Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/31/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Calderon illustrates what's wrong with our political system.

An investigative report has uncovered a tale of bribery and corruption in California that shows precisely what is wrong with our entire political system. A prominent politician is about to be publicly accused of  corruption at the end of a long career.

Ronald Calderon -- politician for sale.

Ronald Calderon -- politician for sale.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/31/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Ronald Calderon, political system, FBI, sting, bribe, corruption, California


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The FBI conducted a lengthy undercover operation in which it has obtained evidence that Ronald Calderon, a state senator for Los Angeles, has engaged in corrupt behavior. Specifically, he accepted bribes and perks in exchange for sponsoring legislation.

The details have been revealed by the investigative unit of Al Jazeera, whose reporters reviewed the documents filed by the FBI against Calderon. The investigation, the report says, was conducted by an undercover agent and is detailed in his reports and others filed in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

The affidavit is 124 pages long and goes into great detail into how Calderon proceeded to accept cash for political favors and used a political non-profit as a personal slush fund.

The Al Jazeera report details how undercover FBI agents acted as independent movie executives who were interested in having a special tax credit for movies with budgets of $1 million or more, lowered to $500,000. Calderon agreed to push the legislation through in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash paid to himself and his children.

In one deal, the undercover agent and Calderon specifically agreed that the studio would "hire" Calderon's daughter for $3,000 a month, although she was unqualified and there was no work for her to do. The job was entirely fictitious, but the money was paid-- and spent.

Over the course of the operation, the FBI reported it payed Calderon around $60,000.

Calderon attempted to lower the tax credit to $750,000 but learned such an amendment to an existing bill would require a 2/3 majority vote. The effort was doomed. FBI agents took the setback in stride and urged Calderon to try anyway, which he did.

According to the FBI, Calderon, and his family, have accepted as much as $1 million from people who wanted to essentially buy a senator to craft laws that are favorable to themselves. Over the next several months, it is expected this case will enter the public realm and may mark the end of the Calderon family's political dynasty. Calderon's  older brother Thomas has also held a seat in the state Assembly and his eldest brother, Chuck, became the first Latino Senate President in the 90s. As early as 1994 however, hints of corruption were evident. The state fined him $15,000 for using campaign cash for personal expenses.

The issue with the Calderon family is actually an issue with American politics. American politics are awash in dynasties floated with massive quantities of cash. Politicians do not sponsor legislation because it is wise. They sponsor legislation because it will help them get reelected. Every political stance, every move, isn't based on principles or morality, but rather is decided by what will gather donations and votes.

And in the Calderon case, bribes.

Since politics is all about money, only people who have access to large amounts of it enjoy access to government and its power. This disenfranchises people. Americans have lamented for too long that they never have real choices at the polls. This is true. Without the money to buy the right influence, your voice counts for naught.

The United States needs to dramatically alter its system to remove the money from politics altogether. The nation may have to go so far as to pass laws which actually limit the freedom of individual citizens who become leaders, in an effort to sequester them from corrupt influences. The law would have to ask individuals interested in high office to sacrifice personal freedom in exchange for political power and an opportunity to serve their country.

This isn't as terrible as it sounds, this is the same sacrifice we ask those who join the military to make. To sacrifice their freedom and possibly their lives, in exchange for the opportunity to serve the country and to protect the freedom of the whole. If our youth can answer such a call, surely our elders can too.

Calderon's offices were raided in June. The case against him is pending. When it happens it will be the end of his political career. The problem is not Calderon. The problem is the system that allows him and countless others to flourish for decades before being sent to prison-if ever.


A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


Should Americans have job preference over unskilled-illegal immigrants? President Obama doesn't think so Watch

Image of New polls are showing that Americans are tired of illegal immigrants getting benefits at the expense of citizens and legal immigrants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Associated Press: "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Caught in the act! This brutal video shows a CHP officer beating a woman on the side of the freeway Watch

Image of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock is suing the California Highway Patrol after she was brutally assaulted by a patrolman on July 1.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A viral video has landed a California Highway Patrol officer in huge trouble after it was posted on YouTube. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The California Highway Patrol has announced that it has suspended officer Daniel Andrew after a video was posted online that ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:14-30
14 'It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 30th, 2014 Image

St. Rumon
August 30: St. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, was probably a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter