By David Futch
Update: The L.A. Times has a new angle showing the Calderon Boys -- Charles Calderon, Ron Calderon and Tom Calderon, entwined in an obscure "Central Basin Municipal Water District" that controls millions of dollars. See jump.Emboldened by bulging campaign coffers, brothers Charles and Ron Calderon don't merely introduce laws designed to reap profits for huge special-interest groups. Many of the laws that bear their names, they never wrote a word of. The bills are actually quietly ghostwritten by special interests who benefit from new laws they've custom-designed. Read all about it here, in Worst Legislators in California, Part II.
Charles Calderon shines in another troubling way. His campaign contributions from 2007 through the middle of May were $1,116,396 -- yet only a scant 5 percent came from his constituents -- you know, those people he represents. Charles Calderon is the Number One taker of outside money, in a California legislature filled with such takers.
Assembly leader Charles Calderon's campaign contributions from Jan. 1, 2007 through the middle of May gushed in from almost every worrisome special interest group you can imagine. This information is thanks to the folks at MAPLight.org.
Take a guess. From what distant zip code -- a place filled with nasty characters and sleaze -- does California State Assembly leader Charles Calderon get his biggest hunks of cash?
Funny answer. But no.Charles Calderon got his greatest riches from the 95814 zip code. That's downtown Sacramento.
Zip code 95814 includes the statehouse, and is also the office locale for many of the 1,200 lobbyists who troll the Capitol building's marbled halls in expensive suits and zip around Sacto in their Escalades, often ferrying people like Charles Calderon to dinner.
MAPLight shows the Top 10 zip codes who gave money to Assemblyman Charles Calderon's campaign from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010 as follows:
1.Sacramento, CA 95814 (Downtown and Capitol), $372,777;
2. Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown and Wilshire Center), $36,700;
3.San Francisco, CA 94105 (Embarcadero South), $23,800;
4.Pasadena, CA 91101, $20,200;
5.Washington, D.C. 20004, $15,000;
6.Los Angeles, CA 90040 (City of Commerce), $13,450;
7.Newport Beach, CA 92660, $13,202;
8.Irvine, CA 92618, $12,200;
9.Los Angeles, CA 90071 (Downtown L.A.), $11,600;
10.Fort Worth, TX (Texas?? More on that later.) 76131, $11,500.
Go to the next page to see Who Gives To Chuck Calderon in Hopes of Getting Stuff Back, such as California state laws "authored" by Calderon that his special interest cash-givers actually ghostwrite, word for word, themselves: