Maui, Japan, China, France and Vegas

Those are just a few of the places are trusted local legislators visited in 2007, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel, restaurant and resort fees, according to reporter Dan Abendschein’s investigative story on campaign records for locals pols’.

Not to worry, that’s not taxpayer money they’re using. No, it’s money from political contributions – I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Is it just me, or did anyone else think that campaign contributions were supposed to go toward, oh, I don’t know … campaigning?

Open government advocates are questioning the spending habits. But some legislators – like state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, who according to Abendschein spent more than $87,000 in travel, hotel, restaurant and fundraising expenses in 2007 – say they don’t think constituents have a problem with it. And plus, Calderon “has had to raise more money than many other legislators because he has faced well-financed opponents in elections.”

Calderon’s last election was in 2006. His next election isn’t until 2010.

On the flip side, state Sens. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, and Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, as well as Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-El Monte spent zero dollars of their campaign contributions on travel.

Hope that was enough to lure you into reading the complete story….