As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, February 06, 2009

Hey Jerry Brown: It's Time To Investigate The Yacht Party

Two months ago I wrote about how Mike Villines' threats on the budget were illegal under Section 86 of the California Penal Code:

86. Every Member of either house of the Legislature, or any member of the legislative body of a city, county, city and county, school district, or other special district, who asks, receives, or agrees to receive, any bribe, upon any understanding that his or her official vote, opinion, judgment, or action shall be influenced thereby, or shall give, in any particular manner, or upon any particular side of any question or matter upon which he or she may be required to act in his or her official capacity, or gives, or offers or promises to give, any official vote in consideration that another Member of the Legislature, or another member of the legislative body of a city, county, city and county, school district, or other special district shall give this vote either upon the same or another question, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years and, in cases in which no bribe has been actually received, by a restitution fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or, in cases in which a bribe was actually received, by a restitution fine of at least the actual amount of the bribe received or two thousand dollars ($2,000), whichever is greater, or any larger amount of not more than double the amount of any bribe received or ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is greater.

It appears that the California Labor Federation includes some readers. Yesterday, they sent a letter to the Attorney General calling for an investigation into illegal vote-trading.

The charge by leaders of the California Labor Federation, State Building and Construction Trades Council, Sierra Club California and the Planning and Conservation League stems from reports that Republican legislative leadership are withholding their votes on a state budget as they attempt to extract votes on policy matters unrelated to the budget.

“Republicans are holding the state budget hostage in a shameful attempt to gut vital workplace and environmental standards that have absolutely nothing to do with the budget,” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. “These actions aren’t just unconscionable, they may be criminal.”

According to a release from the California Labor Federation and the Sierra club there are several examples of actions that may be in violation of California Penal Code.

“Specifically, (Republican leaders) have demanded that legislators vote for proposals to weaken labor and environmental standards as a condition for any ‘aye’ vote from Republican caucus members on the overall budget,” the letter states.

According to the release, “This conduct appears to violate Penal Code Section 86, which prohibits any legislator from offering to give his or her vote in exchange for another legislator’s vote on the same or a different matter.”

Some would call this the criminalization of politics, but in this state, politics is too often a criminal enterprise, and it's high time somebody was taught a lesson. Like the Yacht Party.

AG Brown should do this. There's already a Facebook group set up; I urge you to join it. End the Blagojevich-ization of the California legislature.

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