A bill by state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) to close the “revolving door” that allows non-elected board members of local agencies and commissions to lobby their former colleagues as soon as they leave office has been unanimously approved by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly.
Correa introduced the bill after Voice of OC had revealed that Orange County Transportation Authority board member Peter Buffa resigned as a public member last year and within weeks was meeting with board members on behalf of his new employer.
His new company, Barclays Capital, is an investment firm that does business with OCTA.
If Buffa had been an elected official serving on the transportation agency’s board, state law would have prohibited him for a year from contacting his former colleagues on behalf of a client.
But because he was representing the public on the OCTA board, a loophole in the law allowed him to make the contacts. The OCTA board has since made such “revolving door” contacts a violation of agency policy.
Correa’s bill is intended to make sure all members of local boards and commissions are subject to the one-year ban on lobbying.
Correa said in a news release his bill “will reduce the potential for such abuse and help restore the trust of taxpayers and constituents.”
— TRACY WOOD