How $$$ Works in Sacramento: Protecting Companies—Donations to Politicians

This is simple.  A company wanted a bill passed.  It passed, then the company gave a donation—its FIRST—for $34,000.  Corrupt?  No, the politicians say, just a coincidence.

  • Brown signed the legislation last Thursday. The day before, Turo disclosed its five-figure donation to a campaign account controlled by Low to promote ballot measures.

“Absolutely not,” Low’s spokesperson Maya Polon said when I asked if the bill and the $34,219 were connected.

  • Turo’s head of governmental relations said the donation was to help Low promote LGBT rights, a concept that “aligns with our values.”

The guy sad that with a straight face.  Corruption?  Coincidence?  This may have been a good bill for the public—but please, do not try to lie to us again.

Capitol

What a CA start-up did with its money

Dan Morain, Whats Up, 9/25/18

Turo, a San Francisco start-up disrupting the rental car business, gave its first campaign contribution to a California legislator, $34,219, the day before Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation it had been seeking.

  • Turo is like the Airbnb of car rentals. People use it to rent their vehicles, to the dismay of rental car companies, which lose income, and local officials, who lose tax revenue.

Turo lobbied against a measure to treat it like all other rental car companies—that failed—and sponsored another measure, which passed.

  • Carried by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell, the legislation allows Turo to be treated as a platform, not a rental car company, but does impose some auto-safety obligations on it.
  • Brown signed the legislation last Thursday. The day before, Turo disclosed its five-figure donation to a campaign account controlled by Low to promote ballot measures.

“Absolutely not,” Low’s spokesperson Maya Polon said when I asked if the bill and the $34,219 were connected.

  • Turo’s head of governmental relations said the donation was to help Low promote LGBT rights, a concept that “aligns with our values.”

California law caps donations to candidates’ campaigns at $4,400 per election, but many legislators, Low among them, have separate campaign committees to promote ballot measures. Donations to those are unlimited.

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.