Measuring an elected official's rectitude is no easy thing, and no one in Ventura County has formally tried it with city, county or federal officials. In March, however, the California Journal published a state Legislature ratings table, drawing on assessments by legislative staffers and Sacramento reporters.
In the "integrity" category, Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) was rated highest of 40 state senators; Ed Davis (R-Santa Clarita) was rated eighth.
In the Assembly, Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) was ranked eighth among 80; Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks), 34th. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley), perhaps the county's most prominent survivor of corruption charges, was ranked 74th.
Wright was first elected to the state Assembly in 1980. Two years later, the state Fair Political Practices Commission fined her $5,000 for improprieties in that campaign--soliciting a $5,000 contribution from a land developer in the form of a loan to her husband so she would not have to report it; accepting cash contributions totaling $2,600, and failing to report $19,855 in income.