Along with all California elected officials, members of Ventura County's legislative delegation submitted their annual conflict of interest reports last week. To be frank, they make for pretty boring reading -- unless you find it provocative that Assemblywoman Audra Strickland last spring received a bouquet of flowers from the Professional Firefighters Association valued at $75.43.
Only one of the county's seven lawmakers seems to be an active investor, as Sen. Sheila Kuehl's report shows she's a fairly aggressive stock trader with a preference for the high technology sector. Kuehl, 67, also receives pension income from her long-ago career as a child actress. She gets a monthly check from the Screen Actors Guild.
She and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley each went on a trip to Berlin last fall sponsored by the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation. They received hotel accommodations, meals and cultural tours valued at $3,500. Brownley simply explains the governmental value of the trip: "to improve U.S.-German relations."