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NFL stadium developer opens wallet to lawmakers who supported project [Updated]

January 29, 2010 | 12:12 pm
In the three months before and after Ed Roski Jr. got lawmakers to exempt his proposed NFL stadium from environmental laws, the Los Angeles County billionaire showered state and local officials and ballot measure committees with $505,000 in campaign cash, he disclosed today.

The donations were significantly up from the previous six months, when Roski doled out $49,000. The state Legislature voted in October to exempt Roski’s proposed football stadium in the city of Industry from state environmental laws, making moot a citizens lawsuit that had stalled the project.

The measure passed the Senate in the waning hours of the Legislature with just one vote to spare, even though some Democrats objected that it would undermine state environmental protections. Between July 1 and Dec. 31. Roski and his Majestic Realty made big donations to lawmakers instrumental in getting the last-minute bill passed. Many of them are running for statewide office, so donations could be in the five-figure range. Contributions to legislative candidates are capped at $3,900. Some candidates received more than that amount because they are running for statewide office.

Co-authors of the stadium bill and the amount they received from Roski and his firm include Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), $13,000; Assemblyman Alberto Torrico (D-Newark) $5,000; Assemblyman Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), $3,900; and Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood), $500.

Lawmakers who voted for the bill and the amount they received from Roski and his firm include Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), $12,000: Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), $6,500; Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis), $6,500; Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge), $3,900; and Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), $1,000.

Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter), who did not vote on the stadium bill, received $13,000 for his campaign for lieutenant governor.

Roski also gave $25,000 to Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown’s campaign for governor. The billionaire also gave $300,000 last month to a group called Californians for a Fresh Start, which would relax term limits for legislators. A spokesman for Roski did not return a call for comment.

[Updated at 2:46 p.m.: John Semcken, a vice president for Majestic, said the latest contributions were a continuation of Roski’s years-long involvement as a major contributor to campaigns in California and was not tied to the stadium bill vote. 

"We’re supportive of people we think did a good job in Sacramento whether they voted for or against us on that bill," Semcken said.]

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento