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.”

 


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9 Comments

  1. OnTheOtherHand says:

    While I am mildly (and pleasantly) surprised that Katcho agreed to the “No Gifts” stand, I am not surprised that either he or Sam lived up to the agreement. I don’t always agree with them on political stances but we do tend to elect relatively honest politicians as our state representatives.

    As an independent who votes for different sides depending upon which issues I think are more important, I am happy that the local GOP at least provides us with decent candidates for whom to vote. I just wish both parties would do the same in all the supposedly “non-partisan” county and city elections.

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. easymoney says:

    About time elected people stop taking gifts…
    But, me thinks this is just election year BS and the well engrained habits of those who gain public office will continue…
    Can you say, bought and sold?

    (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
  3. bobfromsanluis says:

    “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.” Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman; what did you do with all of the “stuff” you didn’t ask for, that you don’t want? If you turned around and donated all of this “stuff” you don’t want and didn’t ask for, I could give you a lot of respect, almost as much as the three elected officials who refused all of that “stuff”.
    I agree that it would be very educational for the voters to know who took what, how much each official took, and what they did with the “stuff”.

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      Good points, bob. I don’t really care if a politician gets a basket of fruit but they should donate the Disneyland tickets/iPads/extravagent stuff to charities like Make-A-Wish or the Salvation Army.

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
    • Paso_citizen says:

      If these sanctified politicians really want the people to believe they do not accept gifts, here is the way:
      1. Any lobbyist that shows up with any kind of ‘gift’ of anykind is immediately and summarly kicked out.
      Tell them, in no uncertain terms, to take their ‘gifts’ and get the H— out.
      2. The lobbyist is identified by name and organization and this information is published in newspapers and
      on iinternet. Along with what ‘gift’ was being offered.

      I also would like to see someone take on the task of publishing a continually updated list of the poloticians that do accept ‘gifts’. Doesn’t this data have to be made public?

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  4. Paso_Guy says:

    “Why is there no list of Piggy politicians who took the gifts?”

    It’s called lazy reporting

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Well, that’s a lulu ! Corrupt politicians on graft don’t generally reveal the xtra perks they get to anyone.
      That’s what tripped up that crook Rostenkowski from Illinois…the #3 guy in the House. Regularly accepted bribes of junkets and comped dinners from the same corporate/fascist/lobbyist cabal that is still operating today.
      Only when he traded stamps for personal profit …at mere hundreds of dollars, was he caught ; and spent time in Crowbar Hotel.

      I give Sam Blakeslee some kudos for his efforts, but it has to also translate to all services remuneration. Life exceptions for all politicians. NO GIFTS, EVER ! Healthy pensions, yes.

      THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS A RECIPE FOR CORRUPTION.

      (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
  5. diamond says:

    Why is there no list of Piggy politicians who took the gifts? I would certainly like to know.

    (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
    • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

      It’s called exceptional reporting

      (-4) 12 Total Votes - 4 up - 8 down

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