Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/31/2013 (2 years 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Days-old baby girl buried alive pulled to safety in California Watch

Image of Following the child's muffled cries, police eventually found the girl in a crevice along the biking path. Wrapped in a blanket, covered with a layer of rocks and rubble, the girl was cold - but alive.


While much still needs to be learned - authorities here in Compton, California are gratified to learn that miracles still happen. A days-old baby girl, estimated to be only two to three days old, has been pulled to safety from a riverbed after a passerby heard ... continue reading

Who Needs Advent? I do! Watch

Image of The candle is a symbol of Advent because it is a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, who is always coming to those with the eyes of living faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus Christ is not just a memory to the Christian with living faith. He is alive in our midst and living His Life in and through His Body, the Church, of which we are members. The redemptive mission of the Lord Jesus continues until He returns. As Christians, we ... continue reading

BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big and so powerful, you won't believe this MASSIVE SHOCKING fact about it! Watch

Image of Obama is the titular head of the world's most nefarious terrorist organization, a title he may have inherited from his predecessor, and that will be passed to his successor.


If you were asked, what is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated in human history, how would you answer? Global warming? Vaccines? The Moon Landing? Entire religions?  (Not that we agree with these). But what would you say? In a moment, we're going to offer an answer ... continue reading

'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for best deals Watch

Image of Sales for pricey items such as electronic devices erupt into violence on


Everyone has had their turkey leftovers from the previous day's Thanksgiving Feast - and now it's out the door to the nearest "big box" store in a mad scavenger hunt called "Black Friday," where shoppers trample each other for the best deals then can get just before ... continue reading

President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in Thanksgiving address Watch

Image of The president then went on to say that, all Americans must open their neighborhoods, their homes, and hearts to Syrian refugees.


United States President Barack Obama called on Americans to welcome Syrian refugees this Thanksgiving season, who - like the pilgrims that set sail on the Mayflower, were likewise fleeing persecution in their native land. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart Watch

Image of Around tables throughout America, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gather with mothers and fathers, Grandpas and Grandmas, extended family, neighbors and friends to thank God and one another. And then, we feast; not only on the food, but even more importantly, on the gift of the love which informs all family relationships and true friendships, the real source of lasting joy, the love of the God who gave us life and liberty.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Happy Thanksgiving Day. May it be a day for love and gratitude. No matter how difficult the challenges we face as a Nation, we have much to be grateful for. As we give thanks, we will find the strength we need to love even more fully. As we practice regularly ... continue reading

New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on' Watch

Image of While the video is pumping up Islamist State, the fact of the matter is is the group is suffering heavy losses on the ground form allied bombardment, especially since Russia began bombing the group


A new video from the Islamic State is highlighting the high number of U.S. soldiers who commit suicide, in effect to tell the world's last remaining superpower to "bring it on." U.S. President Barack Obama has since dismissed ISIS as "a bunch of killers with ... continue reading

Horrific outrage erupts over proposed mosque in Virginia after Paris attacks Watch

Image of The Muslim community in Fredericksburg, Virginia has received support from the local Christian and Jewish clergy.


"Nobody wants your evil cult," declared a man at a zoning meeting in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was lobbing his invective at several American Muslims there over a proposed mosque to be built there. "Every one of you are terrorists. I don't care what you say. ... continue reading

The revealing truth behind the traditional presidential Thanksgiving turkey pardon Watch

Image of President Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to use the word


President Obama will pardon two turkeys - named Tom One and Tom Two - from a turkey farm in Modesto California on Thanksgiving Eve as part of an annual presidential tradition. Obama will make a few jokes with his family and then pardon the turkeys to live out ... continue reading

'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis Watch

Image of Despite a shooting at a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest, the group plans to return to the precinct to continue their protests.


Protesters were standing outside the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis for Black Lives Matter in the case of 24-year-old Jamar Clark when gunshots rang out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -Five protesters were shot outside the police station Tuesday afternoon as one ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Days-old baby girl buried alive pulled to safety ...
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making ...
  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • CRYBABY KILLER: Islamist State fighter breaks down in tears after ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More