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Who really pays?

February 11, 2009

Re "Lawmakers live well on donor cash," Feb. 9

Excellent article exposing the donation-supported activities of several of our state legislators.

I wonder if state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) truly believes that "no tax dollars are attached to the expenses"? How much of his and his wife's junket money was charged to corporate expenses and therefore an offset against corporate taxes? And did he pay federal taxes on the non-business benefit derived from these extravagances?

Furthermore, if these conferences only consume a half-day each day, did the legislators only take a half-day's pay each day? And who paid for the tennis and golf?

If the state's economy is in such trouble, why can't our legislators attend all necessary conferences in California and help our economy?

There clearly is a double standard in Sacramento. My personal experience in the private sector was that I could not even buy a cup of coffee for a Department of Insurance examiner -- whether it came out of my pocket or my employer's.

Michael Lohnberg

Agoura Hills

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