I have just read Assemblyman Larry Stirling's remarks in this morning's paper criticizing a recent report by Fair Political Practices Commission Chairman Dan Stanford that "legislative action in the state Capitol is on the auction block to the highest bidder." Stirling apparently has some unique sensitivity to Stanford's making public what we already know, namely that a gross amount of money is "contributed" to politicians and that some, if not most, of this money is intended by the "contributor" to influence legislation. Stirling may not like the fact that Stanford, or the FPPC, or Common Cause or other organizations do us all a service by reminding us of the tens of millions of dollars "contributed" to legislators' campaign committees (even in non-election years when there is no campaigning to be done), but I for one appreciate the sobering reminder.
If Larry Stirling's vision is so blurred by his office in Sacramento that he can't see the reality of legislative influence occurring through the millions of dollars of "contributions" to legislators, we can hardly expect him to be of any help in finding a solution.
JOHN C. ASHER