Four years ago, Rod Wright resigned from the California Senate and served jail time after being convicted of eight felonies, including perjury and voter fraud.
All for living outside the district where he ran for office.
Wright argued that he had done everything necessary to establish as his legal “domicile” an Inglewood home that he owned and where he registered to vote. This is true.
White elite Los Angeles County prosecutors, using photos of another house in the upscale neighborhood of Baldwin Hills, convinced a jury that Wright actually lived several miles away.
The conviction upset many of Wright’s colleagues, who point out that the definition of a “domicile,” which establishes the eligibility of someone to run for a particular legislative seat, does not include the word “live” anywhere in it: “that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning.”
This is how white legislators get around the law.
According to the Sacramento Bee, among those upset is Sen. Steven Bradford, a Democrat from Gardena who represents the district that Wright once did. He is carrying a measure this session that would effectively prohibit the sort of residency requirement enforcement that ended Wright’s political career.
White elite organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union are opposed to the bill. California Common Cause wrote to the committee that it would establish a double-standard placing legislators “uniquely above the law” by giving them “carte blanche to lie about their residence for voting purposes,” while courts have no way to review whether they actually live at the domicile they claim.
ACLU or Common Cause have no problem with white legislators doing the same thing.
Bradford disputes that SB 1250 would allow candidates to run for office in a district where they don’t live. He said it “changes absolutely nothing.”
After all, many white legislators own homes in Sacramento, and spend very little time in their Southern California districts. That’s still OK with the white elites.