The Los Angeles US Attorney's office has charged State Senator Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) with numerous federal charges, including bribery and influence peddling. This indictment follows months of investigation, including a report from Al Jazeera.
Specifically, Calderon has been charged with taking bribes related to the following situations:
· to halt workers' compensation laws to benefit a Long Beach hospital executive
· to an undercover agent for a state-funded job in the state Senate
· to support legislation that would help independent film studios receive tax credits
State senators do represent their individual districts, but they receive a salary, and must never get away with demanding a bribe to help out a constituent.
These corruption charges are substantial, and Calderon has only been indicted, not yet convicted.
Despite the recent announcement against Calderon, State Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is already calling on the Montebello machine politician to resign or face suspension from the upper chamber.
However, not even one month prior, another state senator, Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) was not only indicted, but tried and convicted of felonies relating to voter fraud. Steinberg so far has said nothing, and still remains silent on Wright,
Why this arbitrary discrepancy? Some Wright supporters have contended that the law on legislator residency is so contorted, that one cannot avoid breaking the law, while Calderon’s alleged crimes involve public integrity as well as bribery.
Despite the discrepancy between the senators’ indictments, Steinberg's "resigned hypocrisy" is unacceptable. No matter what crimes the state senators have committed (non-violent, corruption, etc), no matter what the status of the charges, the state senate leadership has a responsibility to expect all members to live under the same laws imposed on all Californians. Steinberg allows a convicted felon to remain in office, while another state senator, indicted yet not convicted of numerous felonies, is facing pressure to resign.
This kind of double-standard cannot be ignored. It’s wrong for Steinberg to ignore the convicted Wright while imposing on the indicted Calderon.
Contact Senate President Steinberg, and tell him to hold every member of the California State Senate accountable. If the senate president is already moving to remove Calderon, then he has no right not to ask Wright to resign, as well.
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 651-4906
1020 N Street, Room 576
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-1529
Fax: (916) 327-8754