The money might be spent, but one of state Sen. Gil Cedillo’s political rivals wants him to give it back.
Rafael Nadal, who, like Cedillo, is a candidate for the 32nd Congressional district, is asking Cedillo to donate to the homeless and needy the $125,000 in campaign contributions the LA Times reported the senator spent on lavish hotels, meals and shopping trips.
Nadal is the parliamentarian for the Chicano Latino caucus of the California Democratic Party, and an Army veteran who has championed the cause of homeless veterans.
Nadal wrote Cedillo:
I am writing to you to request that you donate the amount of money that you spent on luxuries as reported in the Los Angeles Times (April 11, 2009) , money given to you by campaign donors. I request that you donate the same amount to food banks, shelters, churches, senior citizens, homeless women and children, and homeless veterans.
As a State Senator you reported spending $125,000 in a lavish lifestyle proper of the rich and famous. Your expenses only compare to those of Fabian Nuez, the former Speaker of the California Legislature. Let’s see, according to the Times you spent $1,203 for dinner in the Patina, the haute cuisine restaurant at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You spent $5,705 at the Standard, the rooftop bar of the downtown hotel. Your expenses include $7,022 at Nordstrom; $3,483 at Banana Republic; $1,418 at Ann Taylor; $498 at Bloomingdale’s; $450 at Crate & Barrel; and $375 at Macy’s.
At a time of a painful economic crisis in California, I cannot believe that you would relish in such luxuries. While people are losing their homes, children go without eating, and senior citizens have to choose between buying medications or paying their rents. This is an outrage, Mr. Cedillo, shame on you, you must give the money to charities.
On top of living a lavish lifestyle, now you voted to raise taxes that affect senior citizens, when they are barely able to keep their homes, where is your compassion, Mr. Cedillo? have you lost your moral compass?. You are not worthy to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Cedillo claims that his expenditures are “ethical”, but a time where there are hundreds of homeless people in your District, I have to call your expenditures as immoral.