Prof. Levinson publishes op-ed calling for reforms to curb influence of money in politics
Associate Clinical Professor Jessica Levinson published the op-ed, "Viewpoints: FBI raid reveals need for – and hurdles to – reform," in the Sacramento Bee. She identifies the FBI raids on California state Sen. Ron Calderon’s offices as underscoring the increasing influence money has on the political process. In the op-ed, she writes:
The results of the FBI's investigation into California state Sen. Ron Calderon are, from one perspective, inconsequential. His behavior, much of which is likely legal, is bad enough. Calderon's story exemplifies many of the systemic problems created by the influence of money over the political process.
The story does not begin with the FBI's rare decision to search Calderon's offices. Nor will the story end with a possible indictment, trial, or even prison sentence. The story begins much earlier, and has no clear end in sight.
Calderon, who represents the city of Montebello, in Los Angeles County, is a politician who used the benefits of public office to his advantage. His tale is hardly unique. He simply may have obtained more benefits, and been more flagrant about using those benefits, than others.