- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

California lawmakers have pushed forward a bill to ban lobbyists from hosting big-time bashes for elected officials and politicos at their homes under the guise of fundraising.

The senate passed the bill unanimously, Reuters reported. Part of its speedy passage is due to recent scandals in the state which saw several politicians brought up — and a couple of them, convicted — on various criminal charges related to ethics.

Moreoever, it’s only the first bill of many to come.

“The public deserves more transparency in political practices and this measure is a crucial element in a wave of important reforms,” said Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg, in the Reuters report.

In January, Democratic Sen. Roderick Wright was convicted of perjury and voter fraud. In February, Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon was indicted on federal corruption allegations. And in March, Democrat Leland Yee was indicted on corruption and gun-trafficking. Just recently, dozens of politicos fielded letters from the Fair Political Practices Commission in the state that questioned their participation in fundraisers that had been thrown by lobbyists in recent months — a scenario that this particular bill seeks to address.

“I did not expect that these sorts of issues would dominate my last year in what has been a really great run,” Mr. Steinberg said, in Reuters.

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