Two high profile corruption and fraud cases involving California Democratic legislators would, you might think, make fellow Democrats do the right thing and force them to resign. Ha!
Rod Wright of Inglewood was convicted last month of voter fraud. Ron Calderon of Montebello just got wallpapered with multiple federal corruption and money laundering charges. His brother, a former member of the Assembly, was also charged.
The charges stem from a scheme in which Ronald Calderon allegedly solicited and accepted nearly $100,000 in cash bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, in exchange for his influence as a lawmaker. His actions, prosecutors say, helped facilitate a half-billion-dollar healthcare fraud — one of the largest such scams in the state’s history.
Democratic Senate President Darryl Steinberg says Wright can take an indefinite paid leave of absence but can come back if he is needed. As for Calderon, Steinberg called for him to resign then backed off and gave him time to think about it.
Calderon and his brothers are known for operating a Los Angeles-area political machine similar to what one would find in Chicago or Philly – and for championing bills from various special-interest groups. As that Bee report noted, the flamboyant, cigar-chomping Calderon brothers “treat Capitol politics as a family business.” No one can be the slightest bit surprised that this business caught the attention of the feds. Steinberg is known as a Calderon ally.