A landmark court decision was announced last night that will upend secrecy in the state Legislature. In response to a lawsuit by Bay Area and Los Angeles News Groups, which had sought records from the Legislature surrounding indicted Senators Leland Yee and Ron Calderon, a judge has ruled that the legislature must turn over calendars, meeting schedules, expense and reimbursement records as public records.
What do you want to know about who politicians are meeting that they refused to tell you before?
We gave up asking lawmakers for records years ago — they always said no. The only workaround was to submit Public Records requests to other agencies in order to learn about the special interest-funded junkets lawmakers love to take.
One of the worst: A two-week long “Rascals in Paradise” junket to South America that included island hopping, golf, wine tasting and a night at the Copacabana Palace, described as "the best luxury hotel in Latin America."
Now, the legislature may start giving us some straight answers.
Kudos to Bay Area News Group and Los Angeles News Group for pressing the legal fight. The public will thank you.