California: Highlighting Democratic losses, Republicans block campaign finance bill | The Sacramento Bee

Republicans on Monday blocked a California campaign finance reform bill that fell one vote short, demonstrating the limits of a diminished Democratic caucus. Senate Bill 27, by Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, sought to lift the veil on outside campaign spending by compelling nonprofits to identify their donors if contributions hit certain benchmarks, such as when a nonprofit spends more than $50,000 in a given election cycle. The bill’s basic premise of requiring broader disclosure of campaign donations was sound, said Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, but he objected to the timeline. The bill carried an urgency clause that would allow it to take effect in July, before the upcoming election. “We will be subjecting people to a different process,” Huff said. “They will not have had time to understand the rules of engagement changed.”

California: Senator Rod Wright convicted of perjury, voter fraud | Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday convicted state Sen. Roderick D. Wright on all eight counts in his perjury and voter fraud trial. The Inglewood Democrat was indicted by a Los Angeles County grand jury in September 2010. He had pleaded not guilty and said he thought he had been following the law in 2007 when he took steps to run for the seat he has held since late 2008. In a trial that began Jan. 8, prosecutors accused Wright of faking a move to a rental property he owned in Inglewood so he could run in what was then the 25th Senate District. They accused him of lying on voter registration and candidacy documents and of casting ballots in five elections he was not entitled to vote in from the Inglewood address.  Prosecutors said Wright actually lived in a more spacious single-family home in upscale Baldwin Hills. He bought the house in 2000, but it was in another district.

California: Opening statements made in State Senator Rod Wright’s voter fraud trial | Los Angeles Times

State Sen. Roderick D. Wright (D-Inglewood) deliberately misled voters and broke the law when he took steps to run for an Inglewood-area seat several years ago, a Los Angeles County prosecutor said Thursday during opening statements in Wright’s perjury and voter fraud trial. But Wright’s lead defense attorney said the veteran lawmaker acted properly and was the victim of a “murky” law governing residency rules for candidates and office holders. More than three years after his September 2010 indictment on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud, Wright faced a nine-woman, three-man jury in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Before the proceedings began, Wright’s attorney, Winston Kevin McKesson, said outside the courtroom that his client will testify in the case, which could take two to three weeks. Prosecutors, McKesson said, were “trying to make somebody a convicted felon for the most minor” of matters.