Editorial: Tribe spend big in California capitol
"When California voters elect men and women to the state Senate and Assembly, they no doubt expect their legislators to represent them and work for the general good of their districts and the state.

But one has to wonder if that is the case. Few legislators are elected without heavy dependence on huge war chests of campaign donations from special interests.

Once they are in Sacramento, our 120 legislators are constantly bombarded with propaganda from those same organizations and a growing number of lobbyists representing particular interest groups with self-serving requests. Often lobbyists' efforts include gifts as well as weighted information and privileged access to legislators.

Indian tribes have been big spenders in Sacramento. The Morongo Band, for example, spent $4.39 million to get a deal allowing the tribe to add thousands of new slot machines to its casino. The Agua Caliente Band of Indians spent $1.46 million in similar efforts."

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Editorial: State legislators succumb to expanding influence of lobbyists (The Contra Costa Times 4/5)