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When he was a member of the state legislature and a big favorite of insurance companies, Democratic Congressman Juan Vargas regularly showed up at free golf outings around the country including, according to a March 2006 report in what was then called the San Diego Union-Tribune, one particularly memorable road marathon to California's most infamous lobbyist schmooze spots.

In September, Pacific Care, Hartford Life, Pacific Life and Prudential Financial each paid $290 for a three-day golfing trip for Vargas that included rounds at Pebble Beach, Cypress Point and Spyglass Hill.

Some also paid for receptions attended by the lawmaker. Other companies also chipped in.

The freshman Democrat has also managed to squeeze his favorite sport into his political fundraising rounds, including March's “Margaritas, Mariachis & Mulligans” and a $2500 a person bash at the Barona Creek Golf Club featuring a "shot gun" start on the greens.

Thus it may not come as much of a surprise that the first free trip Vargas accepted as a new member of congress was one to the posh Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay resort on a cliff by the ocean a bit down the Pacific coast from San Francisco.

According to a recently filed free trip disclosure report, Vargas was the guest of the California Land Title Association, which invited him to be the keynote speaker at its annual convention.

He addressed the gathering about "issues related to land title transactions that he was familiar with as a former member of [the] California state bar," the disclosure says.

Says the hotel's website:

Whether you’re roasting marshmallows and making s’mores in your own terrace fire pit or relaxing on the bluff after a rejuvenating spa treatment, our resort offers a stunning destination for your next luxury getaway.

Delight in delectable, innovative cuisine in our ocean-view restaurants, tee off on two championship golf courses or explore miles of walking trails in one of the most romantic settings in Northern California.

The group picked up Vargas's business class round trip air fare from San Diego up the coast on April 28 and back the next day, said to be valued at $957.80, along with lodging expenses of $336.20.

Total meal costs were reported to be $39.

Comments
2

This stinks of quid pro quo. Although no one has ever accused Vargas of having integrity.

June 20, 2013

There must have been an insurance group rate; most Ritz-Carlton rooms are $500 and up. His love for golf junkets should have been his un-doing, but instead he is a member of Congress, something he has been lusting for even more than the free luxury trips. And it was almost $1000 in airfare to get from San Diego to San Francisco and back? Just the start of his Congressional gift-taking, I'm sure; he perfected the sport in the California legislature.

June 20, 2013

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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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