Don Bauder 8:42 p.m., May 23
Golf ranks high on Hueso's special interest gift list
Cost of care, feeding, and travel for Assembly Democrat by big gift givers in 2012 may top San Diego delegation
Who was the biggest gift recipient of all among California legislators from San Diego in 2012?
All filings aren't in yet, but according to a spreadsheet analysis of the delegation's personal financial disclosure statements recently posted online by the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, high on the list will be 80th District Assemblyman Ben Hueso, currently running for the state senate seat vacated by fellow Democrat Juan Vargas, who has moved on up the local political ladder to Congress.
Hueso picked up a total of $8,892 worth of various gifts, including golf clubs, golf attire, wine, a blanket, a soccer game ticket, lodging, and some free roaming around the state.
Sources ranged from utility giant Sempra Energy, which came up with $26 in food and drink, along with $119 of "emergency backpacks," to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, which threw in $187 worth of food and lodging. The Chukchensi Economic Development Authority, which runs the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold, kicked in a total of $196 in food and drink.
The Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America came up with $198 in wine and a blanket. Edison International and Affiliates contributed $116 worth of food.
The Assemblyman apparently has a soft spot for golf, based on the many duffer-related gifts he got.
There was $333 worth of golf from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, otherwise known as the powerful state prison guards' union; a $328 golf club from Crime Victims United; golf balls and clubs worth $307 from Minorities in Law Enforcement; $358 worth of golf apparel from the Coalition for a Safer California; $330 in more golf from the Governor's Cup Foundation; and $182 in admission and food at the Farmers Open, courtesy of Farmers Group, Inc.
Hueso's travel related gifts included $276 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association for a speech; $321 in meals and lodging from the Klamath Alliance for Resources and Environment; $357 in travel from Humboldt Redwood Company, LLC; and $631 from the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy which held a "roundtable" attended by the Assemblyman, according to the filing. $325 each came from Trout Unlimited, California Trout, and the Nature Conservancy, for a "habitat restoration educational tour."
In addition, SeaWorld San Diego furnished Hueso with a $78 "entrance ticket for legislative tour."