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Schwaggering

So many gifts, so little time. That appears to have been the dilemma faced by San Diego–based members of the state legislature, judging from statements of financial interest covering 2009 filed earlier this year. Democratic assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, for instance, reported getting a $65 dinner from the French government; $124 worth of “personal care products” from the Personal Care Products Council; a $162 cosmetics gift basket from Bésame Cosmetics of Glendale; a $250 ticket to a presidential inaugural event from Google; a $238 Washington hotel stay from Women in Government; a $150 dinner from the nonprofit Hunger at Home; and a $62 “ticket to premier” from Tesla Motors.

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Democratic senator Christine Kehoe reported receiving an annual airport parking pass from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority valued at $4455; a trip to Israel worth $4560 from Project Interchange, an institute of the American Jewish Committee; and $420 in “food/lodging/tours” in Denmark, thanks to shipping giant Maersk, Inc. Her Democratic colleague Denise Ducheny received the airport parking pass as well as a $5485 trip to China from the California Biotechnology Foundation, funded by big drug makers. Democratic assemblyman Marty Block got a $275 opening-day ticket from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the trip to China, also from the biotechnology foundation, which his report valued at $2297. He reported his airport parking was worth $4012.

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I pause to think about how much of a staple these things have been in my life.

So many gifts, so little time. That appears to have been the dilemma faced by San Diego–based members of the state legislature, judging from statements of financial interest covering 2009 filed earlier this year. Democratic assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, for instance, reported getting a $65 dinner from the French government; $124 worth of “personal care products” from the Personal Care Products Council; a $162 cosmetics gift basket from Bésame Cosmetics of Glendale; a $250 ticket to a presidential inaugural event from Google; a $238 Washington hotel stay from Women in Government; a $150 dinner from the nonprofit Hunger at Home; and a $62 “ticket to premier” from Tesla Motors.

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Democratic senator Christine Kehoe reported receiving an annual airport parking pass from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority valued at $4455; a trip to Israel worth $4560 from Project Interchange, an institute of the American Jewish Committee; and $420 in “food/lodging/tours” in Denmark, thanks to shipping giant Maersk, Inc. Her Democratic colleague Denise Ducheny received the airport parking pass as well as a $5485 trip to China from the California Biotechnology Foundation, funded by big drug makers. Democratic assemblyman Marty Block got a $275 opening-day ticket from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the trip to China, also from the biotechnology foundation, which his report valued at $2297. He reported his airport parking was worth $4012.

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