Thursday, March 6, 2014

East Bay Lawmakers were Gifted Many Dinners; Others Drake and A's Tickets

Bob Wieckowski enjoys Game 2 of the ALDS
with a gift from an Oakland business.
LEGISLATURE | During the Oakland Athletics’ playoff run last October, sports fans trained their eye on the action in the batter’s box. However, East Bay politicos also saw another type of gamesmanship in the same television shot as two local Assembly members, Rob Bonta and Bob Wieckowski, watched the game on separate days from front row seats directly behind home plate.

The premium tickets were gifts, according to statement of economic interests forms filed this week. But, a state senate bill currently in committee this week may soon prohibit state lawmakers from receiving gifts such as tickets to sporting events and other activities unrelated to their jobs.

The A’s playoff tickets were gifts from Edward Kangeter, the CEO of Oakland’s Custom Alloy Scrap Sales. While Bonta reported the cost of the tickets, including a parking pass, at $225, Wieckowski listed his as $375.

Rob Bonta in the same seat for Game 3.
When it comes to Bonta, a fast-riser within the state Democratic Party, the gifts came quickly in just his first year in the Assembly. In addition to the playoff tickets, Bonta received, among other gifts, four tickets from the Oakland Coliseum Authority for a Drake concert last November worth $439 and an airport parking pass worth $384, courtesy of the Port of Oakland, according to records.

The volume of gift receiving was noticeably light last year as greater attention has been focused on the amount of swag and perks lawmakers receive from lobbyists and special interests. State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett’s statement of economic interest report is mostly a collection of dinners and galas costing between $50 and $425. Similar reports were filed by State Sen. Loni Hancock and Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner and Bill Quirk. Members of the Assembly all reported receiving personalized jackets as $74.75 presents from Assembly Speaker John Perez.


By MW:

I am much more bothered by the under the table bribes, AND WHICH OF COURSE ARE NOT REPORTED, than the "legal" bribes.

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