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.
It’s shaping up to be a hot, dry summer in California. And rules governing outdoor work conditions have been modified to keep people better protected.
California depends on gas tax revenues to maintain its roads. But that revenue is declining. Now the state is looking for volunteers to try out a new funding method, but volunteering could cost you money.
California lawmakers are considering imposing limits on short-term online rental services like Airbnb. A Senate committee took up the issue today.
California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on local water agencies to adjust their pricing structures as a way to promote conservation. But a state court ruling issued today could undermine those efforts.
California’s system of water rights is coming under scrutiny as the state’s drought gets worse. Today Governor Jerry Brown indicated there may be some changes coming to the century-old system.