The party already has another Senator facing a federal bribery investigation. But the cases aren’t expected to hurt the party too much.
Senator Wright joins Senator Ron Calderon in the legal hot seat. Calderon is under federal investigation for allegedly accepting bribes. He denies the allegations.
Claremont McKenna Government Professor Jack Pitney said neither case will likely have a big impact on the party. He points out Democrats aren’t in danger of losing their Senate majority or the Los Angeles area seats.
“Californians as a whole are skeptical about politicians. But this really doesn’t shock anybody," he said. "It’s not really going to fundamentally change the way Californians view their politicians or the Democratic Party.”
Wright faces up to eight years in prison, though his attorney says he will appeal. He will not lose his Senate seat unless two-thirds of the Senate votes to remove him.
In a statement, Senate President Darrell Steinberg said he respects the jury's verdict.
“Senator Wright is a valued colleague and he has the right to appeal this verdict. I will take a short amount of time to consult with him about his intentions," he said. "I have also begun consulting with my Senate colleagues and our legal counsel and will make recommendations regarding this matter soon."
Wright will be sentenced in March. He faces up to eight years in prison.
The University of California Board of Regents is set to debate a proposed tuition increase Wednesday. UC President Janet Napolitano’s plan would raise tuition by five percent for the next five years – unless the state increases the UC's funding.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is up with a new TV ad that criticizes Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.
California is tapping into reserves to pay for the cost of fighting wildfires.
The official portrait of Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been unveiled and historian says Schwarzenegger’s image reflects the changing nature of gubernatorial portraits.
UPDATED: Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari debated Thursday night. Watch a replay here, or listen to a reply at 9 a.m. Friday on the News Station, in place of Insight.