Offering the ingredients for some awkward family conversations, a California lawmaker is backing an anti-corruption ballot measure that flowed from a federal case against his uncle.
Proposition 50 would amend the state constitution to allow lawmakers to suspend their colleagues without pay or benefits. Legislators advanced the measure to the ballot in 2014 after voting to suspend three senators who were facing criminal investigations.
It resonates personally for Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, scion of a political dynasty. One of the suspended senators was Ron Calderon, his uncle facing corruption charges stemming from a federal investigation alleging pay-to-play bribes.
He has directed around $40,000 from his personal ballot measure committee in support of Proposition 50, which he voted to put on the ballot.
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“There’s a lot of frustration in the fact that when you have individuals who make poor choices, it isn’t just them that it reflects poorly on – it’s the institution it reflects poorly on,” Calderon said, adding that Proposition 50 gives constituents “a little faith in us, a little solace knowing if someone does something stupid they’re not going to get paid for it by taxpayers.”
Another Ian Calderon uncle and former lawmaker, Tom Calderon, also incurred corruption charges related to Ron Calderon’s case. The case against the two Calderons never mentioned Ian Calderon or his father Charles, also a former lawmaker.
“I’m sensitive to it,” Ian Calderon said, “I was, in a way, surrounded by it.”