Reporting from Sacramento — Ed Roski Jr., the L.A. County billionaire who got state legislators to exempt his proposed NFL stadium from environmental laws, has showered the lawmakers with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash.
The money is part of $505,000 that Roski put into California political campaigns during the second half of 2009, including $300,000 toward a proposed ballot measure that would change term limits for future legislators.
The contributions are significantly higher than in the previous six months, when Roski doled out $49,000.
The exemption that lawmakers granted Roski's City of Industry stadium project in October mooted a citizen lawsuit that had stalled it. The measure passed the state Senate in the waning hours of last year's legislative session despite objections from some that it would undermine environmental protections.
Some of the bill's co-authors who received money from Roski and his Majestic Realty Co. between July 1 and Dec. 31 are Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who was given $13,000; Assemblyman Alberto Torrico (D-Newark), $5,000; Assemblyman Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), $3,900; and state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), $500.
Roski also gave to others who voted for the bill, including state Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), who received $12,000; Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), $6,500; Assemblyman Mike Villines R-Clovis), $6,500; state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge), $3,900; and Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), $1,000.
Most of the legislators are running for reelection or for higher office this year, and many of the donations are the maximum allowed by state law.
State Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter), who did not vote on the stadium bill, received $13,000 for his campaign for lieutenant governor.
Roski also gave $25,000 to state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown's campaign for governor during the six-month period and $300,000 to a group called Californians for a Fresh Start, which is trying to get the term limits measure on the statewide ballot. The proposal would allow lawmakers to serve longer in one house of the Legislature but fewer years overall.
Majestic disclosed the contributions Friday in public filings required by the state.
John Semcken, a vice president of the company, said they are a continuation of Roski's history as a donor to campaigns in California and are not tied to the stadium bill vote.
"We're supportive of people we think did a good job in Sacramento whether they voted for or against us on that bill," Semcken said. The contribution to the term limits effort, which would not apply to legislators in their current offices, shows Roski's support for "good government and making government work," he said.