What Do You Give the Public Official Who Already Has Everything?

What do you give the public official who has everything?

The Sacramento Bee has compiled a database for the influence-seeking citizen who is trying to answer that difficult question.

It includes every reported gift given to California leaders over the last decade. The Bee is also asking for the public's help in identifying gifts that might be bribes in disguise--particularly if they were given at a time close to an important vote on an issue important to the giver.

One big lesson: legislators and other California elected officials receive a lot of wine, so if you're going to give a bottle, make it something special. Another lesson: California's leaders love tickets to all kinds of events. (Though, as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has learned, accepting free tickets to big games -- and not disclosing -- can land a political in trouble in trouble).

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