise the minimum wage--but also abolish the eight-hour day for overtime."—Capitol Weekly, February 21, 2006. [7]
  • Appointed and served 1977-2003 as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission. "McAndrews has served as legal counsel and treasurer to state and local political action committees, as well as candidates and ballot measure committees. She served as an official United States observer of the Russian elections in 1993. She also trained emerging political parties in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic prior to their first democratic elections. She recently concluded service on the Speaker’s Commission on the California Initiative." [8]

Representing Front Groups

  • Dave Johnson reported in his September 15, 2006 The Huffington Post article on new MB&H client Economic Freedom Fund that other Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk's clients include:
  • California Tribal Business Alliance—"an 'Indian Gaming' organization" whose "mission statement is 'to safeguard and enhance the success of the business enterprises of our tribal government members' ....... and 'will foster business development and coalition building with like minded government and business leaders in California.'" (Also see this.)
  • "Californians for Paycheck Protection—yet another front group—this one sponsoring a California anti-union ballot initiative. (Their major funders in 2005 (go see how much) included the Chamber of Commerce and the California Republican Party.)" (Also see this.)
  • "notorious anti-environmental Congressman Richard Pombo." (See here.)
  • "big tobacco", with BM&H as "Philip Morris Outside Counsel" (See this.)
  • "A different partner at this firm, Thomas Hiltachk, filed the 'Fair Pay Workplace Flexibility Act of 2006'—a stealth attempt to get rid of California's overtime rules."

BM&H LLC has also "fronted" for:

  • Californians for Schwarzenegger, "a committee formed to promote the election of Governor Schwarzenegger during the recall election of 2003." [9]
  • Citizens Against Measure R, a California group "sponsored by and with Major Funding provided by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.", used Bell's Sacramento office address in 2005. [14]
  • Note: The LA Voice reported September 7, 2006, that "Judge Robert H. O'Brien ordered that Measure R - the term limits extension/ethics revision package - be removed from the November ballot because it improperly combines multiple subjects in a single question." Charles H. Bell Jr. "called the judge's decision a win for voters."
  • Californians For A Fair Business Policy, a "Tobacco Institute-created front group in California" at BM&H's Santa Monica address fought "local efforts to enact smoke-free bans in California in the early 1990s" and "Conducted referenda on existing bans." [15]
  • Employees of Northrop Grumman PAC, using BM&H's Santa Monica address, contributed to Sen. Bill McCollum's Florida campaign in 2000. [16]
  • First Federal Bank of California PAC, which received termination approval in January 2006, received two contributions in 2003 and 2004 at BM&H's Santa Monica address. [17]

Propositions & Recalls

In 2003, then known as Bellow, McAndrews, Hitachk & Davidian LLP, Bell and partner Thomas W. Hitachk represented[18] Ted Costa, who filed the petition and "Drove the 2003 California recall election" against then-Governor Gray Davis.

At a 2003 "hearing on the campaign tactics of the No on Measure JJ," James Allardice reported in the Santa Monica Mirror, "[t]hree months after Santa Monica's Living Wage ordinance was overturned at the polls," Kent Wong, "Director of the UCLA Labor Studies Center, tied the No on JJ campaign to several consulting firms—most notably The Dolphin Group." [19]

"The Dolphin Group, which is based in Westwood, is best-known for the Willie Horton ads used by George H.W. Bush's presidential campaign in 1988," Allardice wrote.

"Wong singled out the law firms of Neilson, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller and Naylor and Bell, McAndrews, Hiltachk, and Davidian and two individuals—James Lacy and William 'Lord' Butcher—whom, he argued, along with the Dolphin Group, had played significant roles in the passage of Propositions 13 and 188, the election of Govenors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson and the recall of three state Supreme Court Justices."

"Represents Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competitions in a suit against the City of Chula Vista CIty Clerk and the San Diego Registrar of voters. Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition is a front group for the Assocated Builders and Contractors (ABC)."

Other Clients

Contact Information

Main Office: Sacramento:
455 Capitol Mall
Suite 801
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: 916 442-7757
FAX: 916 442-7759

Santa Monica Office:
1441 Fourth Street
Santa Monica, California 90401
Phone: 310 458-1405
FAX: 310 260-2666

Website: http://www.bmhlaw.com

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

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