View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Steve Knight: Clean-up on aisles 35, 30 and 8!

Posted: April 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.

We are often told that the public has a less-than-favorable opinion of its government representatives. Recent scandalous behavior by several California senators has only emboldened that sentiment.

Earlier this year, the Senate was rocked when a member was convicted of eight felony counts, including voter fraud and perjury stemming from the senator —(Wright, 35th District — violating the requirement of living in the district represented.

Although the senator was indicted four years earlier on these charges, many in the Senate believed a conviction was improbable based on previous accusations of other members.

Rather than asking for his resignation or voting to expel this senator, effectively stopping his paycheck, the Senate leadership has only allowed what amounts to an administrative slap on the wrist for a sitting member who is now a felon.

The Senate should be afforded the opportunity to expel a member who has violated legal and ethical boundaries because anything else is a disservice to California voters.

Once the jury verdict was announced, as a former Los Angeles police officer and Army veteran, my public safety background took over and I authored a letter to the senator pro tem demanding action.

The letter asked for the expulsion of this senator, who has not only lied under oath and disgraced the Legislature, but has brought embarrassment upon the constituents of the district he represents but does not live in.

After my plea was not addressed, I took the next logical step and authored Senate Resolution 29, a measure to expel the senator.

That, too, was summarily dismissed by Senate leadership using procedural motions on the senate floor, effectively killing the effort.

Weeks later another senator — Calderon, 30th District — was indicted by the FBI on fraud and bribery charges.

With the Senate unwilling to take action on a member previously convicted of felonies, it is no surprise that accusations resulted in the suspect senator being allowed to take a leave of absence, with pay.

Most recently, the FBI indicted and then publicly arrested another senator — Yee, 8th District — from San Francisco on a multitude of charges including corruption and suspected arms dealing.

This time the Senate leadership finally chose to act, but went only so far as to suspend all three senators, again with pay.

Because the Constitution requires that legislators receive pay unless expelled, the taxpayers will foot the bill for these disgraced members if/until they are removed from office.

Moreover, their constituents will not receive the representation they voted for.

Although separate, these three legislators accused and/or convicted of egregious ethical and legal violations further validates the public’s opinion of elected officials as a whole.

As a proud member of the California Senate, I am appalled at my colleagues’ flagrant abuse of the public’s trust.

Those who call for “reforms” are missing the point; lying under oath, bribery, corruption, and gun-running are already classified as serious crimes.

We should start by fully punishing those who violate these laws if we are to begin cleaning up the mess in Sacramento.

It is my hope that we can then regain some of the confidence and honor befitting a representative of the people.

Senator Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, represents the 21st Senate District which includes the communities throughout the Antelope, Victor, and Santa Clarita valleys.



Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...