Support for ethics reform legislation among California lawmakers, which reached a peak after the arrest and indictment of Democrat State Senator Leland Yee earlier this year, is dying a slow death in the Sacramento legislature.
The centerpiece of the effort was a bill introduced in February by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) that would establish “blackout dates” in which political campaigns could not accept campaign contributions.
According to CBS San Francisco, the bill has drawn “complaints” from Democrats on the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, who refuse to vote one way or another on the bill. Similar bills that would look more critically at political fundraising and nepotism have also lost support in the Legislature recently.
Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Contra Costa) told CBS that the pressures of political reality are too much to bear when lawmakers consider ethics reform legislation.
“Unfortunately, it’s human nature,” he said in the report. “It’s just money in the country right now has way too much influence in the political process whether it’s Washington or Sacramento.”
Still, the legislator is optimistic that the Legislature can pass tighter campaign donation reporting laws when it reconvenes in August.
“Plenty of research indicates [these laws] have led to the disparity of income and the struggle with both poverty and middle class. Because if you’ve got money, you can get laws written to protect you.”