Pete Peterson, a member of the Democrat Party, wrote on Twitter, “The Republicans are right, but no one will listen in a state where Democrats have supermajorities.” He added, ‘something is happening.’ Then he linked to an article about Democrats getting rich. That is what is happening. It happens in the U.S. Congress too.
The article in the Sacramento Bee reports that having a supermajority pays off for some Democrats. The piece begins, “Recent stories revealing questionable monetary contributions and lucrative no-bid contracts suggest there’s truth to the adage that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Here’s one example from the article:
Let’s start with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood. An investigation by The Sacramento Bee and the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that politically-connected corporate donors have pumped over $500,000 into nonprofits associated with Rendon’s wife, Annie Lam, in recent years.
“Nonprofits are not required to publicly disclose their donors,” wrote Hannah Wiley and Lance Williams. “But since 2016, when Rendon ascended to the speakership, five nonprofits where Lam is employed have received donations or sponsorships from more than 50 entities, according to public records, promotional flyers and interviews.”
Top donors include companies like PG&E, which donated $360,000 to three of Lam’s nonprofits from 2017 through 2019. Other big corporate donors include AT&T, Comcast, Coca Cola and PepsiCo.
“More than half of the sponsors and donors are corporations that regularly lobby the Legislature on bills that have the potential to affect their bottom lines, records show,” wrote Wiley and Williams.
“In a 2018 Sacramento Business Journal report, Lam said she had bumped fundraising by 768% for the API Caucus and boosted the Women’s Caucus budget by 530%,” they added.
Rendon vehemently denies any connection between his position as speaker and the surge in contributions to his wife’s employers.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO NONPROFITS
Yet, as The Bee reported: “Twenty-one of the companies that have supported Lam’s nonprofits have also made a total of more than $350,000 in campaign donations to Rendon since he first ran for the Assembly in 2012, records show.”
There’s nothing illegal about such contributions, but they raise obvious concerns about ethics.
“The real question is if he weren’t speaker, would the nonprofits be getting this money?” asked Bob Stern, who co-authored the 1974 Political Reform Act. “And the answer is probably no.”
Read on at the Sacramento Bee to find out more about Newsom.
Never thought I’d read: “The Republicans are right, but no one will listen in a state where Democrats have supermajorities…” Something is happening. https://t.co/RHwegpIoiH
— Pete Peterson (@Pete4CA) February 24, 2021