If you’re headed to Wailea this week, watch out! California lawmakers–and their attendant lobbyists–are out in force.
Just past four on Sunday afternoon, former state Sen. Rod Wright settles in at the lobby bar for the mai tai that he insists should kick off any trip to Maui.
Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California, wanders in and they share a laugh over dinners past at Ella in Sacramento, where Wright’s favorite vodka was always stocked. Frazier raves that Wright must try the Molokai Mule cocktail.
“I’m not reportable,” Wright joked, referring to financial disclosure forms that legislators are required to fill out, “so I can eat and drink as much as I want.”
[Board chairperson Dan] Howle barred The Sacramento Bee from attending the panels, saying some participants were not comfortable with a reporter observing the discussions. After several requests, he shared an agenda, but declined to provide a list of sponsors. Lawmakers never announce ahead of time that they will be at the conference, and many at this year’s event brushed off questions about what they got out of the experience.