The Barona Band of Mission Indians hosted a high-powered group of state GOP legislators at the tribe’s Barona Resort and Casino on July 9, according to a recent lobbyist disclosure filing. Senators Tom Harman, Dennis Hollingsworth, Mark Wyland, and John Benoit, along with Assembly members Joel Anderson, Nathan Fletcher, Martin Garrick, Kevin Jeffries, Paul Cook, and Diane Harkey, each received a meal from the tribe worth $97.51, as did Hollingsworth staffer Jerry VanDeWeghe and Harkey district director Jody Vaughn. Probably not by coincidence, the next day a fund-raiser for fellow Republican senator Jeff Denham’s bid for lieutenant governor was scheduled at the resort. Minimum donation for that was $1500, according to Capitol Weekly’s fund-raising calendar.
Barona has become a popular place for fund-raisers. On July 23, Democratic assemblywoman Norma Torres had one there. And on October 17 and 18 of last year, Speaker Karen Bass had her Fall Golf Classic in the same place. Democrats also got their share of tribal meal freebies, if on a slightly smaller scale than the Republicans. On July 29, Speaker Bass chowed down at the Barona Italian Cucina for $61.67. On August 5, Assemblyman Hector De La Torre got a meal worth just $9.68 at the tribe’s Sage Café. On August 12, Assemblyman Ted Lieu received a meal there valued at $7.21. … Campaign fund-raising by putative gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown took on a local cast last week, with the Sycuan Indian tribe contributing a total of $25,000 to the ex-governor and current state attorney general. And Majestic Realty, the City of Industry–based company owned by Ed Roski, who is developing an L.A.-area stadium that may eventually house the Chargers, just happened to kick in the same amount on the same day, Monday, November 23.
Meanwhile, over on the right, Poway contractor Doug Barnhart, now chairman of J. Reese Construction, gave $10,000 to conservative GOP candidate Steve Poizner. And Robert Horowitz of Rancho Santa Fe, an investor and consultant, contributed $5000.