SACRAMENTO — A $151 hotel room in Lodi, $81 dinner, $10 chocolate computer and a $2 flashlight — these are just some of the gifts that state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley and Sen. Fran Pavley have received in the past year.

That’s according to an online database compiled by the Sacramento Bee earlier this month, detailing the gifts that state officials, their staff and family received from January 2008 to June 2009, which altogether amount to 12,000 items totaling approximately $833,000.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission requires that state officials publicly disclose any gifts valued at more than $50. Gifts from a single source may not exceed $420 in a calendar year.

There are a several exceptions concerning public reporting and gift limits, including items that are returned, donated to a nonprofit organization, or received from family members.

Officials who break the rules could face an administrative fine of up to $5,000 per violation, Roman Porter, the executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, said.

Topping the list of officials who have received the most gifts — excluding travel — is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with $21,377, followed by former state Assemblyman Fabian Nunez, who reported $14,626 and current Speaker of the Assembly, Karen Bass, who got about $13,671.

The gifts received for the two local representatives is minimal by comparison — Pavley reported $2,112 and Brownley $839.

Both elected officials have few big ticket items. For Pavley, the largest gifts came from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council in December 2008 for $159 worth of food and drinks, followed by the Consumer Attorneys of California, which paid for a $151 hotel room at Wine & Roses in Lodi. She also received a dinner at the Citizen Hotel in April from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, valued at $150.

The big gifts are even fewer for Brownley, who received $150 worth of free parking at LAX in January and an $89 dinner at Mason’s courtesy of the California Tribal Business Alliance.

Brownley said that LAX makes parking available for elected officials which she chooses to utilize.

“I don’t accept gifts like tickets to basketball games and football games,” Brownley said. “Obviously I am conscientious about reporting every gift, but the gifts that I do accept are usually very minimal, $10 or less.”

Some of the gifts were extended to staff members, including a $14 lunch at Griselda’s Ventures for Brownley’s office paid by the Personal Care Products Council in April. Other gifts total in the single figure range, including $2 for turkey jerky and $6 for oranges, both of which went to Brownley.

Pavley also reported smaller gifts that fall below the disclosure threshold, including $8 for snacks, $14 for dinner at Claim Jumper, and a $31 rice gift box.

“Brownley and Pavley’s gifts were small, and they were actually very transparent and thorough on documenting even tiny gifts they received, like a $2 flashlight, contrary to other legislators like (Sen.) Rod Wright, who listed many more expensive gifts, like a $15,000+ junket, and tickets to a Yanni concert and (Los Angeles) Kings games, which don’t really have much relevance to doing the job he was elected to do,” Mark Reback, consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, said.

Wright’s staff is listed as using the Yanni concert and hockey game tickets.

Both Brownley and Pavley said that their decisions in Sacramento are not swayed by the gifts.

“I would never accept a gift that would compromise me that way,” Brownley said.

Pavley said that she is careful about accepting any kind of gift, whether it’s a meal or magazine subscription.

She added that many of the reported expenses were from a trip of a large group of officials to better understand the state’s water facilities. A member of her staff attended the trip.

“I have never been influenced by any of the small gifts that have been given to me or my staff,” Pavley said. “My voting record speaks for itself.”

melodyh@www.smdp.com

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