Orange County Register (Op-Ed): End California’s Corridors of Corruption
Right now, appointed local officials cannot receive lavish contributions from wealthy interests when those interests are seeking favorable votes for contracts, licenses, permits, or land use entitlements. That’s common sense. But, bizarrely, the same is not true for local elected officials sitting on our city councils and boards of supervisors. They can accept big checks from wealthy interests and then immediately turn around and vote on the things those interests covet most. And those things are also the things that determine whether our neighborhoods are safe or dangerous, blighted or beautiful, traffic jammed or commuter friendly.
Enter Senate Bill 1439, a bill authored by Democratic state Sen. Steve Glazer and co-authored by Republican state Sen. Scott Wilk. Supported by Common Cause and other good government groups, the bill would close this loophole in the state’s Political Reform Act, prohibiting local elected officials from accepting a contribution of more than $250 from someone seeking a license, permit or other entitlement while a decision is pending before the local elected officials.