Randy Economy: Fighting Corrupt Politicians for Years.

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@EconomyRadio Follow Randy Economy on Twitter!
Follow Randy Economy on Twitter @EconomyRadio

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rigged Media System? Are these 'cozy' relationships really helping America Democracy?

I had to share this...

A dear friend of mine who happens to be a former member of the Los Angeles City Council sent this to me on Sunday night, just hours after Democratic National Committee Chair DWS announced her resignation after WikiLeaks dumped on her and her staff by publishing their own emails.

So, the media powerhouses here in America have bed partners with big political ties...scary.

This needs to be shared.

ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is 
married to Susan Rice, National Security Adviser.
CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of 
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications.
ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman is married 
to former Whitehouse Press Secretary Jay Carney
ABC News and Univision reporter Matthew Jaffe is 
married to Katie Hogan, Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary
ABC President Ben Sherwood is the brother 
of Obama’s Special Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood
CNN President Virginia Moseley is married to 
former Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary Tom Nides.
And now you know why it is no surprise the media is in Obama's pocket. 
Think there might be a little bias in the news? 
This may also explain the cover up of Hillary's private server and emails, 
Benghazi, Obamacare's soaring costs, $20 trillion U.S. debt. etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,........ 
Isn't it interesting that every place you look in Obama's administration people 
fill positions because of who they know, not what they know or how competent they are —— 
and you wonder why our country has so many problems.
Now you know.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

WIKILEAKS: Email show Democratic National Committee Refers to Latinos Voters as 'Taco Bowl Engagements'

I love a good Mexican Taco Bowl just like any other Red-Blooded American...

However, I would never refer to one of my Latino/Mexican American friends as a "Taco Bowl Engagement."  


The Democratic National Committee actually refers to Latino Voters as "Taco Bowl Engagements," and the world is reading first hand how the political bosses inside the DNC actually run this "party."
You can't make this sh++ up.
The DNC is self destructing before my one eye.  
Thank GOD for WIKILEAKS.  
More to follow. Hey Rebecca Christopher from the DNC...be careful what you eat in Philly.  You don't want to be caught eatting a "Taco Bowl," now do you, girl?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: America's Biggest Political Hot Mess

Democratic Party bosses are falling apart, one by one from top to bottom and everywhere in between.

I ran for Chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party a little more than a decade ago against entrenched chairman Eric Bauman.  

I got a letter in the mail around a week before the election took place and was warned that I was going to only get "11 votes" after all of the ballots were counted, and the the election was already decided.

I laughed it off.  Then I witnessed how the Democratic Party bosses work.  In tandem. Hand in hand.  Step by step.  Like little marching band members.

Guess what.

I got 11 votes, and a decade later, Bauman is STILL the Chair of the LACDP as well as the Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is rigged.

I know.

I lived it.

So just 24 hours ago the Democratic Party tweeted the following:

If Donald Trump can't manage his own party, how is he supposed to manage our government, our military, our…

Tonight...Debby Wasserman Schultz is OUT as DNC Chair....because she couldn't manage HER OWN PARTY and now she is a national joke. 

Gee, Democrats. 

 Be careful who you have running your show...the media is watching your EVERY MOVE. 

 More to follow.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trump Train: I am heading to Cleveland as part of the California Delegation to Support Donald J. Trump for President

All Aboard....

I am excited to announce…

I will be heading to Cleveland on Saturday, July 16 as an official member of the California Republican Delegation to support Donald J.  Trump for President of the United States of America at the 2016 Republican Party Presidential Convention.

 I will be representing the 36th Congressional District that includes the Coachella Valley, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta…

This is going to be a historical moment in American political history, and I am beyond thrilled and honored to have a front row seat at this convention.

More than one billion people around the world will be following and watching via television, the internet, smart phones, IPads, radio, as well as those who will be joining me at the Quicken Loan Arena in Ohio.

I want to thank Mr. Trump as well as Tim Clark, the Director of the campaign here in California for inviting me to be part of the Delegation.  #Blessed #Honored #ChargedUp.

Instead of getting engaged in a lengthy dialogue regarding the reasons why I solidly support of Mr. Trump for President, I want to foremost soak up and absorb what I will be witnessing, right in front of me, as it happens.

For those of you who don’t not know me personally, I am a proud journalist, talk radio show host, blogger, and passionate about exposing corrupting at all levels of government.  

I am also a Proud American who cares about the future of our country.

So, follow me live on Facebook, and on this blog, and on Twitter @EconomyRadio starting a 4 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, when I will be waking up and heading off to this incredible journey.  This is going to be fun….

God Bless all of us who will be in Cleveland, and keep all of us safe, including members of the media, law enforcement, as well as those who will be there in opposition.

We can still express our opinions on all sides of the political dial, that is the cornerstone of American Democracy.

All aboard….!

Randy Economy

Friday, July 08, 2016

MEGA MILLIONS WINNER PICKED IN INDIANA. Here are the numbers, 6, 19, 20, 55, 73, 5


Winning Numbers 7/8/2016

Draw Results



Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown, Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons INDICTED by Federal Grand Jury after running scam charity

Orange will be the new Brown on this Congressgal...in prison.  Another phony politician gets busted. 
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff have been charged with multiple fraud and other federal offenses in a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday after a federal investigation into a fraudulent charity with ties to the congresswoman.
Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, was to appear later Friday in Jacksonville federal court on charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns. She has represented a Jacksonville-based congressional district since 1993 and is seeking re-election in a newly-redrawn district.
The indictment comes after an investigation into the charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc., which federal prosecutors say was purported to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates.
Also charged in the 24-count indictment was Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, 50, of Laurel, Maryland, who has served as Brown's chief of staff since 1993. It wasn't immediately clear from court records whether Brown and Simmons had attorneys to represent them.
Earlier this year, One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it as determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation's account over four years. Over that time, federal prosecutors say it gave one scholarship for $1,000 and that Wiley transferred herself tens of thousands of dollars.
"Congresswoman Brown and her chief of staff are alleged to have used the congresswoman's official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in a statement.
"Corruption erodes the public's trust in our entire system of representative government," Caldwell added.
The indictment says that Brown, Simmons and Wiley "used the vast majority" of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that Simmons made to Brown's personal bank accounts.
According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament, lavish receptions during an annual Washington conference and the use of luxury boxes for a concert and an NFL game in the Washington area.
Documents previously obtained by The Associated Press from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's office show that he received an invitation bearing the seal of the House of Representatives to a July 13, 2013 golf tournament called the "Corrine Brown Invitational." It was sponsored by the One Door organization and coincided with a freight and rail industry symposium in Jacksonville.
Potential donors attending the tournament received letters from One Door with Brown's signature and official House seal asking them to give from $125 up to $20,000 to One Door, according to Wiley's plea agreement.
The invitation said the donations would benefit a scholarship fund for the Jacksonville chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, or COMTO, and other charities. Authorities say none of the charities received any of the money raised.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

DALLAS MASS SHOOTING: You Tube lights up with raw videos of chaotic mass shootings that has left four law enforcement officers dead

Within minutes of the mass shooting in Dallas on Thursday night, dozens of witnesses took to social media to post live video of the horrific scene. I wanted to share two of these videos, that every American needs to watch. America is under attack, and no one seems to have an answer to this chaos, especially our politicians who profess day in and day out that they have "the plan" to keep us safe.

A peaceful protest in Dallas is now the latest mass shooting here in America, and the victims were the people who are suppose to keep all of us safe.  I cannot wait to find out the people who masterminded this attack, and am worried to learn all of the sorted details.

11 officers were shot.  Stunning.  Downtown Dallas is the biggest crime scene in the world.  

BREAKING! Photo of Suspected Person of Interest in Mass Shooting Released by Dallas

This is a "Person of Interest" in tonight mass shooting in Dallas that resulted in the shooting of 10 law enforcement officials.

PHILANDO CASTILE: Watch the video and ask yourself, 'How did we get here in America?'

I watched this video of the shooting of Philando Castile last night literally minutes after it was posted on You Tube, and my heart sunk.  I did not rush to put this video on my blog.  It was too real to grasp.

Once again, America is fighting a battle that many think cannot be won. 

We don't need more politicians running in front of media camera's who do not have answers, suggestions or a track record regarding police conduct cases.

We don't need "political talking heads" like __________ (fill in the blank) who take to the airwaves to say "here we go again."

As sad and shocking this video is to watch, I wonder what police officers actually think 

How did we get here in America?

Your thoughts? Hit my comment thread below.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

RIP: Former California State Senator Marian Bergeson has died at age 90. She brought Class, Elegance, Determination and Integrity to Sacramento

Sad news today out of The OC. 

Former California State Senator Marian Bergeson has passed away at the age of 90.  To have Marian Bergeson as a friend was a true Blessing, and she embodied "class and elegance" as a lawmaker here in The Golden State.  We need more folks and leaders like Marian here in public office.  Today is a sad day, but Heaven has a new Angel.  RIP

Here is a note from the California Republican Party....  

'Marian Bergeson was an inspiration. As the first woman to serve in both the State Senate & Assembly she was an exceptional leader and role model for generations of young women. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family today, she will be missed by many.' - Cynthia Bryant, CRP Executive Director

Dan Walters | Sacramento Bee

‘Marian Bergeson, the first woman to serve in both the state Assembly and the Senate and an influential player in public education policy, died Wednesday.
She was 90.
Bergeson, who represented the affluent Newport Beach area of Orange County in the Legislature for nearly two decades, also was the 1990 Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, an Orange County supervisor after leaving the Legislature, former Gov. Pete Wilson’s education secretary, a member of the state Board of Education and a two-term appointee to the state Transportation Commission.’

SHOWDOWN: David Daleiden, Planned Parenthood meet in Federal Court today in San Francisco

I want to once again congratulate my friend David Daleiden from the Center for Medical Progress for standing up for the right of the unborn and for continuing his mission to expose Planned Parenthood via a series of hotly controversial You Tube videos that created a worldwide uproar during the past year. 

 Today, David is going to be in a Federal Courthouse in San Francisco in his ongoing battle with PP. Here is a quick note David sent out today regarding the court hearing...(keep the Faith David!) 

 "I'm traveling to San Francisco today to face Planned Parenthood Federation of America and 10 of their biggest and richest affiliates in federal court this afternoon. The court will hear our anti-SLAPP motions and motions to dismiss Planned Parenthood's gross and overreaching attack on our First Amendment rights to call out their illegal baby body parts business. Planned Parenthood knows that as the truth about their illicit baby-parts-for-profit scheme with "business partners" like StemExpress continues to come out in greater detail, the public will know what they really are: guilty. They are trying to do an end-run around the American people to make sure the truth never gets out, never gets published, and that the taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood's criminal abortion business keep on flowing."


Friday, July 01, 2016

Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in diplomatic quarter of Bangladeshi capital under attack

Holey Artisan Bakery, currently under attack
Gunmen have attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in the diplomatic quarter in the Bangladeshi capital and this is just another reminder that our world is under siege from radical terrorists.

Here is a photo of the location via Facebook. Look at this place.  It is literally a local business just trying to provide wonderful pastries, food and spirits to locals in the surrounding neighborhood.

This really gets my blood boiling.

Our world is in crisis.

Praying for Holey Bakery.

ABC 15 Reporter Christopher Sign's Scoop on AG Lynch-Ex-Pres.Clinton 'Private Plane' Meeting is a Wake Up Call to the White House Press Corp

Here's to YOU, Reporter Christopher Sign.  

I want to congratulate Reporter Christopher Sign for breaking one of the most remarkable political stories of this Presidential campaign season...right in front of the entire White House Press Corp.

I need to have a martini with this guy.

Sign, who is a local reporter at ABC 15 Arizona, ran circles around the national media big wigs when he literally caught former President Bill Clinton climbing on board the jet of US Attorney General Loretta Lynch...for a meeting that is just now being reported around the world. 

I caught Sign on Fox News Thursday night...and this is what Bill O'Reilly reported...

"Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will ultimately decide whether Hillary Clinton is indicted, met with Bill Clinton this week at the Phoenix airport. Local TV anchor Christopher Sign, who broke the story, joined The Factor with details. "They were on the tarmac," he reported, "in a private section. The former president waited for her and when she arrived he got on her plane, where they spoke privately for 30 minutes. The FBI instructed everyone that there would be no photos and no cell phones." Democratic strategist Mark Hannah downplayed the significance of the meeting. "A lot of people are upset with the optics, but this is a courtesy that Bill Clinton extends to members of Congress and foreign dignitaries. The American people care about the economy." The Factor countered with a suggestion, saying, "She should have talked with him for two or three minutes in full view of everyone."

My take:

As an Investigative Journalist who has exposed some of the biggest political crimes here on the Left Coast, I know how important "local beat reporters" are in our Democracy.  I also recognize when government officials out and out lie to reporters.

What Christopher Sign did on breaking this situation into the daylight, was remarkable.  

Sign followed his own path, and own instincts and broke a story that every member of the "White House Press Corp" should have been jumping all over because it took place right in front of them.

I applaud Mr. Sign.  

Great work, my friend.  I hope you win an Emmy for your effort and I hope you continue "digging deep" into what really took place on board that plane between Clinton and Lynch. 

Also, I am also stunned by the so-called "political experts" who now appear daily on CNN, and FOX News, MSNBC who literally have no contact with reality and no real life experience in politics.

I'll get into who that subject later.  

In the meantime, the next time you get a call from REPORTER CHRISTOPHER SIGN, do your self a favor, answer his questions directly, because he already knows what you did and who you met with in that "private meeting."

Thursday, June 30, 2016

ELECTION SHOCKER: Assemblyman Roger Hernandez to face Rep. Grace Napolitano in California's 32 Congressional District in November

This election is now FINAL, and Assemblyman Roger Hernandez and his former boss Congressmember Grace Napoliano will be the two candidates in the November election.
Rep. Grace Napolitano during an interview I conducted with her around five years ago in Cerritos.
It appears that California State Assemblyman Roger Hernandez will be facing longtime incumbent Rep. Grace F. Napolitano in a one-on-one battle that will feature a Democrat vs. Democrat in the November general election in the 32nd Congressional District.

This is a shocker to many, since Hernandez has trailed both Napolitano and GOP challenger Gordon Fisher since the first voters were counted almost one month ago after the conclusion of the June 7th Primary Election.

According to Dean Logan, the Registrar Recorded for the County of Los Angeles there are still 62,000 Provisional Ballots still to be counted throughout the entire massive county of LA.  

So, my take, based upon my lifetime of political know-how, it will be Napolitano and Hernandez in the run-off in November, and this is going to be really ugly.  Hernandez use to work for Napolitano and both of them and their "camps" have been at odds for eons.

As of Thursday night, June 30, these are the results. Stay tuned.

 United States Representative, 32nd District

Grace F. Napolitano   54,71151.44%
Roger Hern├índez      26,17024.61%
Gordon E. Fisher       25,471 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#RehabMogul Chris Bathum busted on drug possession charges

Today a really bad guys was arrested on a drug charge....and well....this clown is finally getting what he deserves...a mug shot...fingerprints and handcuffs. Here is the scoops from Hillel Aron from LA WEEKELY around as hour ago... "Chris Bathum, the founder and owner of Community Recovery Los Angeles, a chain of two dozen or so sober-living houses and outpatient clinics, was arrested in Lost Hills yesterday for "transport [or] sale of a controlled substance," according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. He was released on $30,000 bail at 4:40 a.m., less than 12 hours after he was booked. Bathum, who was the subject of a December L.A. Weekly cover story, previously has been accused of drug use, insurance fraud and sexual battery (allegations he has vehemently denied). Also on Tuesday, the California Department of Health filed a complaint in L.A. County Superior Court against Bathum and Community Recovery L.A. (or CRLA) for operating "unlicensed alcoholism or drug-abuse recovery or treatment facilities in Los Angeles County." The complaint asked the court to shutter the whole operation."  Here is Bathum's Arrest Booking Details.....hit the road.....

Booking No.: 4707413       Last Name: BATHUM       First Name: CHRISTOPHER       Middle Name:

Sex: M       Race: W       Date Of Birth: 09/22/1961       Age: 54       Hair: BLN       Eyes: GRN       Height: 602       Weight: 195
Charge Level: F   (Felony)

Arrest Date: 06/28/2016       Arrest Time: 1600       Arrest Agency: 2201       Agency Description: LASD-LOST HILLS STATION PATROL

Date Booked: 06/28/2016       Time Booked: 1715       Booking Location: LHS       Location Description: STA - LOST HILLS

Total Bail Amount: 30,000.00       Total Hold Bail Amount: 0.00       Grand Total: 30,000.00

Housing Location: -

Permanent Housing Assigned Date: 06/28/2016       Assigned Time: 1715       Visitor Status: N

Address:       City:

Public Visiting Guidelines      

For County facility visiting hours, Please call (213) 473-6080 at Inmate Information Center.

Next Court Code:       Next Court Date:       Next Court Time: 0000       Next Court Case:

Court Name:
Court Address:       Court City:

Actual Release Date: 06/29/2016       Release Time: 0440      

Monday, June 27, 2016

Thank You Los Angeles Press Club for the HONORING The Randy Economy Show Last Night!

Looking sharp on the Red Carpet last night at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards with my co-host former LA City Councilman Dennis P. Zine and President Robert Kovacik.    Fun night!  

I just wanted to thank the Los Angeles Press Club for honoring me and the Randy Economy Show with a beautiful award last night at the 58th Annual Southern California Media Awards in the Talk Radio Show Division in the Personality Profile Category. 

Fun night out at the LA Press Club Awards at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday night.  Here with my mom, Rosemary. @LAPressClub 

This is my fifth award from this incredible organization over the past four years.  

I am very humbled just to be nominated....let alone being selected as one of the winners.  (Heck, THIRD PLACE this year is pretty spectacular in my book...)!!!

The LA Press Club IS the BEST of the BEST in the WORLD of JOURNALISM, and it is right here in our part of the world.

My interview with former California United States Senate Candidate Duf Sundheim during this past Primary campaign season.  Duf was a "solid sport" during that interview and I wanted to share that program for your enjoyment.

I salute the other winners and nominees in my category! 

Congrats, LA Press Club for another spectacular awards season.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Watch KTLA Reporter Steve Kuzj Escape Massive Wall of Flames at Deadly Lake Isabella Fire

KTLA Reporter Steve Kuzj has earned his Boy Scout "Fire Training Badge" on Friday after narrowly escaping death and a massive wall of flames at the Lake Isabella, California out of control blaze that has already claimed two live and destroyed more than 100 houses and counting. Steve captured the entire experience on video, and he posted it to You Tube earlier today. So far, more than 11,000 people have seen the clip that will leave you breathless. Talk about "Kuzj News." This one just made the highlight reel. Published on Jun 24, 2016 Shortly after reporting Live on a destructive wildfire burning in Lake Isabella, California, a group of firefighters began a controlled burn of the land near where we were parked with other citizens. Within a few short minutes, the flames burned their way to our location. We were not hurt and none of our equipment appeared to be damaged, but the fire did make for an intense moment. The firefighters did not warn any of us parked on the road that they were going to start a fire and burn it all the way up to us. The California High Patrol instructed us and others to park on this particular road.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Juma The Jaguar Shot, Killed, at Opening Torch Ceremony for Brazil Olympics. I am outraged.

I am so furious that a beloved and beautiful jaguar has been shot and killed during a ceremony to start the Olympic Torch Run in Brazil.

 The jaguar was shot Monday after it escaped from its handlers at a zoo attached to an army training center in Manaus, the Brazilian military said in a statement. The jaguar was exhibited, chained up, during a torch ceremony there. Juma—reportedly approached a soldier, despite being tranquilized. The soldier fired a single shot, which killed Juma. 

The incident has prompted a wave of criticism for even having the jaguar on display in the first place. What the hell is wrong with this picture? Who in there right mind would allow this to take place? I hope whoever was responsible for planning this tragedy in the making come forward and to at least face the world media who is just beginning to jump on this story. So sad. Tragic. Meaningless.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

EXTREME HEAT: Coachella Valley gets ready for 120 degree weather. Bring IT ON!

This should be a real kick in the ass. I am getting ready for my first experience with heat topping more than 120 degrees. Summer has arrived here in the Coachella Valley this weekend, and according to the National Weather Service out of San Diego, this is the beginning of what is being called an "EXTREME HEAT EPISODE!" Actually curious to see what takes place in heat like this...guess I will be finding out within the next few hours and days.

Friday, June 17, 2016

ABC News 20/20 Exposes seedy LA 'Rehab Mogul' Christopher Bathum on Friday Night at 10 p.m.

A well known 'Drug Rehab' Mogul who has set up several businesses throughout Southern California is about to be exposed on 20/20 on ABC this Friday night (June 17)

I am being told by sources who were involved in the preparation of this episode that CHRISTOPHER BATHUM is going to exposed in a jaw dropping expose. It is about time, boys and girls.

I have in my possession a lawsuit that was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court that describes in great detail how Bathum manuvered his company known as "Community Recovery" into a multi-million dollar scam.   

Trust me.

Bathum has to be shaking in his boots...and the world is going to find out about who he is, and what dangerous game he has been participating in for years. 

What politicians are allowing this guy to stay in business?  Why is his well-known popular coffee house on Melrose in business?
Why did law enforcement officials in Los Angeles and Los Angeles County allow Bathum to stay in business for so long?

Don't miss.  

I have the answers, and 20/20 has the goods on this guy. 



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Eli Lieb & Brandon Skeie Pay Tribute to Pulse Victims With Song That Has Touched My Heart

 A lot of talented musicians are taking to social media sites and to You Tube with original songs expressing heartfelt emotions surrounding the mass murder of 49 people at Pulse Night Club this week in Orlando. LA Musicians Elias Lieb and Brandon Skeie have shaken my core tonight with one of the most amazing songs I have heard in years. The words are powerful. The images are uplifting and sad, and true. Just take a minute and reflect, and listen to the words, the harmony, and the love pouring out of this three minute tribute.

God Bless you Elias and Brandon. I hope to meet the two of you one day soon, and to grab both of you with an embrace. Today, these two young men changed my world.  Touched my soul, they made this week more real and powerful and raw.  

Without words....


Monday, June 13, 2016

Former State Senator Ronald Calderon Agrees to Plead Guilty to Federal Corruption Charge; Admits Receiving Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Bribes


          LOS ANGELES – Former California State Senator Ronald S. Calderon has agreed to plead guilty to a federal corruption charge and admits in a plea agreement filed today that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator.
          Ron Calderon, 58, of Montebello, agreed to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud through the deprivation of honest services to resolve a case against him that was filed in 2014. The plea agreement comes several weeks before Ron Calderon was scheduled to go on trial on charges contained in a 24-count indictment.
          In the plea agreement, Ron Calderon admits accepting bribe payments from the owner of a Long Beach hospital who wanted a law to remain in effect so he could continue to reap millions of dollars in illicit profits from a separate fraud scheme and from undercover FBI agents who were posing as independent filmmakers who wanted changes to California’s Film Tax Credit program.
          Ron Calderon’s brother, Thomas M. Calderon, 62, also of Montebello, a former member of the California State Assembly who became a political consultant, pleaded guilty last Monday to a federal money laundering charge for allowing bribe money earmarked for his brother to be funneled through his firm.
          “Public officials who engage in corrupt behavior threaten the basic fabric of our democracy,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The Calderons have acknowledged their roles in a bribery scheme in which money for them and their families alone was driving legislation that would have benefited only a few individuals.”
          “My office will not tolerate pay-to-play corruption by public officials and their associates,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “While in office, Ron Calderon and others profited handsomely when bribe money was accepted and laundered, and I’m gratified that he has chosen to take responsibility for his actions.”
          Ron Calderon is expected to plead guilty to the mail fraud charge this week before United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.
          In the plea agreement filed today, Ron Calderon admitted participating in a bribery scheme involving two areas of legislation and the hiring of a staffer at the behest of those paying bribes.
In the first part of the bribery scheme, Ron Calderon took bribes from Michael Drobot, the former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, which was a major provider of spinal surgeries that were often paid by workers’ compensation programs. (The spinal surgeries are at the center of a massive healthcare fraud scheme that Drobot orchestrated and to which he previously pleaded guilty. Ron Calderon is not implicated in the healthcare fraud scheme.) Drobot was a client of Tom Calderon’s political consulting firm.
California law known as the “spinal pass-through” legislation allowed a hospital to pass on to insurance companies the full cost it had paid for medical hardware it used during spinal surgeries. As Drobot admitted in court, his hospital exploited this law, typically by using hardware that had been purchased at highly-inflated prices from companies that Drobot controlled and passing this cost along to insurance providers. Drobot bribed Ron Calderon so that he would use his public office to preserve this law that helped Drobot maintain a long-running and lucrative healthcare fraud scheme, which included Ron Calderon asking a fellow senator to introduce legislation favorable to Drobot. The payments from Drobot came in the form of summer employment for Ron Calderon’s son, who was hired as a summer file clerk at Pacific Hospital and received a total of $30,000 over the course of three years, despite the son doing little actual work at the hospital.
In another part of the bribery scheme, Ron Calderon accepted bribes from people he thought were associated with an independent film studio, but who were in fact undercover FBI agents. In exchange for the payments – including $3,000 monthly payments to Ron Calderon’s daughter for services she never provided – Ron Calderon agreed to support an expansion of a state law that gave tax credits to studios that produced independent films in California. The Film Tax Credit applied to productions of at least $1 million, but, in exchange for bribes, Ron Calderon agreed to support new legislation to reduce this threshold to $750,000, according to the plea agreement.
Ron Calderon took several official actions with respect to reducing the threshold for the Film Tax Credit. Ron Calderon signed a letter on his official Senate letterhead indicating that he would propose legislation lowering the threshold, introduced a “spot bill” he told an undercover agent would be used to propose such legislation, and promised that he would vote in favor of that proposed legislation.
In addition to the payments to his daughter for work she did not do, Ron Calderon had one of the undercover agents make a $5,000 payment toward his son’s college tuition and a $25,000 payment to Californians for Diversity, a non-profit entity that Ron Calderon and his brother used to improperly pay themselves.
          As part of the agreement with the undercover agents, Ron Calderon performed official acts that led to the hiring of another undercover agent as a staffer in his district office at an annual salary of $45,105.
          Ron Calderon “knowingly concealed his bribery scheme from the public by submitting a false Statement of Economic Interest, California Form 700, to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which failed to disclose the money and other financial benefits defendant he had received from Drobot” and the undercover agents, Ron Calderon admitted in his plea agreement.
          As part of Ron Calderon’s plea agreement, federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek a sentence of more than 70 months in federal prison, a term that is expected to be within the United States Sentencing Guidelines advisory range for this case.  However, Judge Snyder would not be bound by any sentencing recommendation and could sentence Ron Calderon up to statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. 
          Tom Calderon pleaded guilty last week to money laundering and admitted that he agreed to conceal bribe payments for his brother from the two undercover FBI agents by having the money go through his company, the Calderon Group. Tom Calderon allowed payments to be made to the Calderon Group “to conceal and disguise the fact that the money represented the proceeds of bribery,” according to his plea agreement.
          Tom Calderon “deposited the $30,000 bribe payment from [the undercover agent] into the Calderon Group’s bank account and then wrote a check for $9,000 from
The Calderon Group’s bank account to Ronald S. Calderon’s daughter,” Tom Calderon admitted in his plea agreement.
“Tom Calderon provided a conduit for illicit bribery payments and played a key role in hiding corrupt activities from the voting public,” said United States Attorney Decker.
          As part of Tom Calderon’s plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than one year in prison, which is expected to be within the United States Sentencing Guideline advisory range for the offense. However, when Judge Snyder sentencing Tom Calderon of September 12, she could impose a term of up to 20 years in prison, which is the statutory maximum penalty for the money laundering count.
          “The Calderon brothers shamelessly defrauded the citizens of California to their right to honest services through an illicit bribery scheme," stated‎ IRS Criminal Investigation’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando. “IRS CI tirelessly untangled the web of fraudulent transactions that lead to these corrupt individuals being held accountable for their actions.”
          The investigation into the Calderons was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas M. Miller and Mack E. Jenkins of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.