Politics & Government

The Buzz: Campaign finance rule trips up former California lawmaker

Campaign finance rule trips up former assemblyman Roos

California lobbyists can play a big role in helping political candidates raise the money they need to run for office.

Lobbyists registered with the state can advise their clients on which campaigns they should support, and they frequently attend swanky fundraising events on their clients’ dime.

But one thing California lobbyists can’t do is personally write checks to state-level campaigns.

It’s a rule Mike Roos is now likely to remember.

The 14-year assemblyman, who was a registered lobbyist from 2007 to 2012, has agreed to pay a $3,000 fine to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for personally making three political contributions while he was a lobbyist.

Roos made a $250 contribution to the Jerry Brown for Governor 2010 Exploratory Committee in December 2009; a $1,000 contribution to state Sen. Darrell Steinberg in February 2010; and $465.14 in non-monetary contributions to state Sen. Alex Padilla in October 2010, according to his proposed settlement with the FPPC.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the fine at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Laurel Rosenhall


California still has the highest poverty rate of any state under the Census Bureau’s alternative calculation that includes the cost of living. Its report, issued Wednesday, counts nearly a quarter of the state’s 38 million residents living in poverty, with the state’s poverty rate of 23.8 percent approached only by Washington, D.C.’s 22.7 percent. Among the states, the second highest rate is in Nevada at 19.8 percent, while the lowest is in Iowa at 8.6 percent. The nationwide alternative poverty rate is 16 percent.

Dan Walters