L.A. City Council is fighting against what it brands "Starbucks Stakeholders." The term is used to describe people (or "modern day carpetbaggers," as The L.A. Times puts it today) who vote in local council elections despite having only bought a cup of coffee in the area, rather than own the traditional home or business there. The rise of these influence peddlers stretches back to 2008, when the city permitted persons doing business in an area to be considered a "factual basis stakeholder," granting the vote to anyone holding a local receipt. Now neighborhood councils are trying to manage the overflow of special interests, be they marijuana activists offering their advocates free pot, Labradors voting in Venice, or developers busing in voters and promising free beer and food. [LAT]
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