State Senate Won’t Expel Wright

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California State Senate democrats refused to revisit a motion to expel Senator Rod Wright after his conviction for voter fraud.

An effort by Republican Senator Joel Anderson to allow a floor vote on whether Wright should be kicked out of the Senate failed after Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said that a majority of the Senate dominated by Democrats voted last week to send it to a committee where it will remain.

“I’m not telling you how to vote, I’m not insisting you vote a certain way, I’m just asking for a vote,” Anderson said as he made his case.

But Steinberg saw it as a political ploy.  Forcing a vote puts Senators on the spot for either supporting a convicted colleague or because many of them have primary homes outside their districts, the very crime for which Wright was convicted.

District Attorneys in different jurisdictions interpret the residency laws differently. Some Republicans were also not anxious to rehear the motion to expel.

Steinberg said Wright’s granted request to take a leave of absence solves the problem. He has said Wright is not coming back even if Democrats need his vote on a bill.

“I understand the politics here and what goes on and all of that, but we’re done with this,” Steinberg told the Senate.

Anderson says his request was not politically motivated.  He said no other Senators have continued serving after being convicted of a felony.  He also noted that Senator Ron Calderon was asked to resign after he was charged with corruption and before he was even tried.

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