“Do as I say, not as I do,” might as well be the motto of many California senators and legislature members. A recent Los Angeles Times analysis found that a third of members reported a total of $14 million in stock investments, “but their actions don’t always align with their political values,” particularly when it comes to energy. and social media policy.
Rep. Gail Pellerin, D-Santa Cruz, is a major supporter of environmentalist legislation. But his investments of more than $2.1 million include “shares in major oil, chemical and mining companies that have been criticized for their contribution to climate change.” The companies include Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Shell.
Assemblyman Josh Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, this year sponsored Senate Bill 1282, which would establish the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to study, under the bill’s terms , “the mental health risks associated with the use of social media by children and young people. .” We’ll hear it again next year. Yet his more than $900,000 investment portfolio includes shares of Meta Platforms and Alphabet Inc., which own the social media platforms Instagram and YouTube, respectively.
“I don’t see why anyone would be surprised by this,” said Kerry Jackson, a researcher at the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute. “It makes it seem like what they’re doing is a lot of action and virtue signaling. They occupy positions that not all of us have. We lack the information they have at the time they have it.
As Governor Gavin Newsom likes to boast, California will soon be the fourth largest economy in the world. After the U.S. Congress, the Legislature is the nation’s most powerful law-making body, enacting hundreds of laws each year affecting every area of our lives.
Congress itself has been hit with similar accusations of conflict of interest. In September, Senators Jon Ossoff, Democrat of Georgia, and Mark Kelly, Democrat of Arizona, introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, which would place members’ investments in blind trusts. A July poll by the Public Consultation Program found 86% public support. To our state legislators, this seems like a good idea for a ballot initiative.
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