Speaker Atkins Releases Bill Requiring Lobbying Transparency at Coastal Commission

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC. For Immediate Release
February 17, 2016

CONTACT: Serge Dedina, WiLDCOAST, serge@wildcoast.net, 619.606.0537
Susan Jordon, California Coastal Protection Network, sjordan@coastaladvocates.com, 805-637-3037

Speaker Atkins releases bill requiring lobbying transparency at Coastal Commission
Sacramento, CA – In the wake of the controversial vote to oust Executive Director Charles Lester last week, Speaker Toni Atkins has released a bill designed to increase transparency and accountability at the California Coastal Commission and reduce the influence of special interests.  The Commission reviews projects worth billions of dollars.  Yet, for decades, lobbyists have been able to woo Commissioners without the public’s knowledge of how much these lobbyists are paid or by whom.  The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Stone and Levine. Atkins was clearly troubled by the Commission’s decision to terminate Dr. Lester, who was widely regarded as a fair and competent public servant.

Stone to Introduce Legislation to Require Coastal Commission Lobbying Transparency

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2016


SACRAMENTO – Following yesterday’s removal of Dr. Charles Lester as Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission, Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has announced his intent to introduce legislation to end the opaque practice of allowing lobbyists to lobby Commissioners without the public’s knowledge on who is being represented or what is being requested.  Stone is joined by Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and other legislative colleagues. On Thursday, Stone sent a letter to the staff of the Coastal Commission describing his faith in their efforts to preserve coastal access and protect the fragile coastal environment.  The text of the letter is printed below and is attached:

February 11, 2016

To: California Coastal Commission Agency Staff

Re: Open Letter to Coastal Commission Staff following the Removal of Executive Director Dr. Charles Lester

Dear Coastal Commission Staff,

With the inexcusable firing of your Executive Director, Dr. Charles Lester, each of you undoubtedly has grave concerns for the future of the Agency and coastal resources. By removing Dr. Lester in the way that the Commissioners did, following a day-long hearing with virtually uninterrupted public comment supporting Dr. Lester’s work, it is tempting to conclude that the Commissioners have sent the message to you that your work during his tenure has not been respected or valued.