Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Group urges reform of laws monitoring state lawmakers and lobbyists

September 10, 2009 | 11:24 am

A nonpartisan group that focuses on government accountability called today for widespread reform of rules governing the interaction of state legislators and lobbyists after Assemblyman Michael Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) was recorded bragging of intimate relations with an energy lobbyist.

Duvall resigned Wednesday after the disclosure.

California Common Cause said the alleged relationship between Duvall, who was vice chairman of the Assembly utility committee, and the lobbyist for Sempra Energy requires a new look at codes of conduct. The lobbyist has denied they were having an affair, and Duvall said his resignation was not an admission that he had an affair.

The consumer group called on the Institute of Governmental Advocates, the trade group for lobbyists, to adopt ethical guidelines that would prohibit them from engaging in or arranging sexual encounters with lawmakers and revoke the membership of any violators.

Common Cause also called on the Legislature to require more detailed reporting of payments to individual lobbyists and of their meetings with lawmakers. Lobbying reports filed with the California secretary of state show that Sempra spent $822,331.28 lobbying the California government from January through June of this year.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento