‘Tis the Season

Around this time of the year, there are several seasons that come to mind, like the holiday season, the football season or even winter vegetables. But thanks to resourceful party planners for our beloved state legislators, we now renew the time-honored tradition of the fundraising season.

Both parties spent tens of million of dollars generated by contributions to defend an incumbent seat or gain a new one in June and November. Of the 100 races in the Assembly and Senate, only a handful of contests were actual campaigns. Thanks to a reapportionment that protects incumbents, many Senate Democrats winning their second four-year term return to Sacramento with $1/2 million or more in their campaign coffers.

The “season” kicks off with the swearing-in celebration of Darrell Steinberg, the 46th President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate. You can be a “host” of his party on December 1 at The Cosmopolitan for $50,000. Curren Price, who would like to fill the seat left by Mark Ridley-Thomas is also at Cosmo the next night for a birthday bash. Gold sponsor, $3,600. Newcomer Brian Nestande rounds out the week on December 6 with a “Holiday Golf Tournament” at Indian Wells, home of the 2008 Skins Game. Nestande won big in November, capturing the 64th AD. He was unopposed.

But our “party animal award” clearly goes to Ron Calderon. Over the last two years, he has held 14 fundraising events that we know of. These include golf outings in Lake Tahoe, Oregon and Palm Desert. Some lucky Ron supporters dined at Morton’s, The Kitchen, Chops, Zocalo, and Spataro. Throw-in a Lakers-Kings game and wine tour in Napa. Now that’s a season.

Calderon, who runs for re-election in 2010, reported taking in nearly $300,000 this year, but his expenditures were about the same and, with a beginning suplus, ends the third quarter, 2008 with a balance of $19,000. But not to fret, Calderon has a golf event in Oregon the second week of December. Remember, it’s a new season.

Why do people donate to Calderon? The Montebello Democrat and some like-minded fellow senators that claim to be business-friendly, have created the Diversity PAC. The Senate is so far left-leaning that this handful of men and women are like magnets for California businesses trying to avoid more burdensome laws and regulations that negatively impact their ability to compete and employ workers that pay taxes and add to the economy. The PAC’s goal is to elect more moderate senators. Good luck.