The election of Democratic state assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez means yet another hungry political mouth to feed around the Barona casino’s tables. On April 6, the Democrat, then a candidate, received a free meal said to be worth $26.37 at the tony Top of the Market fish restaurant on San Diego Bay, according to Barona’s recently filed lobbying disclosure statement. The GOP’s Joel Anderson and staffer Collin McGlashen had to settle for $19.50 meals at La Mesa’s Brigantine on June 7. State senate Democrat Marty Block chowed down gratis at Barona’s steakhouse in the amount $31.20 on May 10, as did his staffer Ralph Dimarucut. Republican Brian Jones got a steakhouse meal worth $23.27 on June 7. Assembly Democrat Isadore Hall got food worth $38.24 at Sacramento’s Ella Dining Room and Bar. The legislature’s biggest Barona winner was L.A. Democratic assemblyman Ian Calderon, who on May 17 received two nights of “hotel accommodations” said to be worth $192.24 at Barona’s East County resort. The 27-year-old first-term legislator has been in the news of late regarding the ongoing FBI investigation of his uncle and Sacramento roommate, senator Ron Calderon.
“I honestly don’t know what’s going on other than what I read in the press,” the younger Calderon told the Sacramento Bee in June. “I just don’t have a comment. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.” In June, Ron Calderon set up a legal defense fund and has been busy raising cash from various special interests with business at the state capitol, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. “These funds will be only to pay the attorney’s fees and other legal costs related to the defense of the candidate as well as administrative costs directly related to compliance with recordkeeping and reporting requirements,” says the letter signed by Calderon and Yolanda Miranda, treasurer of Calderon’s committee.” Barona has given generously to the many Calderon family campaign funds. Last October, Ian got $3900 from the tribe. In May 2012, his father Charles Calderon, an ex-assemblyman and former state senator, picked up $3000 for a 2014 secretary-of-state bid. The same month, ex-assemblyman Tom Calderon, another brother of Charles and Ron, got $3000 in his assembly campaign account.