Lawmakers to be fined for unreported gifts

SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press


SACRAMENTO
– Concert tickets to Billy Joel, a taping of the “The George Lopez
Show,” hotel stays and expensive meals are among the gifts that 31
California lawmakers acknowledged that they received but didn’t report,
and for which will pay a fine.

They fessed up after a review by
staff at the state’s campaign watchdog agency, the Fair Political
Practices Commission, found discrepancies with lobbyist reports.

The
lawmakers signed stipulations acknowledging failure to report the gifts
and agreed to pay the recommended fines, Roman Porter, the commission’s
executive director, said Monday. The commission will have the final say
at its Feb. 11 meeting.

“The commission has the ability to accept or reject them,” Porter said.

Enforcement
staff proposed a $200 fine for each of the 47 violations, which would
amount to $9,400 collectively in fines that will be deposited in the
state general fund. Failure to disclose gifts can bring fines of up to
$5,000 for each violation.

The commission in December sent
letters to 38 members of the Assembly and Senate for failing to report
gifts totaling thousands of dollars. The records document gifts
received in 2008, the last year for which such information is available.

Seven
lawmakers accused of reporting violations have pending cases, although
representatives for Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Mission Viejo, and Patricia
Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, said the FPPC has dropped the violations


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against them. Others have challenged the FPPC findings, expect to be fined later, or did not return calls seeking comment.

Porter declined to comment on the outstanding cases.

Among
the gifts lawmakers said they did not report: meals at Ella’s, a
high-end restaurant in Sacramento; tickets to Billy Joel, Keith Urban
and George Strait concerts; a hard-to-get ticket to the 2008 Holiday
Bowl between Oklahoma State and Oregon; a taping of ABC’s “The George
Lopez Show;” and Sacramento Kings basketball games.

Assembly
Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, agreed she failed to report meals
paid by AT&T, Chevron Corp. and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno
Mission Indians, which operates Pechanga Resort and Casino in Southern
California. Her attorney had previously characterized the mistake as a
bookkeeping error. Commission staff have recommended she pay $600.

Incoming
Republican Leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who failed to list
$101 worth of food and drinks from the California Professional
Firefighters, has agreed to pay $200. He has said his staff filed the
gift under the wrong year.

Representatives for several lawmakers
said violations were dropped after members showed the commission had
erred or lobbyists mistakenly reported a gift.

Democratic state
Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello was initially informed that he should
have reported $1,077 in gifts from the Association of California Life
and Health Insurance Companies to his wife, Ana, including a stay at
Pebble Beach Resorts, known for its stunning oceanfront view and
world-class golf course.

Calderon is chairman of the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee, which oversees the industry.

“Unless
the elected official somehow enjoys or controls the gift, they’re not
required to report a gift to a family member so the FPPC backed off its
allegation,” said Calderon chief of staff Rocky Rushing.

The
commission in December said it would consider imposing greater
restrictions on gifts that go to relatives of public officials.

Commission
staff also found that Calderon had reported one other gift from the
same Pebble Beach stay and a July dinner from the Association of
California Insurance Companies on July 12, Rushing said. Nevertheless,
Calderon was fined $600 for failing to report a $189 meal from
Medtronic, $250 greens fees paid by the Cable and Telecommunications
Association and concert tickets worth $300 from Verizon. Rushing said
that’s because lobbyists had not provided the senator’s office with a
letter detailing the gifts.

“We’ll be taking independent steps from here on out to keep track of what gifts the senator receives,” Rushing said.

Maine voters repeal gay-marriage law

From the Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine voters have torpedoed a state law that would have allowed gay couples to marry.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, gay-marriage foes had 53 percent of the vote Tuesday.

The outcome amounts to a heartbreaking defeat for the gay rights movement — particularly since it occurred in a northeastern New England state, the corner of the country most supportive of gay marriage.

At issue was a law passed by the Maine Legislature last spring that would have legalized same-sex marriage. The law was put on hold after conservatives launched a petition drive to repeal it in a referendum.

Gay marriage has now lost in every single state — 31 in all — in which it has been put to a popular vote. Gay-rights activists had hoped to buck that trend in Maine.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune election endorsements

LOCAL elections are being held today
throughout the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas in our community
college districts, in races for school boards and for city councils.

It’s one of those election days in which there are no statewide or
national issues or candidates on the ballot. But it’s just as important
- we might argue that it’s more important – that voters make the effort
to get to the polls today as in any presidential or gubernatorial race.

Your local representatives are the ones who make a real difference in your communities and in your children’s education.

Plus they are the ones you can run into in the supermarket-checkout
lines and go lobby during public comment-periods. They are your
neighbors and your fellow citizens. Get out today and help make a
difference.

If you’re not sure where your polling place is, go to www.lavote.net, the Web site of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, for help.

Our choices in today’s elections:

 

Citrus College District

Area No. 1

Gary Woods

 

Area No. 3

Edward C. Ortell

 

Mt. SAC College District

Judy Chen Haggerty

David K. Hall

 

Pasadena City College

Area No. 1

Geoffrey L. Baum

 

Area No. 3

Connie Rey Castro

 

Area No. 7

Beth Wells-Miller

 

Rio Hondo College District

Area No. 1

Norma Edith Garcia

 

Area No. 3

Angela Acosta-Salazar

 

Area No. 5

Madeline Shapiro

 

Baldwin Park Unified School District

Paul Flores

Teresa I. Vargas

 

Bassett Unified School District

Robert “Bob” Fuentes

Paul Solano

Andrea S. Elias

 

Charter Oak Unified School District

Jane Bock

Don Davis

 

Covina-Valley Unified School District

Charles M. Kemp

Richard White

 

El Monte City School District

Jayne Lee Iberri

Robert “Bobby” Salcedo

Eddie Zuniga

 

El Monte Union High School District

Tonson Man

Carlos G. Salcedo

Theresa “Tess” Velasco

 

Garvey School District

Bob Bruesch

Antonio “Tony” Ramos

John Yuen

 

Glendora Unified School District

Denice K. Delgado

Mike A. Gautreau

Chuck Gomer

 

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District

Joseph K. Chang

Anita Perez

Mike Itow

 

Montebello Unified School District

Edwin “Ed” Chau

Gerri Guzman

Carlos Morales

Illingworth

 

Mountain View School District

Adam C. Carranza

Robert L. Griffith

Joe A. Moreno

 

Pomona Unified School District

Frank Guzman

Adrienne

Konigar-Macklin

Andrew Wong

2-year-term: Steve Lustro

 

Rosemead School District

Rhonda A. Harmon

Fred S. Mascorro

Dennis McDonald

 

Rowland Unified School District

Gilbert G. Garcia

Robert F. Hidalgo

Kimo Morris

 

Valle Lindo School District

Gloria Olmos

 

Walnut Valley Unified School District

Helen Hall

Nancy Lyons

Cindy Ruiz

 

West Covina Unified School District

George Fuller

Jessica Shewmaker

Baldwin Park Mayor

Manuel Lozano

 

Baldwin Park City Council

Marlen Garcia

Susan Rubio

 

Diamond Bar City Council

Ron Everett

Steve Tye

Robert L. Velazquez

 

El Monte Mayor

No endorsement

 

El Monte City Council

Richard Garner

Angel Ralph Nunez

 

La Puente City Council

David E. Argudo

Lola K. Storing

 

Montebello City Council

Richard Garcia

William M. “Bill” Molinari

Giuseppe “Joe” Veneziano

 

South El Monte City Council

Angelica R. Garcia

Joseph J. Gonzales

 

West Covina City Council

Sherri Lane

Michael Touhey

Shelley Sanderson

 

West Covina – Measure D

No

Pasadena Star-News election endorsements

Pasadena Star-News: Election endorsements


LOCAL
elections are being held today throughout the San Gabriel Valley and
Whittier areas in our community college districts, in races for school
boards and for city councils.

It’s one of those election days in which there are no statewide or
national issues or candidates on the ballot. But it’s just as important
- we might argue that it’s more important – that voters make the effort
to get to the polls today as in any presidential or gubernatorial race.

Your local representatives are the ones who make a real difference
in your communities and in your children’s education. Plus they are the
ones you can run into in the supermarket-checkout lines and go lobby
during public comment-periods. They are your neighbors and your fellow
citizens. Get out today and help make a difference.

If you’re not sure where your polling place is, go to www.lavote.net, the Web site of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, for help.

Our choices in today’s elections:

 

Citrus College District

Area No. 1

Gary Woods

 

Area No. 3

Edward C. Ortell

 

Mt. SAC College District

Judy Chen Haggerty

David K. Hall

 

Pasadena City College

Area No. 1

Geoffrey L. Baum

 

Area No. 3

Connie Rey Castro

 

Area No. 7

Beth Wells-Miller

 

Rio Hondo College District

Area No. 1

Norma Edith Garcia

 

Area No. 3

Angela Acosta-Salazar

 

Area No. 5

Madeline Shapiro

 

Duarte Unified School District

Ken Bell

Reyna Diaz

 

Garvey School District

Bob Bruesch

Antonio “Tony” Ramos

John Yuen

 

La Canada Unified School District

Susan Boyd

Joel Peterson

Scott Tracy

 

Montebello Unified School District

Edwin “Ed” Chau

Gerri Guzman

Carlos Morales Illingworth

 

Rosemead School District

Rhonda A. Harmon

Fred S. Mascorro

Dennis McDonald

 

San Gabriel Unified School District

Denise Menchaca

Philip Hu

Matthew Stadtler

 

San Marino Unified School District

Joseph Chang

Jeng Yen

Nam Jack

 

Temple City Unified School District

Matt W. Smith

Joe Walker

 

 

Duarte City Council

Margaret Finlay

Tzeitel Paras-Caracci

 

Montebello City Council

Richard Garcia

William M. “Bill” Molinari

Giuseppe “Joe” Veneziano

 

South Pasadena City Council

Michael A. Cacciotti

Philip C. Putnam

 

South Pasadena Measure L:

Yes

Whittier Daily News election endorsements

LOCAL elections are being held today
throughout the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas in our community
college districts, in races for school boards and for city councils.

It’s one of those election days in which there are no statewide or
national issues or candidates on the ballot. But it’s just as important
- we might argue that it’s more important – that voters make the effort
to get to the polls today as in any presidential or gubernatorial race.

Your local representatives are the ones who make a real difference in your communities and in your children’s education.

Plus they are the ones you can run into in the supermarket-checkout
lines and go lobby during public comment-periods. They are your
neighbors and your fellow citizens.

Get out today and help make a difference.

If you’re not sure where your polling place is, go to www.lavote.net, the Web site of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, for help.

Our choices in today’s elections:

 

Mt. SAC College District

Judy Chen Haggerty

David K. Hall

 

Rio Hondo College District

Area No. 1

Norma Edith Garcia

 

Area No. 3

Angela Acosta-Salazar

 

Area No. 5

Madeline Shapiro

 

El Rancho Unified School District

Rachel Canchola

 

Garvey School District

Bob Bruesch

Antonio “Tony” Ramos

John Yuen

 

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District

Joseph K. Chang

Anita Perez

Mike Itow

 

Little Lake City School District

Hilda A. Zamora

George See Buchanan

 

Los Nietos School District

Art Escobedo

Silvia R. Monge

Diana Louise Villalba

 

Montebello Unified School District

Edwin “Ed” Chau

Gerri Guzman

Carlos Morales

Illingworth

 

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District

Darryle Rodney Adams

Ed Hengler

Chris Pflanzer

Jesus “Jesse” Urquidi

 

South Whittier School District

Layla Avila

Jorge S. Hernandez

Sylvia V. Macias

 

Whittier City School District

Efrain Aceves

Ken Henderson

Linda L. A. Small

 

Montebello City Council

Richard Garcia

William M. “Bill” Molinari

Giuseppe “Joe” Veneziano

 

Pico Rivera City Council

David Armenta

Luis Alvarado

 

Santa Fe Springs City Council

Betty Putnam

Lillian Carrillo Puentes

Jose Angel Zamora