Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who is running for the state Senate in November, fielded questions from The Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau’s staff on Monday. The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including questions that arose last year from a Sacramento Bee investigation about where Pan lived at the time. The investigation found that Pan was spending his time at the his family home in Natomas, which was not in the Assembly district he represents. He had purchased a condominium in the district to comply with the law, and began taking $28,000 in annual per diem payments from the state that local lawmakers typically decline.
Then last January, Southern California Democratic Sen. Rod Wright was found guilty by a jury of eight felony counts stemming from allegations that he did not live in the Inglewood home he listed as his residence when he ran for office in 2008. Wright has not yet been sentenced, but the convictions could send him to prison for up to eight years. No legal action was brought against Pan in Sacramento.
The Wright case has spurred debate about the merits and clarity of state law that requires legislative candidates live in the district they seek to represent. Here’s what Pan said: