Further refining our analysis of the recently-failed California single-use plastic shopping bag "ban", AB 1998 - let's take a deeper look in to the blizzard of money falling into the hands of the legislators, as put there by the plastics lobby:
South Carolina plastic bag manufacturer, Hilex Poly Co. gave $10,000 to the California Democratic State Central Committee on Aug. 5. On Aug 6th, Exxon gave the Republican Party $10,000, building on other donations it has piled up in California this summer.
Tim Shestek, the American Chemistry Council's state and local public affairs director, calls it “building relationships and support". Borrowing a line from a popular California bumpersticker, Tourist Go Home.
Making more per$onalized/targetted “contribution$” to our local $tate legi$lator$ over the $ummer as they contemplated thi$ bill, Hilex, Exxon, and the ACC (American Chemistry Council, the PR arm of the plastic$ industry) gave the maximum per-election direct donation of $3,900 to, some and more/less to others:
Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, $3900 (voted...?)
Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, $3900 (voted NO)
Curren Price, D-Inglewood, $3900 (voted NO)
Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, $3900 (voted NO)
Lois Wolk, D-Davis, $2,500 (voted NO)
Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, $1,500 (low-balled, and voted YES!)
Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, $4500 (voted...?)
Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, $3000 (voted NO)
Total: $47,100…that we know of… Pretty cheap dates overall. Out-of-state businesses making contributions to California-local state senators. Think about that a minute.
The Sacramento Bee article detailing these transactions goes on to quote $enator Loi$ Wolk: "People are dealing and wheeling - There is a great deal of push on both sides." $he claim$ that her vote, had “nothing to do with contributions – at least it doesn't with me." Ooooh my...she's a $lippery one! Her simple, flippant use of the term "dealing and wheeling" gives great insight into the lobbying process.
Looking at the list, that’s EIGHT VOTES – enough to turn the outcome over in favor of the bill, ya think? We couldn’t have counted on all of them, so no tears shed there – but I, for one, bristle at the thought of greaseball out-of-staters greasing the palms of local electeds for consideration.
Either way, that’s what we’re up against in these fights…the greasers and greasees… Lobbying...or Lubing - you make the call!
Stay tuned for good news tomorrow on a similar front...