The newest candidate for California Secretary of State said Tuesday that the FBI investigation of state Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) might be a wake-up call for the need to tighten campaign-finance and gift laws.
Derek Cressman, former regional director of Common Cause, announced his candidacy at the Capitol on Tuesday and said he would work to make it harder for wealthy contributors and gift-givers to influence elections and legislators.
“Maybe it will be a call to arms,” said Cressman, 45, about the FBI raid of Calderon's two Capitol offices. Since then, The Times reported that four Calderon family members have had 10 overlapping campaign accounts open at any one time, bypassing state political contribution limits by accepting maximum donations to each.
“That’s double-dipping. That practice should be banned,” Cressman said.
Following the FBI raid, the media also reported on Calderon and his brothers, who are former legislators, receiving tens of thousands of dollars in gifts, many from special interests with business before the Legislature.