Crony capitalist sightseeing tours. Nothing like being a corrupt political oligarch in today’s America! Great story here from the Sacramento Bee:
It’s mid-November. The election is over, and the new legislative session has not yet begun. Perfect time for a lawmaker to take vacation – or go on an “educational” trip with some of the Capitol’s most powerful interest groups.
Destinations for the talks? Hawaii, Brazil, China, Australia and New Zealand.
He said the cost of the trip – not yet determined – will be reported as a gift to the lawmakers attending: Republican state Sens. Anthony Cannella of Ceres, Bill Emmerson of Hemet and Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel, as well as Democratic Sen. Michael Rubio of East Bakersfield and Democratic Assemblyman Steven Bradford of Gardena, who chairs the utilities and commerce committee.
“They who pay for the education have a way to decide what the legislators are going to be educated on,” said Dan Jacobson, a lobbyist for Environment California, which is not a member of CFEE. “It’s not a full education – it’s a partial education and will end up being a (biased) education trip.”
Sharing hotels, meals and exciting experiences with interest groups creates an imbalance for legislators, Jacobson said, where moneyed interests are favored over everyday constituents.
Another roughly 20 California lawmakers are hopping planes for Maui, where two back-to-back policy conferences are taking place this month.
“There’s something about being here that makes for a better degree of cooperation,” said event organizer Dan Howle. “You get people who are polar opposites talking here, and some of that carries over into Sacramento – and it doesn’t happen in California.”
“I defend it. I think that they are important and worthy,” he said. “I think it is appropriate and important for elected officials to see what and how other countries are addressing similar problems to the problems that we face.”
Well if you guys have learned so much from these trips, then why is California in the mess that it’s in? That’s what I thought…
My favorite line above is from this clown Dan Howle: “There’s something about being here that makes for a better degree of cooperation.” Yes Dan, that something is called bribery. How any of this stuff is legal is beyond my comprehension.
Full article here,