The political scandal surrounding Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R-Northridge) and state Sen. Ed Davis (R-Valencia) reveals a popular affliction among our political leaders. They are afflicted with an inability to avoid conduct that is either unethical or gives the appearance of impropriety where campaign financing is involved.
A year has not elapsed since numerous California politicians were implicated by a federal grand jury in the Patrick Moriarty bribery case. A year has not elapsed since San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock torpedoed a promising political career by laundering political contributions. And now The Times has reported that waves of the Moriarty scandal are still being felt by elected officials in the city of Long Beach.
Since Jesse Unruh uttered the truism that "money is the mother's milk of politics," voters have been tolerantly cognizant that candidates must raise exorbitant amounts of money to run for office. But that is not to say that voters have not been suspicious or disapproving. Our suspicion and disapproval are marked by a measureable public distaste for politics and lack of confidence in politicians. The message should be clear to our elected officials: that they should not equate our tolerance for costly political campaigns with license to engage in clandestine violations of the Fair Political Practices Act.