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 California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.
California's Senate passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher education to adopt procedures to prevent campus sexual assault and domestic violence, and to assist victims.
A bill that would require toy guns to be painted with markings to show they are fake has passed the state legislature.
The California Legislature’s “gut-and-amend” process is highly criticized, but lawmakers defend it as necessary.
Sources tell Capital Public Radio that a deal has been reached for legislation that would tighten regulations for ride-sharing companies.