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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Sen. Feinstein vs. de Leon: CA Cesspool Politics

Why is California such a cesspit of political corruption? Both U.S. Senate candidates from California have some serious legal troubles and should spend time in the pokey.

For 20 years, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)employed a Chinese spy on her staff while she headed the Senate Intelligence Committee. When the FBI notified her about the spy on staff, Feinstein allowed him to retire, but claimed she fired him. Why wasn’t he immediately arrested by the FBI?Feinstein tried to claim Russell Lowe, the man who has been identified as the spy for Communist China, was nothing more than her driver — for 20 years. Other news reports say Lowe was her San Francisco DistrictRead More

Katy Grimes

Senate Scandals Leave Dark Stain on State Capitol in 2014

California Democratic politician Jesse Unruh’s famous description of Sacramento lobbyists rings true even today: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and then vote against them, you have no business being up here.”

Unruh also said, “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”

Remembering these cynical thoughts, California Republicans have a few people to thank this Christmas for maintaining the Unruh status quo: Senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon, Rod Wright, Ben Hueso, outgoing Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and incoming Senate President pro TemKevin De Leon.

The Senate scandals in 2013 and 2014 were legendary, as was the gross mishandling of the aftermath.You can’t make this stuff up.

Scandals remind people of the shady underpinnings of politics, and the temptations lurking around the Capitol that some lawmakers are just incapable of resisting.

The difference usually is, when it’s Republicans caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar, they are shunned, and forced to leave in shame. Democrats, on the other hand, circle the wagons, pretending its business as… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Calderon Scandal A Reminder About Absolute Power

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”

– William Pitt, British Prime Minister, 1770

The alleged corrupt behavior of State Senator Ron Calderon has been at the center of California politics since the release by Al Jayzeera America last week of a sealed FBI agent’s affidavit detailing how Calderon supposedly pushed legislation that would benefit a particular business interest, in this case, a movie production company, in return for them “buying off” the Senator with payoffs.

“How could this happen?” — people will ask.

Obviously legislators are human beings, eh? We are all imperfect. So it makes sense that some will be morally lacking. That’s really no different than any other profession.

In the ideal world, everyone would be an upstanding citizen, a Boy Scout, and always do the right thing, even when nobody is looking.

I guess one might argue that politics, as a field, has the potential to attract a higher percentage of people with questionable ethics. What other professions are centered around… Read More