'Pay to play’
Jessica Levinson, a law professor who teaches political ethics at Loyola University of Los Angeles, said the e-mails are suggestive of “pay to play” politics.
“As far as I can see, those are clear violations and worth talking about,” she said.
But she said the impact on Honda’s campaign — even if it is found to be a violation — could be minimal because voters have become numb to the connection between campaign donations and official business.
“Voters say, 'Tell me something I don’t know,’” she said. “They say, 'Of course they’re organizing their official duties according to what will benefit their campaign — and of course, people with more money will have access to more officials,’” Levinson said.
Not hot-button issue
“But campaign finance and election law issues don’t really get people to the polls.” Levinson said. “It’s more about, 'What have you done for me lately?’”
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