Every fall, ex–Democratic state senator Steve Peace throws a free bash in Hawaii for legislators, paid for by corporate and big labor contributions to his nonprofit California Independent Voter Project. The names of donors are not disclosed, and critics say the weeklong party is a barely disguised form of influence peddling. Last year, one of the guests was GOP assemblyman Martin Garrick; according to his recently filed economic disclosure statement, Garrick enjoyed $1951.34 in food and lodging at last November’s Maui event courtesy of the group. That month, the Sacramento Bee reported that Hemet GOP senator Bill Emmerson paid his own tab, which, including airfare, totaled almost $4000. It wasn’t until the first of February of this year, a month before his financial disclosure was due, that Garrick apparently had second thoughts and reimbursed the Peace group for his own expenses, according to his disclosure, filed March 1. Garrick spokesman Mike Zimmerman said his boss had always planned to reimburse the independent voter group for his expenses and there was no significance to the fact the payment was not made until February…The financial disclosure statement filed this month by Governor Jerry Brown shows that he and his wife Anne Gust own between $100,000 and $1 million of stock in Jack in the Box, the San Diego–based fast food giant on whose board Gust used to sit. The couple received between $10,001 and $100,000 in income from the investment. Last year, the chain gave $2500 to Brown and $5000 to his GOP foe Meg Whitman.
Meanwhile, the Sycuan gambling tribe of El Cajon kicked in $5000 to help fund Brown’s inauguration ceremony and reception, as did Poway’s Richard Wunderle, senior vice president and general manager of San Diego’s Cubic Transportation Systems, a supplier of electronic ticket systems to public transportation agencies.