March 3, 2016
Twenty-one state legislators on Wednesday disclosed that they attended a conference in Maui last November that was paid for by a non-profit group funded by special interests including the oil industry and state worker unions.
Public outrage over the annual event has sparked legislation that would bar lawmakers from accepting such travel paid for by those seeking favor at the Capitol and to require more sunlight on who is providing favors to legislators.
The six-day conference hosted by the Independent Voter Project is held annually at the Fairmont Kea Lani resort, where rooms go for $365 or more a night, but lawmakers who have some of their expenses covered by IVP did not have to disclose them for months, under state law.
Democratic Assembly members who went to Maui included Rob Bonta of Alameda, Cheryl Brown of San Bernardino, Nora Campos of San Jose, Jim Cooper of Elk Grove, Tom Daly of Anaheim, Mike Gipson of Carson, Adam Gray of Merced, Chris Holden of Pasadena, Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles, Evan Low of Campbell, Jose Medina of Riverside, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas of Los Angeles, Freddie Rodriguez of Pomona and Tony Thurmond of Richmond.
Republican Assemblymembers who made the trip include Assemblyman Frank Bigelow of O’Neals, Donald Wagner of Irvine and then-Republican leader Kristen Olsen of Modesto.
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