Central Coast lawmakers say no to gifts
August 27, 2012
Of the 23 lawmakers in Sacramento who took a righteous stand against accepting gifts by placing signs on their doors, only three adhered to the self-imposed ban. [LATimes]
The rest admitted in required state disclosures that they took some gifts from special interests last year. The gifts include travel to China, iPads, tickets to Disneyland, USC football and Padres baseball games, bottles of wine and luxury seats for an IndyCar race.
Three Central Coast lawmakers, Sen. Sam Blakeslee and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjia, both Republicans from San Luis Obispo, and Assemblyman James Beall, a San Jose Democrat, stood behind the signs they placed on their office doors and refused to accept gifts.
State law allows lawmakers to accept gifts from a lobbyist or lobbying firm if worth no more than $10, and from other sources if the value does not exceed $420.
Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), who reported gifts of more than $6,000 last year, told the LA Times the issue crops up frequently on “lobby days,” when interest groups bring large numbers of people to the Capitol to support their causes.
“I’ve been shocked by the number of things that come in the door during every group’s lobby day,” Huffman told the Times. “I’ve had fruit baskets from the California citrus folks, endless books, apparel of all types. All of this stuff I don’t want. I don’t ask for it.”