State lawmakers want disclosure of California Coastal Commission lobbying

Interest groups seeking to influence members of the California Coastal Commission would have to disclose the use and payment of professional lobbyists under legislation introduced at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
“There’s a loophole in current law,” Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said at a news conference with a group of colleagues.
The legislation would make the 44-year old coastal agency subject to the same reporting requirements as those that already exist for lobbying the Legislature or other government agency. Under current rules, there is only limited disclosure of paid lobbyists who meet with the panel’s appointed commissioners.
“It’s become very, very clear that the influence that certain lobbyists have on the Coastal Commission far outstrips what the general public has,” said Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), a co-author of the bill.
The legislation comes less than a week after the firing of Charles Lester, the agency’s former executive director. Environmental groups accused commissioners of being overly influenced by lobbyists working on behalf of developers, and suggested those kinds of connections ultimately paved the way for the dismissal of the more environmentally aligned Lester.
Read more at: Lawmakers want disclosure of California Coastal Commission lobbying | The Press Democrat