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— Back on August 11, the Barona Indian tribe issued a news release saying that Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction, "was in San Diego this morning to formally endorse the new Barona Education Grant Program during a tour of the Barona Indian Charter School." According to the release, O'Connell praised the program as "truly an innovative way to help boost education in our state, and I would like to encourage others to take Barona's lead in offering new financial resources and creating more opportunities for the children of California." As it turns out, O'Connell and one of his staffers themselves took advantage of some Barona financial resources. According to a lobbyist statement filed by the tribe on October 31, on August 10, the night before O'Connell made his statement, he received a free night in a Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino hotel room valued by the tribe at $59.92, along with a "gift acorn basket and framed picture" worth $141 and an "in-room amenity -- chocolates" valued at $25.38. O'Connell aide Adam Wolfson also got a hotel room and the chocolates.

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