With the legislative session winding to a close, coiffed patrons milled about the patio at Chops, a fashionable venue for political fundraisers across L Street from the Capitol.
Thursday’s event was to bolster the standing of Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who is facing a recall attempt over his bill requiring school vaccinations.
Hosted by the William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club, the “Stand with Pan” benefit also listed several “sponsors,” including the California Medical Association, Personal Insurance Federation, Dart Container and Comcast.
But with the Senate under a self-imposed ban on many political donations, could Pan be disciplined for accepting contributions from the usual Chops crowd – corporations that employ lobbyists?
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Not a chance, Pan stressed. Asked about it on Friday, Pan said he didn’t consider “Stand with Pan” to be a fundraiser.
“It was really more of a rally,” he said.
The event was open to anyone, and at least one person opposed to Pan’s vaccine bill showed up, said Gabriel Castellanos of the club.
The Facebook invitation directed attendees to voluntarily contribute to the Democratic Club, not Pan’s campaign account.
As for any donations that may have gone directly to Pan, the Senate’s guidelines allow contributions from average constituents, a spokeswoman said later.