Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Calderon Connection

News vans camp overnight outside the Montebello office of Senator Ron Calderon, June 4, 2013.

Howdy friends and neighbors of the hills!

Hooey, the temperature in Montebello is on the rise and I'm not just talking about the weather!

Yesterday, the FBI raided the Sacramento office of Senator Ron Calderon (Dem. Montebello).  The internet has been buzzing with reports from news agencies all over California and the story has been picked up by CNN and the Huffington Post.  The photo above shows t.v. news vans from Channels 2, 9, 4 and 7.  (The office was closed but I guess the tv folks wanted to stake out a good spot for their morning broadcasts.)

The  Los Angeles Times has been printing out new "updates" or related stories just about every couple of hours.  According to the LA Times:

 A day after FBI agents raided the Capitol office of Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), local officials from Southern California said they have been interviewed by federal agents about the senator’s connection to a local water board. LA Times: Calderon family's ties to Central Basin water board probed by FBI

 The "connection" refers to former Montebello City Planning Commissioner, Tom Calderon, Senator Ron Calderon's brother.  Tom Calderon was a consultant to the Central Basin Municipal Water District. 

 Los Cerritos Community News has been following this "Calderon Connection" for several years now and had this to say:

Records obtained by Los Cerritos Community Newspaper from Central Basin Municipal Water District via a public records request show that Tom Calderon, brother of California State Senator Ronald Calderon, and their company The Calderon Group, was paid in excess of $11,000 per month, over  $438,000, in “Government Consulting” fees between 2009 and 2013.
 LCCN:  Dirty Water: Calderon’s Cashed in on Relationships at Water Agency

Now you may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with the Montebello hills?"

The water for the proposed Montebello Hills Specific Plan would be supplied by the San Gabriel Valley Water Company.

Hhhhmmm, remember this LA Times story from 2009?

Opponents have questioned the chairman of the city Planning Commission over his work as a paid consultant for the San Gabriel Valley Water Co., which would supply the development with more than 800 acre-feet of water annually. Tom Calderon, the chairman, has denied any conflict of interest.
LA Times:  Opposing sides on Montebello project find common ground: City Hall turmoil

 Channel 2 News sent a reporter to Senator Calderon's Montebello residence.  A car with official state plates was parked in the driveway but nobody answered the door.  Surprise, surprise.

Something tells me this is gonna be a long, hot summer here in Montebello.

Daisy Mae


  1. Cousin Daisy Mae,

    I ken that when some City Folk raised a ruckus about that Tom Calderon feller's interesting conflicts, Tom up and skeedaddled from the Planning Commission, and weren't seen again until the very last meeting, when about all he said was 'Adios, Montebello.'

    Is my rekonning rite?

    1. Dear Cuz,

      I don't recall exactly when he up and left the planning commission but a little birdie told me after this story appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Tom's little rafting trip down "De Nile River" was cut short by the city's attorney.

  2. Dear Daisy Mae,

    Twasn't the husband of then Mayor Rosie Vasquez, Ed Vasquez, the head of the Central Basin Water District at the time Rosie appointed Tom Calderon head of the Montebello Planning Commission? Didn't Ed approve that there consulting contract you talked about?

    Didn't the Central Basin stand to gain financially by supplying water if the proposed Condo Bongo on top of 300 Oil Wells project would ever be dad gumm approved?

    Just checkin.

    1. Welcome back Cuz,

      Hooey, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but this heat must've addled my brain!

      To the best of recollection, the answers to your questions are: yes, yes, yes and uh ... yes, since the San Gabriel Valley Water Company buys imported water from Central Basin.