The practice called behesting, wherein state legislators tell their fat-cat campaign donors which nonprofit organizations to contribute to — and in turn bask in the reflected political glory of the donated cash — is alive and well, at least at the office of GOP assemblyman Martin Garrick. According to disclosure filings made with the state’s secretary of state, the beneficiary of $185,000 in corporate contributions raised by Garrick was the Angel’s Depot, a nonprofit organization that according to its website “was founded to provide food for the elderly poor living in San Diego County and to help improve the quality of their lives. Further, it is the mission of The Angel’s Depot to promote community awareness and support for the impoverished senior’s plight and to act as a conduit to other available senior resources.” Garrick is an honorary boardmember.
Contributing to the cause, thanks to the legislator, were big corporations, some with dealings with the state government. Another major donor was the North County Times Charities Fund ($5000). Others included the Tri-City health-care district ($10,000); Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians ($50,000); Harrah’s Foundation ($50,000); SCAN Health Plan ($5000); the Seth Sprague Foundation ($10,000); Global Surveillance Associates ($5000); and Genentech, Inc. ($10,000). According to its most recently available IRS return, covering 2007, the charity brought in total revenue of $310,029 and paid total salaries and benefits of $155,758. The group’s fifth annual fund-raising bash is coming up November 20 at Harrah’s Rincon Casino at $100 a person.