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Calderon's legal defense gets cash from business group

July 12, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • State Sen. Ron Calderon holds a news conference during his first appearance at the Capitol since the FBI raided his Sacramento offices.
State Sen. Ron Calderon holds a news conference during his first appearance… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

A group backed by Realtors, cable firms and a beer company has contributed to a legal defense fund set up by state Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello), whose offices were raided by FBI agents as part of a Capitol corruption investigation.

The first check to Calderon’s fund is for $5,000 and comes from a political committee called Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy.

The committee’s biggest financial backers this year are the California Real Estate Political Action Committee and the Board of Realtors Political Action Committee. Other large contributors include Anheuser Busch Cos. and the California Cable Telecommunications Political Action Committee.

The Realtors have supported Calderon politically in the past, but their contributions to the Californians for Jobs group was meant to support moderate Democrats generally, said Alex Creel, a vice president of the group. The money was contributed to the Californians for Jobs group long before the raid on Calderon's office and was not specifically meant for the legal defense fund, Creel added.

"We don't serve as decision makers on that PAC," he said.

The decision on how to spend the Californians for Jobs money is overseen by political consultants who did not return calls Friday.

Calderon is expected to raise much more money from other political supporters in the weeks ahead as he deals with the ramifications of the June 4 raid on his office by the FBI.

A law enforcement source said at the time that Calderon was “the focus of the investigation.” Since then, federal authorities have seized records from a Southern California water district that provided contracts to Calderon’s brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon.

Sen. Calderon has hired criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos to represent him and last month formed the legal defense fund, which he said was “for the public corruption investigation.”

ALSO:

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After FBI raid, Sen. Calderon forms legal defense fund

patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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