Twenty-five state lawmakers flew to Maui in November to attend a conference that was partly funded by a group of special interests, but it was not until Tuesday that all of their identities were made public when they were required to file annual gift reports.
The nonprofit Independent Voter Project, the sponsor of the conference, pays an average of $2,500 in expenses, including $350-a-night hotel cost -- for each legislator attending its conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea.
FOR THE RECORD:
Maui conference: An article in the March 3 California section incorrectly included Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) among California legislators who attended a conference in Maui last November that was sponsored by the Independent Voter Project. Dahle did not attend the conference. —
The group gets its money from interests including Occidental Petroleum Corp., the Western State Petroleum Assn., Eli Lilly & Co., the Altria tobacco firm, the California Cable and Telecommunications Assn., the state prison guards union and the California Distributors Assn., which represents distributors of tobacco and other products.
The conference and travel gifts were denounced in November as an "unwelcome tradition" by Sarah Swanbeck, a legislative affairs representative of California Common Cause.
Lawmakers' gift reports and the nonprofit's records made public Tuesday disclosed who attended the conference.
Senate Republican leader
State senators who attended include Democrats
Assembly members who attended were Democrats