More than three years after FBI agents raided the Capitol office of former state Sen. Ron Calderon, the corruption case against the Montebello Democrat finally comes to an end.
Calderon, who pleaded guilty in June to one count of mail fraud for accepting tens of thousands of dollars and jobs for his children in exchange for official acts, is set to be sentenced at noon in federal court in Los Angeles. Originally charged with 24 counts, including bribery, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns – allegations that could have netted Calderon a maximum 396-year sentence – prosecutors are now requesting that he serve five years in prison.
The sentencing will bring to a close an embarrassing chapter for the California Senate that saw three members suspended amid legal troubles. Former Sen. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, ultimately spent 71 minutes in jail on Halloween 2014 for eight felonies related to living outside the district where he ran for office. Former Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, pleaded guilty last year to one count of racketeering for trading political favors for campaign cash, and is currently serving a five-year term at a facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
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DYNAMIC DUO: Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon may not agree on everything, but they both want voters to pass Proposition 55, the tax extension on rich Californians, and Proposition 58, to remove restrictions on bilingual education. They will join the California Teachers Association for a press conference to promote the initiatives, 11 a.m. at CTA’s office in Culver City, followed by a precinct walk through the Ladera Heights and Westchester neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
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CALLING FOR BACK-UP: If your election is uncertain, bring in the big guns. Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is locked in a tight battle for the 21st Senate District, a crucial hold for Republicans that could deny Democrats a two-thirds supermajority in the upper house. His lunch fundraiser today in Ontario will feature California GOP Chairman Jim Brulte and Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes as special guests. Over in the nearby 60th Assembly District, Sabrina Cervantes is looking to take out Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, part of a massive push by Democrats to regain their Assembly supermajority. Cervantes will get a lift from Attorney General Kamala Harris during a Sunday rally at her campaign headquarters in Corona.
BY THE NUMBERS: After a slow start, supporters of Proposition 58 have raised $2.4 million for their campaign to reverse portions of 1998’s Proposition 227 limiting the use of bilingual education in the state. More than half of that comes from CTA, with the remainder donated by other unions and school groups. But despite the opposition of millionaire Silicon Valley software entrepreneur Ron Unz, who spearheaded Proposition 227, a no campaign has yet to report any money.