With the arrest of yet another California elected Senator Leland Yee, the California political elite seem to be the new stars of an episode of The Sopranos. First we have Senator Rod Wright convicted of 8 counts of voter fraud and perjury who by the way is still drawing his salary off the CA taxpayer and next we have Senator Ron Calderon who has been indicted federally on charges ranging from mail fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering to aiding in the filing of false tax returns. He too is on “paid leave of absence’ from his day job as a California Senator. If anyone thought of Senator Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg as a leader they can put that thought away now; all roads lead back to his leadership style which is kind of like that of Don Corleone.
Holding up the rear in California Senate Democrats who have fallen from grace is now Senator Kevin de Leon who is being investigated along with Calderon by the FBI on what the FBI called a “large scale healthcare fraud” case involving a person in Long Beach who was running a spinal surgery hospital named Michael Drobot. Coincidently again, Don Steinberg used to work for the firm that is representing Drobot in the corruption case against him upon which Eric Weirich deputy commissioner of the California Department of Insurance called, “”the largest insurance fraud” in California history.
You can read the affidavit used on the Calderon case as it reads like a who’s who of the California Senate elite. It all gets really messy implicating Calderon’s brother who used to serve in the California Senate also ,as it alleges that the Calderon brothers had setup a phony 501c4 called Californians for Diversity, (where was the IRS on this one), to have a fund for retirement. Their bribes were being transferred into the 501c4 account.
Each of these guys “serves” a very specific part of Californian as Yee “serves” San Francisco, Calderon and de Leon “serve” parts of Los Angeles. Rod Wright “serves” Long Beach and the Port of Long Beach. And coincidently Steinberg “serves” the very spot of all corruption itself, Sacramento. It figures right? And what role does Steinberg play in all of this? Are his hands clean? I am not sure as he crops up numerous times in the affidavit against Calderon. He is either the dumbest person on the planet, not knowing what was happening, although that seems unlikely, or he had some role in all of this. I have to believe that whether covertly or overtly Steinberg is being looked at very hard these days as he has proven to be delinquent in providing leadership for the California Senate.
I am always amazed at how different the political world is from real life. If Steinberg worked in the real world he would have lost his job and pension by now for at the least turning a blind eye to the corruption happening on his watch with his subordinates. Remember in the movie The Godfather when Michael is talking to Kay about his father he says, “My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.” Too true.
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