Wright of the people

By now, you’ve probably heard the tawdry tale of state Sen. Roderick D. Wright, who faked an Inglewood home address to qualify for California’s then-25th senate district.

Apparently, Wright lived in a more upscale town one over, but filed campaign documents with the fugazi Inglewood digits.

Last week, a jury of his peers found the veteran Democrat guilty on eight felony counts of perjury and fraud, the Los Angeles Times reported. The conviction comes with the possibility of an eight-year prison sentence, along with a lifetime ban from holding elected office.

Wright has yet to give up his seat and his fellow Democratic lawmakers aren’t yet asking him to. Not only that, but Wright followed up his jury conviction by introducing a bill that would treat certain felonies as misdemeanors if the defendant had an otherwise clean record for the past five years. Any violent, serious or sexual crimes wouldn’t be eligible for such downgrading. Wright’s bill makes no mention of perjury or voter fraud.

Senate Bill 929 would actually be a great platform for a needed policy discussion on our overbearing sentencing laws if not for being the work of a convicted felon who could potentially benefit from its passage.

If anything, Wright just made it harder for those who believe in sentencing reform to have that conversation in earnest. Nice one, dude.

As the brazen senator legislates, his house remains relatively quiet. Even some Republicans cautioned against moving forward with expulsion proceedings until a verdict was delivered.

Now that it has been, three Republican senators are urging senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to stop waiting.

“The Senate has remained silent for one week, either believing the Senator would give us some indication of his future or an explanation as to the process we or he should pursue,” reads the February 4 letter from Sens. Steve Knight, Joel Anderson and Andy Vidak. “Whether an appeal is granted by a judge or not is irrelevant to the fact that a vote of this body should be granted by leadership and/or a forthright effort to the Senator requesting his resignation.”

A typical senate letter, it doesn’t mention Wright by name. Because that would be too impolitic, apparently.

Wright, formerly a three-term assemblyman, jumped to the senate in 2008, and won reelection in 2012 over a rejiggered district that chews up a central swath of Los Angeles County.

Allegations of voter fraud case have been hanging over Wright’s head since at least September 2010, when a grand jury first indicted him.

His senate home page makes no mention of the controversy—his office’s last official “news” release concerns a statement Wright made regarding the death of Nelson Mandela. But if you click over to his biography, there is a treat near the bottom, where it reads:

“Senator Wright is a home and business owner in the City of Inglewood where he remains active in community and civic affairs.”

The sentence is kind of a “F— you” to Wright’s accusers and makes one thing clear:

Corrupt politician or not, Wright is down with Inglewood for life.

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