Paul Fong doesn’t like to pay his debts. At least not in cash. In his sixth year in the State Assembly, Fong still has a $100K bill he acquired during his 2008 campaign. If that seems like a lot, it is. But the creditor in this case—Richie Ross, one of Sacramento’s most notorious lobbyists—raises some serious questions about Fong’s ability to vote with his conscience. Right after managing Fong’s successful campaign in 2008, Ross went back to his role as a lobbyist. He’s been wildly successful in doing this work, both in terms of getting paid—he’s collected a little less than $760,000 just in lobbying fees in the last five years—and getting legislation passed. But during this time, Ross has also been able to count on Fong’s vote. Every. Single. Time. Of the 42 bills, between 2009-13, that Ross lobbied the legislature, 35 made it to the Assembly floor. All 35 of Fong’s votes were “ayes” in favor of Ross’ clients, which include Native American tribes, formidable state construction and attorney associations, and nonprofits. Ross owns his own print shop and mail house, which means he could easily control, and inflate, candidate expenses before waylaying payments—perhaps in lieu of “non-monetary” contributions. “This is Ross’ business model,” a political consultant told Fly. “What he does is completely unethical. You don’t make money on campaigns. You make money on being a player in Sacramento and [lobbying].” Ross has a flair for the dramatic that has made him feared and admired for decades, which could be why legislation specifically aimed at barring his two-way transactions in 2003 never made it to a vote. Fong, who along with Ross ignored requests for comment, won’t be so lucky. His record will be inspected as he clings to a political career while running for a seat on the San Jose City Council.