Legislators lavished with pricey meals, event tickets, trips
Just months after state lawmakers torpedoed proposed limits on gifts they could receive, new reports released Friday show legislators accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of meals, trips and tickets to sports and entertainment events last year.
The reports are required to be filed annually by elected officials and "are an important means for the officials that file them, the media, and the public to help gauge where potential conflicts of interest may exist," according to a statement Friday by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
Interests lobbying the Legislature provided lawmakers with hunting and fishing trips, rounds of golf, Disneyland passes, tickets to pro basketball and baseball games, ski lift and NASCAR tickets and box seats for a Lady Gaga concert.
They also gave legislators hundreds of tangible items, including iPads, bottles of wine, golf clubs, paintings, a pistol and flowers. Lawmakers also had their tabs picked up for trips to China, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Italy, the Czech Republic, Vietnam and Hawaii.
--Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) received tickets to events from British online gambling website Betfair and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club worth $420 for each event.
--Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) received a hunting trip worth $360 from Black Point Sports Club and a $312 dinner from the prison guards union.
--Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) received two tickets worth $392 to a Lady Gaga concert from oil company BP America, $1,840 worth of hotel accommodations and receptions from the prison guards union, four rounds of golf costing up to $420 each, $785 worth of golf clubs and an iPad from various interest groups.
--Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) accepted tickets to UCLA basketball and USC football games, and $5,100 in travel expenses for a trip to China from the China Academy of Railway Sciences.
--Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) received $548 worth of wine and lodging from five Italian wineries.
--Sens. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) attended a quail hunt paid for by Tejon Ranch Co. valued at $325 and $275, respectively.
--Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) received $3,080 in travel expenses from the Azerbaijani parliament, as well as $420 in tickets to a Lakers game from Toyota.
--Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) received tickets to Angels and San Francisco Giants baseball games, a Jackson Browne concert, and, from former legislator Rusty Areias, tickets to a San Francisco 49ers football game worth $258.
--Assembly speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) received boxes of cigars, bottles of tequila and a Bible from other Assembly members and tickets to boxing matches and football games. Assembly staffers spent $2,100 on a ring and gift cards for the leader.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) glances at Governor Jerry Brown during a news conference last year. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times