Sacramento Bee Compiles Database of Gifts to California State Legislators from Public Records

The Sacramento Bee recently published a database of gifts given to California politicians by synthesizing information from publicly available records, including elected officials' financial disclosure filings and lobbyists' disclosure reports.  The Bee analysis found that from January 2008 to June 2009, nearly 12,000 gifts were given to lawmakers, including food, drinks, travel, event tickets and other assorted items worth a total of $833,000. The database is searchable by office and official name, by location, or by gift category.  The Bee also summarized overall findings, including legislators who received the most, gifts given to staffers and relatives, companies that gave the most and coincidental instances where the maximum amount ($390 in 2008 and $420 in 2009) was gifted.

This is not the first time the Bee has synthesized public records into a database; see our previous blog entry highlighting their state employee salary database here.