In California, Lobbyists and Lawmakers Travel the World Together

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.

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