Sen. Calderon: Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lyin’ ayes?
11/12/2013 5:29 PM
11/12/2013 5:30 PM
Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Nile) finally made a statement regarding the almost comically damning leaked affidavit that paints a portrait of a politician on the make/take. Calderon’s words are quite Orwellian:
“I have not been charged or convicted of any unjust doing, yet I am being treated by this committee and some media outlets as if I had.”
Um, OK. Fine.
I have read the affidavit. Whether Calderon is guilty or not is up to a jury of his peers (other politicians with their hands out and their blinders on), but the affidavit reads like a TV script from an episode of Law and Order, Senate Victims Unit.
In Calderon’s words, there was a lot of unjust doing.
He also noted that it was his feeling that the “appropriate action to take would be to allow me to continue the work I was elected to do and allow me to remain on my committee assignments.” No. I wonder what Calderon’s constituents would think the appropriate action would be.
To his credit, Senate President Darrell Steinberg has acted decisively on this matter, and left no doubt that he’s not on board with this. Neither were several other of Calderon’s Senate colleagues. And, as previously noted, there has been a rather curious radio silence from quite a number of Calderon’s Capitol colleagues: Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez haven’t uttered a word in public that I can find.
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a burp. Barely a fart.
Hmm. Well, I guess it might have to do with upsetting a bunch of political hacks in Los Angeles County, where one would hope to perform well in a future campaign. Why get out front on ethics if you don’t have to?
I could be wrong, but I think most voters like ethics. I’ll bet it polls really well. Way higher than bribery.
Calderon’s otherworldly response to his predicament says a lot about how stupid he thinks his constituents are, and, second, how stupid the media are. It’s one thing to hire some Sacramento spinmeister to massage a message, but it’s another thing entirely to just deny objective reality. It insults the process.
Let’s look at the affidavit. Instead of what Calderon actually said, I will put in what he should have said. You know, to avoid looking like he was on the take.
Undercover Agent: “To put it in blunt terms, me hiring Jessica (Calderon’s daughter) was not about her talent, right? And it was more about accomodating something you needed. And you needed me to take care...”
Calderon : “Right.” ( “OH MY GOD, NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!”)
UC: “...helping your children.”
Calderon: “Right.”( “NO! IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL TO ACCEPT THIS OBVIOUS BRIBE, AND YOU AND I ARE NEVER SPEAKING EVER AGAIN!” )
But he didn’t. And that’s just one exchange of about 219 exchanges where you just want to go create your own new political party. Or throw up. Or both.
The Falstaffian dimensions of Calderon’s poor judgment are clear, even when Sen. Calderon blames a “federal agency,” like it was those wacky guys over at the EPA.
Ethics are what you do when no one is looking, federal agency or not.
Calderon’s statement says a lot about his guilt (or innocence). And if you find his protestations credible, you deserve to have him represent you.
Just watch out when you ask him what color the sky is.
About This BlogJack Ohman joined The Sacramento Bee in 2013. He previously worked at the Oregonian, the Detroit Free Press and the Columbus Dispatch. His work is syndicated to more than 200 newspapers by Tribune Media Services. Jack has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Foundation Award and the national SPJ Award, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and the Herblock Prize in 2013. Contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @JACKOHMAN.
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