Former Democratic state senator Denise Ducheny, who’s already drawn heat for her appointment by the Senate Rules Committee to a four-year term on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board — a job that pays $128,109 annually — has closed the books on her senate officeholder account. The fund allowed her to collect money from a variety of corporations with interests before the legislature and use it for official trips, meetings, dinners, campaign consultants, and the like. In Ducheny’s case, the fund paid her husband Al’s campaign-consulting firm, the Southern Group, a regular four-figure stipend, which during the last half of this year totaled $20,540.
In her last year as senator, Ducheny collected a total of $46,324 for the account, $26,525 of that during the final six months. The cash came from an assortment of special interests, including the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians ($3000); Hilex Poly Co., LLC ($2500); Sprint ($1000); and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club ($1000).
Eating expenditures included $220.19 at Pete’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Sacramento; $83.68 at La Bella Pizza in Chula Vista; $132 at Original Pete’s Pizza in Sacramento; and $475.22 at Aioli Bodega Española, also in the capital. Travel expenses included a September 28 trip to Hermosillo, Mexico, for a “Border Legislators Conference” and a September 2 trip to La Paz, Mexico, for an Institute of the Californias meeting. Both were made on Volaris airlines out of Tijuana and cost the fund a total of $1094.14. In La Paz, $351.17 was spent at the Hotel Marina on September 8.