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California Politicians Reaping Lobbying Benefits

A report in the LA Times has highlighted the benefits that politicians in California are reaping due to the donations that online poker lobbying groups are making.

The report states that State Senator Darrell Steinberg has benefited from the $1.36 million that land casino operators have given to the Democratic State Central Committee of California, which will prove essential for his party in the fall elections. Steinberg, along with State Senator Rod Wright have introduced SB1463, which would allow various casinos and card rooms in the Golden State to operate gambling websites.

"In the two years since Wright first proposed legalization, the six largest operators in the online poker association have spent $7.7 million on political contributions, gifts to officials and lobbying in Sacramento." the LA Times reports.

"The group includes Hollywood Park Casino, in Wright's district. Fifteen Indian tribes that own casinos, including the Morongo and San Manuel bands of Mission Indians are also members."

Senator Wright, the other politician that sponsored the bill has received $170,000 from gambling groups since 2008 in 85 different donations the paper reports.

"In addition, four casinos that founded the online poker association have anted up $11,500 for a legal defense fund for Wright in his ongoing battle against criminal charges of voter fraud and perjury. Los Angeles County prosecutors allege that Wright registered and voted using the address of an Inglewood property he owned but actually lived outside the district that elected him."

The donations go all the way up to the Governor's desk, with Jerry Brown getting contributions from the gambling lobbying groups, even though he has not taken a public stance on the Steinberg-Wright bill.

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usbarbadosslim93
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15 May 2012 - 3:27pm
#1

Is this just the cost of doing business, or is this what is wrong with the whole governmental process?

I mean I totally support getting online gambling legalized and regulated, but this lobbying and stuff just makes the whole thing seem sleazy. Its not just gambling either though, its everything that gets settled into law that ends up benefiting officials directly first and foremost.

I dunno, just seems sketchy to me.

auCL-Ed
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16 May 2012 - 6:20am
#2

You're right. It is not a good look. Typical of the sleazy political process these days though.

I wonder how many of these same contributors were "lobbying" in years past against online poker because it didn't suit them at the time?

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