Maybe it was too busy monitoring the donations of conservative voters.
Federal corruption charges against state Sen. Leland Yee, accused of soliciting campaign donations from undercover agents who sought political favors in return, put new light on donations he received while voting on legislation affecting his contributors.
California allows lawmakers to accept political donations while the Legislature is in session, so it is not unusual for money and votes to coincide. Yee has said his votes reflected his conscience, not his campaign accounts.
In his votes, Yee sometimes broke ranks with the Democratic Party and with his own San Francisco area delegation. A Times analysis of campaign reports by The Times, included in a story published Friday, shows that when he did, he often received money from the special interest he sided with, including a plastic bag manufacturer, chemical companies and casino interests.
"He was seen as pro-business," said Richard Temple, a Republican consultant, explaining why his firm agreed to do much of the work for a political committee that spent $670,000 in the 2011 San Francisco mayoral race in hopes of swinging the vote for Yee.
The committee, City Residents Opposing Ed Lee, officially was formed by labor organizations. Finance reports show at least half the money came from major corporations and business interests. The money included a $50,000 check from Philip Morris on the day of the election, even though Yee had boasted of refusing funding from tobacco companies.