Jun 1, 2011 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: LA Weekly
State Sen. Ron Calderon and his brother Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, carry on a family tradition every Thanksgiving.
Comments (Page 13)
In 2009, officials in cities served by Central Basin called for another review of the district's finances.
The group won the support of state Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), and momentum appeared to be building for another audit.
Then Price's Senate colleague,
Ron Calderon, intervened,
calling for a meeting between Central Basin leaders, water companies and officials from nearby cities.
In a letter to the district in August 2009,
Price and Calderon wrote: "Senator Price has agreed to hold his request for the audit in order to give Central Basin the opportunity to answer its critics."
Calderon later canceled the meeting.
"I am very disappointed that the meeting didn't take place," Price said.
"I don't know why it didn't."
Assemblyman Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) said Ron Calderon discouraged him from getting involved in discussions about an audit.
Mendoza said it seemed other legislators were reluctant to take on the issue.
"A lot of legislators work with both brothers,
in the Assembly and the Senate, and they'd rather leave that alone than create hostility," Mendoza said.
Ron and Charles Calderon have proposed separate bills that could benefit Central Basin and give it greater authority over the Water Replenishment District, which monitors the region's groundwater usage.
The two agencies have been competing for rights to manage groundwater storage.
Ron Calderon's bill, SB 701, would give Central Basin "primary oversight" over groundwater in its service area.
For the last two years, the Calderons have also pushed legislation to create a new groundwater fee structure, which could lower the rates Central Basin customers pay to the Water Replenishment District while raising costs for some cities in Southwest L.A. County.
Charles Calderon said he's shelved the bill for now.
SB 1167, by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, would continue the state’s film and television tax break through 2020, instead of letting it expire in 2015.
A report last week from the state’s legislative analyst, however, should bring star-struck legislators back to reality. The analyst said that the tax credit is a net money loser for the state, costing California more than it delivers in benefits.
Ron and Tom are bad news. Fortunately, Tom lost. Ron is termed out but will run against Linda Sanchez for congress in two years. The Calderons live off politics. Keep them out.
“Hilltop Park Above All”
Since: Sep 08
Living off politics is not a crime, or even very immoral. It is the actions of these legislators that are worthy of condemnation.
But the legislative analyst notes that such findings rely on questionable assumptions that artificially inflate the return on the tax credit. There is no way to know, for example, whether the productions would have remained in the state even without a tax break. So California may simply be rewarding activity that would have taken place anyway. Nor is filming that moves to other states necessarily a total revenue loss for California. Out-of-state productions may import experienced film crews from California, or may use California facilities for some production work despite filming elsewhere.
Legislators should also ask whether an industry that accounted for slightly more than 1 percent of the state’s employment last year merits special treatment. Why should movies get a break, but not other California industries? Nor can the state afford unprofitable largesse to one favored group at a time when government struggles to fund a range of public services. The state has higher public priorities than boosting Hollywood’s bottom line.
The entertainment industry, however, argues that California needs the tax break to remain competitive with other states. Another study this month, by the nonprofit Milken Institute, said that the state should expand the film and TV tax break. Yet the California Research Bureau, an arm of the state library, last year reported that available data provided no clear evidence of “any significant damage to the state’s industry or economy” in the past decade from other states’ efforts to lure film and TV production away from California.
Blind faith that a tax break achieves its goal is not a good justification for sustaining that public outlay. California will not escape chronic budget shortfalls by recklessly dispensing taxpayer-financed goodies
But officials from cities, private utilities and special districts have been unhappy with Municipal Water District during the past years.
They've complained about its $22.6 million reclaimed waste water from Whittier to Montebello. The duel over the right to store
water in southeast Los Angeles County has also hurt the image of the district, not to mention the water rates hikes.
"We kind of think they've been going in the wrong direction, such as trying to take over the ground water," said Jim Glancy, president of Central Basin Water Association, a group of cities, special districts and private utilities that pump water.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office also has launched inquiries into expenses incurred by members of the board and into possible campaign money laundering
connect the dots
or as Deep Throat said
"follow the money"
Since: Jul 12
Incoming water board member says lame-duck members shouldn't be awarding contracts
COMMERCE - An incoming member of a regional water board criticized its decision Monday to extend a consulting contract for former Assemblyman Tom Calderon of Montebello.
The Central Basin Municipal Water District board on a 4-1 vote extended Calderon's contract until the end of February. He will be paid $69,996 in that time.
The Ed Vasquez connection
Calderon donated either money or in-kind support to three of the five board member's campaigns during the last election.
Vasquez, who received a $2,500 contribution and $5,000 worth of campaign consulting work, said there is no conflict.
Robert Apodaca, the lone no vote on the board, said he didn't see a need for the work by Calderon.
"At this time, most of my communities are not supportive of contracts that aren't necessary," Apodaca said. "He's supposedly a consultant but doesn't consult with me."
Apodaca, who worked for Calderon when Calderon was in the Assembly from 1998 to 2002, said he's no friend of Calderon or his family. Calderon's brothers, Charles and Ron, serve in the Assembly and state Senate, respectively.
"I haven't talked to him in four years," Apodaca said.
Calderon's contract requires him to develop strong relationships with local groups, serve as liaison to the Central Basin Water Association, provide advice in working with state and federal officials, and provide information and guidance on the district's relationship with the California Energy Commission
Scurrying like rats on a hotplate
Update: Calderon targeted in Hollywood bribery sting; leak under investigation (timeline)
Steinberg is shocked- SHOCKED
"Effective immediately, I am removing Senator Calderon from the appointment to California Film Commission, and vacating the position," Steinberg said in a Thursday press conference. "If for no other reason, the appearance of impropriety dictates that the senator no longer sit on that commission."
Steinberg called the allegations against Calderon "shocking and disturbing."
"I'm reluctant to dignify any of the more off-the-wall claims allegedly made in private by Senator Calderon," Steinberg said. "It's important for me to set the record straight since my name — my good name — was mentioned more than once."
Steinberg and good name an oxymoron???
Is this not the same Steinberg that sold out the environmental movement???
"Steinberg was mentioned several times in the affidavit, with Calderon allegedly asserting to undercover FBI agents that he would "deliver" on legislation they were seeking to obtain through bribes by having that legislation introduced in the state Senate by Steinberg. The affidavit asserts that Calderon said Steinberg had told Calderon he would get the bill out of appropriations, and that then the bill couldn't be stopped. Calderon asserted that he had Steinberg's support and that Steinberg was pushing the bill, according to the affidavit."
Tom Calderon was also a consultant for the San Gabriel Valley Water Company which provided a water availability study in which it claimed that there was plenty of water available to service the proposed high density Montebello Hills development. A year or two later this SGV Water Co. Asked the PUC for permission to raise water rates due to limited supplies of water. Around the same time Tom Calderon became the Chairman of the City of Montebello's Planning Commssion, the very commission that would vote on the proposed Montebello Hills project. Luckily he lost that sinecure when the Councilmember who had appointed him was defeated in the next election. All the while he remained a high paid consultant for the Central Basin Water District which also was working on business dealings with the would-be developer of the last remaining open space Montebello Hills. Current Montebelo City Councilman Jack Hadjinian is on record in the State Legislature as opposing a bill limiting Central Basin's powers. Charles, Tom and Ron Calderon all opposed that bill which nevertheless passed overwhelmingly. Local residents need to keep a sharp eye on the situation with this proposed Montebello Hills project. It's unlikely that the games have stopped.
Is Tom Calderon still a consultant for the SGV Water Company? No-one seems to know if he is, or, if he's lost that sweet deal, when that happened.
Excerpt from KPCC link posted by Calderon Watch above
Among the allegations contained in the affidavit:
Calderon accepted about $28,000 in bribes from Michael Drobot, the chief executive officer of Long Beach's Pacific Hospital, in return for Calderon’s support of legislation to delay or limit changes to the state's workers' compensation laws related to how much doctors are reimbursed for spinal surgeries. This allegedly would have enriched Drobot's company.
Drobot has been paying Ron Calderon's brother, Thomas Calderon, about $10,000 a month as part of the bribery scheme, ostensibly to serve as a consultant on the spinal surgery legislation. The affidavit asserts Thomas Calderon is facilitating bribes to his brother Ron.
Calderon hired an undercover FBI agent, playing another agent's girlfriend, to a state Senate staff position.
A $25,000 bribe paid by the undercover FBI agent was purportedly funneled through Californians for Diversity, a nonprofit organization that, according to Ron Calderon, is controlled by Thomas Calderon, and that the brothers planned to use the money when Ron is out of office.
The undercover agent allegedly made nine $3,000 payments to Calderon’s daughter, Jessica. Ron Calderon allegedly drafted a document saying Jessica worked for the undercover agent.
A third undercover agent allegedly made a payment to Ron Calderon of $3,000 in cash.
The affidavit includes other allegations against Ron Calderon, including criminal conspiracy, accepting bribes, wire fraud and extortion.
Political analyst Dan Schnur told KPCC's Sharon McNary that these stings rattle nerves.
"The entire political community becomes absolutely and incredibly paranoid, because everyone begins to worry that anyone they might be speaking to may be an FBI informant," Schnur said.
Schnur says they also lead to a tightening of ethics laws, at least until memories fade and politicians find other ways to use their positions to generate income.
More tidbits from the FBI's Calderon transcripts
Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/20...
FBI seeks investigation of source of leaked affidavit
Affidavit is here
We'll trade you Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, and Matt Bevin for your worst one.
Trash posted these in the Water thread- He's gone for the weekend so I'm moving them here
In a written statement Steinberg said,
“Nothing is more sacred to us as Senators than the public’s trust in the integrity of this institution.
That’s why it is so shocking and disturbing for us to read and hear the allegations presented in these media reports over the last 24 hours.”
“Make no mistake: the assertions made in certain conversations described in this affidavit bear zero resemblance to reality and are a universe apart from how the Legislature that we know and honor every day conducts the people’s business,” he stated.
From one who has his hand out behind his back and doles out patronage.
From one who sold the environmental movement making a deal with Rotsik to exempt his stadium project from CEQA
from http://www.sgvtribune.com/government-and-poli ...
apologies to Louis Renault
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