Lobbyists and Sacramento Campaign Money

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California?s $35 billion budget gap isn?t the only financial issue on the minds of the state?s 40 Senators and 80 Assembly members. Every year, they set new records money-raising for their own campaigns. In 2002, California led the US in the amount of money spent by lobbyists to influence legislation. In the past 5 months, lawmakers have hosted no less than 153 campaign fundraisers in Sacramento restaurants and hotels, often inviting lobbyists to bring contributions to fundraisers held before crucial votes on legislation. Since the next pubic campaign reports aren?t due until July, it?s not yet clear how much money?s involved, although tickets commonly go for $1000 a piece. We speak candidly with Democratic Assemblyman John Longville and former Assembly Speaker Leo McCarty about the role of money in the legislative process.
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Warren Olney


Frances Anderton