The state Fair Political Practices Commission’s actions will bewilder most folks:
State lawmakers and city council members can accept expensive gifts from lobbyists without disclosure if they are dating, and can receive meals and lodging in lobbyists’ homes without telling the public, under rules approved Thursday by the state ethics agency.
In addition, officials can accept tickets to Major League Baseball games and other sports and entertainment events if they are performing a “ceremonial duty,” such as throwing out the first pitch. They no longer have to report such gifts, although their government agency must do so, and now they can bring a guest. In another change, it doesn’t matter how much the gift is worth.
The rules overhaul by the Fair Political Practices Commission came in the wake of politicians’ complaints that they were confusing and overly intrusive.
That’s from the L.A. Times. So if a lobbyist is “dating” a politician, anything goes? Really?
What’s also baffling is what the FPPC thinks is an acceptable rationale for this loosening of the rules: to make them easier and more straightforward for politicians to understand and to honor. Is that a priority for Californians who want wants less corruption and clean lawmaking? Uh …. no.