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CA State Senator Rod Wright Faces Up to 8 Years in Jail for Lying About Residency

Legislator faces up to 8 years for lying about his residency

California State Senator Rod Wright was convicted yesterday of lying about his residency in his in-district apartment. Instead, the jury found that he was actually living at a Baldwin Park house that was outside of his district. Wright claims that he thought he was following the rules, but will face sentencing for the conviction on March 12.

The response has been rather low-key. Wright, generally considerate a moderate, was called "California's Most Honest politician" just moments after the conviction by John Hrabe of Cal Newsroom. And Senator Steinberg was clearly upset about the conviction. And as you can see, Dan Walters calls his exit a big loss for the legislature.

That being said, whomever gets elected will probably be at least slightly to Wright's left. But Jon Fleischman called for Wright to be kicked out ASAP. Fleischman's point that many legislators have played fast and loose with the residency requirement is a valid one. It has come up quietly in several previous races, including some that I've been directly involved with. Yes, the chambers decide their own eligibility, but all members should be playing by the same rules. While residency isn't required for Congress (and Tom McClintock still doesn't live in the district he's represented for several years now), the rules make sense, from a representative standpoint at the very least. And legislators know this when they first sign up as candidates. Wright doesn't rise to the level of Ed Jew's proactive sketchiness, but the rules are the rules for all.

The timing of Wright's exit is still up in the air, but you would imagine that Wright's future will be resolved soon after that sentencing date.

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