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Low-level lobbying

Video poker got ex-mayor Maureen O’Connor into a billion dollars of trouble.
Video poker got ex-mayor Maureen O’Connor into a billion dollars of trouble.

Reports published after word came of ex–San Diego mayor Maureen O’Connor’s admission of stealing from her late husband’s foundation to feed a billion-dollar gambling compulsion had it that her game of choice was video poker, which she frequently played at East County’s Barona Casino. That establishment, run by the Barona Band of Mission Indians has long been popular with politicos as a place to hang out and dine, in the main because the tribe frequently picks up the tab for them. So it was in the last quarter of 2012, according to a recently filed disclosure report. But the largesse was much smaller than the tribe usually reports. Only four Assembly then-candidates partook of Barona’s hospitality, and at a much lower level than the casino typically hands out: Susan Talamantes Eggman, a Democrat who was subsequently elected from a Stockton district ($6.90); Democrat Ed Chau, also elected, from Monterey Park ($9.95); another Democratic winner, Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens ($13.24); and yet another victorious Democrat, Ian Calderon of Whittier ($12.20). All were treated to pre-election October meals in the casino’s Sage Café, according to the report.… Meanwhile, Sempra Energy, the giant public utility from San Diego, was saddling up its lobbyists at the “Bluff at Cattle Call Drive” in Brawley, according to the company’s disclosure filing. Gina Vargas, district representative for then–state Democratic senator Juan Vargas (now a congressman), got dinner and a rodeo ticket valued at $29.85, as did Anna Ortiz, field representative for Democratic assemblyman V. Manuel Perez. Sempra bought Frine Medrano, field director for Democratic assemblyman Kevin De Leon, “beverages” worth $16 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, and shelled out $123.73 so El Centro’s Henry Kuiper, a board member of the Colorado River Board of California, could party hearty at the Palm Restaurant in Las Vegas at a dinner held by the Colorado River Water Users Association.

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Video poker got ex-mayor Maureen O’Connor into a billion dollars of trouble.
Video poker got ex-mayor Maureen O’Connor into a billion dollars of trouble.

Reports published after word came of ex–San Diego mayor Maureen O’Connor’s admission of stealing from her late husband’s foundation to feed a billion-dollar gambling compulsion had it that her game of choice was video poker, which she frequently played at East County’s Barona Casino. That establishment, run by the Barona Band of Mission Indians has long been popular with politicos as a place to hang out and dine, in the main because the tribe frequently picks up the tab for them. So it was in the last quarter of 2012, according to a recently filed disclosure report. But the largesse was much smaller than the tribe usually reports. Only four Assembly then-candidates partook of Barona’s hospitality, and at a much lower level than the casino typically hands out: Susan Talamantes Eggman, a Democrat who was subsequently elected from a Stockton district ($6.90); Democrat Ed Chau, also elected, from Monterey Park ($9.95); another Democratic winner, Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens ($13.24); and yet another victorious Democrat, Ian Calderon of Whittier ($12.20). All were treated to pre-election October meals in the casino’s Sage Café, according to the report.… Meanwhile, Sempra Energy, the giant public utility from San Diego, was saddling up its lobbyists at the “Bluff at Cattle Call Drive” in Brawley, according to the company’s disclosure filing. Gina Vargas, district representative for then–state Democratic senator Juan Vargas (now a congressman), got dinner and a rodeo ticket valued at $29.85, as did Anna Ortiz, field representative for Democratic assemblyman V. Manuel Perez. Sempra bought Frine Medrano, field director for Democratic assemblyman Kevin De Leon, “beverages” worth $16 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, and shelled out $123.73 so El Centro’s Henry Kuiper, a board member of the Colorado River Board of California, could party hearty at the Palm Restaurant in Las Vegas at a dinner held by the Colorado River Water Users Association.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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