OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Ron Calderon’

Commentary: “For The Love of Money” by Assemblyman Hagman

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 28, 2014

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Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) offers his thoughts regarding the corruption scandals of Senators Calderon, Wright and Yee that made headlines the past few months.

Hagman represents the 55th Assembly District and currently candidate for San Bernardino County Supervisor.

Recently, news of yet ANOTHER state senator being indicted for corruption sent shockwaves throughout California. When I heard the charges against San Francisco’s Leland Yee, I shook my head in disbelief. Could a man known for his gun control efforts be part of an international gun trafficking ring? We do not know all the facts, but I do know that the charges against him are so serious that the Legislature cannot pretend that it should conduct business as usual.

The troubles of three state senators now mean that more than 10 percent of the Democrat members of the State Senate are either under indictment or have been convicted of a felony. Senator Yee joins two other senators who are also facing serious legal trouble. One senator is facing bribery charges while another was recently convicted of a felony for lying about his residency – as he resides outside the district he represents.

And how did the Senate respond? They voted for Senate Resolution 38, which gave all three senators paid vacations. The Resolution also plans to give all senators and their staff additional ethics training. Presumably they will be told that trafficking rocket launchers, taking bribes and making deals with mobsters is inappropriate at any time. To be fair, the State Constitution currently gives no authority to the Senate to suspend legislators without pay and President Pro Tem Steinberg is proposing a constitutional amendment to finally fix that issue. I’m astounded this has not happened sooner.

All legislators understand the law and take an oath to follow it. However, no amount of ethics training will prevent a crooked politician from doing the “wrong thing.” According to the FBI affidavit against Senator Yee, he was well aware of the laws he was breaking. At one point, the senator reportedly said on tape, “I hope I don’t get indicted.”

Ultimately, all three senators should resign from office to remove the thick fog of corruption hanging over the State Capitol. As long as they are allowed to remain in office, it will be much more difficult to make progress on the issues that matter to all Californians such as jobs and public safety. The public is already deeply cynical about government and the least elected representatives can do is take responsibility for their actions.

Unfortunately, it is hard to ignore the fact that the alleged corruption took place in a political environment where one party has absolute control over Sacramento. As that popular saying goes, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When one party is accountable to no one, it makes it much more tempting for some to overreach and abuse the power entrusted to them by the citizens.

I have spent years as a volunteer for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s department and have seen firsthand that sitting behind bars is the last thing anyone wants to do. Perhaps all elected officials should take a prison field trip as part of our annual training? It would be a more powerful lesson than ethics training and suspension with pay.

I know that Californians are sick and tired of the mess in Sacramento and want to see an end to the culture of corruption. Elected officials need to be held accountable to the people of their district and the citizens of California. You, the voter, can help by electing men and women with integrity and character – who will do what’s right even when the FBI isn’t eavesdropping.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, California, Campaign Finance, Orange County, State Assembly | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breaking News: New Democrat Scandal In Senate

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 1, 2014

As if it couldn’t get any worse, a new scandal for Senate Democrats appears to be under investigation.

The series of scandals for Democrats started with Roderick Wright being convicted of voter fraud and perjury on January 28th. The scandals continued on Friday February 21st when Ron Calderon was indicted on public corruption charges. It actually got worse on March 26th when Leland Yee was charged with gun trafficking.

Jon Fleischman on the Flash Report reported today that Senator Darrell Steinberg’s office has been raided today. I received a tip from a Sacramento source that the investigation is centered around a Democrat member of the California State Senate accused of cannibalism. With this being the fourth scandal in four months for Senate Democrats the upcoming election could be very interesting.

Authorities have not confirmed the charges yet, but it is rumored that the last known investigation into something like this was centered around a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse back in 1968. These are very serious charges and most people are opposed to cannibalism. We will try to update our readers as more information becomes available.

nightoflivingdeadPlease look at the calendar before you complain to me about this post.

Posted in California | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Downey Mayor Guerra announces candidacy for State Senate

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 2, 2013

Popular Downey Mayor Mario Guerra announces his candidacy for State Senate in the 32nd SD, which is currently being held by embattled Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello).

The 32nd SD is located in blue collar working class district in Southeastern portion of Los Angeles County which stretches from Montebello and Hacienda Heights in the north and all the way down the 605 Freeway Corridor and dips into Orange County City of Buena Park.

The other announced candidates are former Assemblymembers Tony Mendoza (D-Norwalk) and Sally Havice (D-Cerritos) who are familiar faces in Sacramento are pretty much recycled pols who have been there and done that.

Mayor Mario Guerra is a formidable candidate who offers fresh ideas and new leadership that Sacramento desperately needs.

OC Political received the Press Release from Mayor Guerra’s candidacy for State Senate: 

Guerra pledges to focus on fundamentals, run on his record of accomplishment and bring back character and integrity to Sacramento.

Downey, July 2nd – Today Downey’s Mayor Mario Guerra officially announced his candidacy for the 32nd State Senate District. Between now and the election, Guerra intends to run a dynamic campaign across the district sharing his record of accomplishments as Downey’s Mayor as well as ensuring the public that character and integrity are brought back to Sacramento. Supervisor Knabe announced his endorsement and full support of Mario Guerra’s campaign for Senate as well.

“It’s time we focus on fundamentals: good jobs, safe streets and a great education system for our children.” Mayor Guerra’s business attraction program helped to lure notable companies like Porto’s Bakery, Champion Fiat and Raytheon to Downey in the last several years. “I’ve done it in Downey and am excited to do more great things for families across the District,” stated Mayor Mario A.Guerra.

“Since becoming elected I’ve helped initiate the Character Counts program in Downey with great success. As your State Senator, I’ll work to restore the public’s trust in their state government. Public official’s integrity and ethics must be beyond reproach with no exceptions,” continued Guerra.

Today Supervisor Don Knabe also announced his endorsement of Guerra for Senate. He stated, “Mario Guerra is a long-time area resident, who has dedicated countless hours to serving our local communities as a small business owner, volunteer and as Downey mayor and councilmember.  His energy and commitment to programs benefiting our schools, the environment, job creation efforts, the local economy and safe neighborhoods have made our entire region a better place to live, work and play. Mario is trustworthy, well-respected and has a commitment to public service for the right reason – helping those he serves.  Please join me in supporting Mayor Guerra for the State Senate, 32nd District!”

For a full list of endorsements please visit: http://guerraforsenate.com/endorsements.php

Please visit Mario’s website for more information and updates at www.guerraforsenate.com.

Mayor Guerra has had tremendous successes in Downey. Among them was recently winning Downey the distinguished award as “All-American City,” as well as helping to create over 8,000 new jobs. He was overwhelmingly elected to Downey’s city council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Among many other regional efforts, Mayor Guerra serves as President-Elect of the Independent Cities Association, and has served as the Legislative and Budget Chair of California Contract Cities Association, Mario was also awarded the Non-Partisan Elected Official of the Year in 2011.

Mario’s track record extends beyond public service. He is a successful small business owner, having co-founded  Scanlon-Guerra-Burke. Today, operating as SGB-NIA, his partner firm is one of the largest insurance brokers in California.

Guerra has been an ordained Deacon in the Catholic church since 2002, and serves as a Deacon in ministry at St. Linus Catholic Church in Norwalk, CA. He also serves as a Stational Deacon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as well as the Chaplain of Downey Police.

Mario is a husband of 29 years to his wife, Ann, and a father of five to Mario, Jr., Lynne, Matthew, Haley and Ryan.

Posted in 32nd Senate District, Buena Park, State Senate, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Feds Subpoena Central Basin Water District: Calderon Saga Continues

Posted by Allen Wilson on June 14, 2013

OC Political has penned three critical articles relative to the Calderon Saga:  Senator Ron Calderon Capitol Office Raid by FBI, Update on Calderon FBI Raid, and U.S Attorney subpoena’s Senator de Leon.

Today, The Sacramento Bee reports that the Feds has subpoena the Central Basin Municipal Water District the water agency based in the City of Commerce, which is coincidentally in the Senate district of State Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello).

Joseph Lagaspi, spokesman for the Water District says:

“I can’t comment on the particulars of it.  This is all brand new to us.”

Mr. Lagaspi goes on to stress the water district plans to:

“cooperate fully with the authorities.”

The Los Angeles Times has reported on allegations of cronyism with regards to the water district and the two brothers, Ron Calderon and Tom Calderon, wrote today about the subpoena that seeks:

“documents related to contracts awarded by the water district, invoices, purchase orders, voicemails and information related to how officials there accepted or rejected bids.”

It is interesting to note from the Los Angeles Times reports Senator Calderon and then-Assemblyman Charles Calderon has defended the Central Basin Water district through legislative efforts.  Furthermore Los Angeles Times reports, in 2009, Senator Calderon thwart an audit of the water agency books.

It appears that the Calderon saga keeps growing with no end in sight.

Though, as promised OC Political is continuing to monitor the story as it unfolds and will keep you updated.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sacramento Saga Continues: U.S. Attorney subpoenas Senator de León

Posted by Allen Wilson on June 7, 2013

OC Political reported breaking news on Tuesday regarding Senator Ron Calderon (D-Whittier) office was raided by the FBI.

My colleague Chris Nguyen elaborated with an article following up the breaking news about Senator Calderon and the FBI raid.

Now, it is reported by the Sacramento Bee that U.S. Attorney has subpoena Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

In a statement, Senator de León said he received a subpoena on Thursday.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Senator de León intended “to cooperate fully” and will be interviewed by a grand jury in July.

As the saga coming out of Sacramento continues OC Political will be on top of the story to bring you the latest updates.

Posted in California, State Senate, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Update on Calderon FBI Raid: Latino Caucus Office Also Raided, Part of LA County Corruption Investigation

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 4, 2013

Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello)

Senator Ron Calderon
(D-Montebello)

OC Political blogger Allen Wilson reported two hours ago that the FBI had raided the Capitol office of Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello).  Matt Rexroad of Meridian Pacific notes ironically that Calderon represents the City of Bell in the State Senate.

In addition to raiding Calderon’s Capitol office, the FBI also raided the office of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, located in the Legislative Office Building, which is across street from the Capitol.  Calderon is a member of the Caucus, but the Chair is Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and the Vice Chair is Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella).  Lara told the LA Times he had “no idea” why the Caucus office was being raided.  Calderon and his staff have not responded to requests for comment from various media sources. (Update – June 5, 8:20 PM: The Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms has issued a retraction of their statement from yesterday; the Caucus office was not raided – it was a second Calderon office.  Scroll to the end of this post for the full update.)

The two raids were executed based on an investigation by the United States Attorney for the Central District of California.  (The Central District of California consists of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.)

Though the warrants are sealed, multiple media sources have reported this is part of a wider federal investigation into public corruption in Los Angeles County.

Calderon, who is termed out of the Senate in 2014, has committees open for the 58th Assembly District, currently represented by freshman Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), and for State Controller.  When Treasurer Bill Lockyer announced he would retire after the 2014 election rather than run for Controller (as we noted this morning on OC Political), Calderon’s bid for Controller got a big boost; this FBI raid likely cripples Calderon’s bid for controller.

Ron Calderon’s brother, former Senator Charles Calderon (D-Whittier), told the Sacramento Bee: “I’m shocked. Right now we don’t know any facts, and without facts you speculate about the worst. But I know Ron and…I am very confident that he’ll be able to work through this and that when the facts do come out they will show him to have not been involved in anything.”

The office of Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), Charles Calderon’s son and Ron Calderon’s nephew, was not part of today’s raids.

Today’s pair of raids are the first FBI raids in the State Capitol since the 1980s when the Shrimpscam investigation resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of Board of Equalization Member Paul Carpenter (D-Los Angeles), Senator Joseph Montoya (D-La Puente), Assemblyman Pat Nolan (R-Glendale), and Assemblyman Frank Hill (R-Whittier).

Update – June 5, 8:20 PM: It turns out the office of the Latino Caucus was not raided.  It was a second office of Senator Ron Calderon.  KQED-FM published this statement from State Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard:

Yesterday afternoon, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation served sealed warrants to search an office in the State Capitol and the Legislative Office Building.

One of those offices was erroneously identified as an office of the Legislative Latino Caucus, based on an outdated roster of room numbers. The Legislative Latino Caucus moved into new offices earlier this year.

Both offices that are subject to the sealed search warrants are the offices of Senator Calderon; one in the Capitol building and the other in the Legislative Office Building.

This correction illustrates the limited information available to the Legislature. We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the agents.

Posted in California | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Senator Ron Calderon office raided by FBI

Posted by Allen Wilson on June 4, 2013

OC Political learn from Scott Lay of “The Nooner” that State Senator Ron Calderon (D-Whittier) Capitol office was raided by the FBI:

I am hearing from multiple Capitol sources that the FBI has raided the Capitol office of Senator Ron Calderon’s (D-Montebello) . Senate sergeants are currently stationed outside of Calderon’s office. Visitors are simply being told that the office “is closed.”

An FBI raid does not imply guilt, and there is no indication what the investigation is about. The Capitol is abuzz right now that the investigation includes other members, although the subject is unclear.

Investigative Reporter Page St. John of the Los Angeles Times tweets:

FBI confirms it has agents executing a search warrant at the California Capitol, “taking evidence respective to an ongoing investigation

FBI says California Capitol search warrant remains under seal. US Attorney confirms search of office of Sen. Ron Calderon D-Montebello.

Stay tuned for continuing updates here on OC Political with regards to latest rumbling from Sacramento.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »