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Senator gets free trip to Super Bowl for campaign fundraiser

February 1, 2013 |  4:00 pm

Super Bowl
State Sen. Kevin De Leon of Los Angeles is getting free travel expenses and a ticket to Sunday's Super Bowl game in New Orleans, and all he has to do is glad-hand some donors who are helping replenish the campaign account used to elect Democrats in California.

The Senate Democratic Caucus political staff "planned and organized a small but successful fundraising event at the Super Bowl this weekend to benefit the California Democratic Party," said Jason Kinney, a member of the staff. The party is paying the expenses for the event, including De Leon's attendance.

De Leon said the arrangements had been vetted by an attorney to make sure he does not violate the state’s $440 limit on gifts to legislators, which has an exemption for political party fundraisers. "It’s all reportable" to the public, De Leon said.

Tickets to the NFL championship game have face values starting at $850, and those for the fundraiser were purchased from the NFL.

Kinney said De Leon stepped in to attend the fundraiser when Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento had to bow out at the last minute. "Personally, I think it demonstrates impressive generosity of spirit that Los Angeles' own Kevin de Leon is willing to show up and pretend to root for a San Francisco team for three whole hours,'" Kinney said.


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Photo: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) stretches with teammates including center Jonathan Goodwin (59) during practice Friday as they prepare for Sunday's Super Bowl. Credit: Mark Humphrey / Associated Press