By Doug McIntyre, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 04/26/14, 5:05 PM PDT |

Californians are not a judgmental lot.

Unless we’re judging lunatic legislators in Florida, Texas, and those other Red States. Then judge away.

Too bad we were so busy celebrating our moral and intellectual superiority we managed to miss our own state government’s ethical collapse.

The arrest of state Sen. Leland Yee on money laundering and gunrunning charges was the cherry on top of a sundae made of sordid Sacramento scandals starting with Sen. Roderick Wright, convicted of election fraud and perjury. Sandwiched in between Yee and Wright is state Sen. Ron Calderon who is awaiting trial on bribery and a host of other charges. All three continue to cash paychecks as state senators.

The Senate yawned at the Wright caper and assumed if they waited long enough the Calderon kerfuffle would blow over as well.

That plan crashed when Leland Yee’s arrest made national headlines with alleged crimes so outrageous even apathetic Californians couldn’t ignore them.

Something had to be done. And “something” in Sacramento always means as little as possible.

Yee’s alleged involvement with notorious gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow forced Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and his Senate co-conspirators to suspend all three and cook up some phony baloney “reforms” for public consumption while quietly circling the wagons.

On April 5, the Senate scrubbed Wright, Calderon and Yee from the Senate website making it much more difficult for investigators, journalists and citizens to track their voting records and connect dots.

Instead of sunlight the Senate drew the curtains.

The next step was a full court PR press to reassure the public that all’s well, nothing to see up here in Sacramento. In fact, things have never been better!

“There is no greater political body in this land than the California State Legislature,” state Sen. Kevin de Leon said. “This is an amazing legislative body … You are all fine individuals,” he continued with a straight face.

Sen. de Leon’s absurd claim was his clumsy attempt to rally his nervous troops unaccustomed as they are to having their behavior examined in public.

Last Wednesday, Darrell Steinberg continued the PR offensive by gathering his colleagues for a classic dog and pony show; a refresher course in ethics, complete with bipartisan blather about the toxic influence of money in politics.

To read entire column, click here.