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.
Fair Political Practices Commission chairperson Jodi Remke announced Tuesday that she will step down on Friday. It follows months of acrimony with other commissioners.
California Senator Tony Mendoza Resigns After Sexual Harassment Investigation, But Says He'll Run For Re-ElectionFebruary 22, 2018
His resignation followed an outside investigation, which found that Mendoza likely engaged in "flirtatious or sexually suggestive" behavior with six different women, including former staffers and fellows. The allegations date back to 2007.
Report: California Senator Tony Mendoza ‘More Likely Than Not’ Made Sexual Advances Toward Six WomenFebruary 20, 2018
A summary of the Senate’s outside investigation comes after the chamber’s Rules Committee met in closed session to discuss Mendoza’s fate for the second weekday in a row.
New legislative efforts supporting the “Me Too” anti-harassment movement could change the reporting process for victims filing complaints.
Women in California politics, protesting sexual harassment and abuse at the Capitol, distrust the response from legislative leaders.