Legislator Takes Aim at Post-Quake Pirates

Kudos to the Dallas-based Southland Corp. for terminating franchise agreements with eight 7-Eleven stores charged with price-gouging in the wake of the Northridge earthquake (“7-Eleven Cutting Franchises Over Price Gouging,” Jan. 22).

I’m delighted that Southland has demonstrated that corporate responsibility and integrity are as important as corporate profits.

In addition, those contractors, plumbers, electricians and other business people who came through in the clutch--and charged their regular prices--also deserve our applause.

As for those price-gouging contractors who are seeing dollar signs, not devastation, in the wake of the tragic earthquake, they’re another matter entirely. I hope the state Legislature will follow the example set by Southland Corp. and take swift action to ban price gouging throughout California whenever a state of emergency is declared. In addition, I plan to introduce legislation to require the state Contractors’ Licensing Board to immediately revoke the license of any opportunistic contractor convicted of violating any state or local price-gouging law.


Assemblywoman DEBRA BOWEN

(D-Torrance, Marina del Rey)