California’s Democrat Party has canceled a lavish annual fundraiser “that costs as much as $65,000 per foursome,” according to Reuters, after a series of corruption scandals made party leaders skittish about associating so openly with wealthy donors. The party will almost certainly continue to raise the money regardless, but will likely do so through private channels rather than spectacular, highly public events.
Three recent scandals have cost Democrats their two-thirds supermajority in the state senate, through the suspension of members accused of serious crimes. In January, State Sen. Roderick Wright was convicted of perjury and voter fraud. In February, State Sen. Ronald Calderon was indicted on federal bribery charges. And in the last week of March, State Sen. Leland Yee was indicted on charges of corruption and gun-running.
Local CBS affiliate KHTK of Sacramento has a full timeline of the scandals involving the three legislators–and more may be forthcoming. The near-absolute power that Democrats enjoy in the state has apparently served as too great a temptation for some lawmakers. It remains to be seen, however, whether the state Republican Party can muster the strength to take political advantage and restore some balance to the state legislature in 2014.