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Hours after Pérez gets the gavel, the fundraising begins

March 1, 2010 | 12:08 pm

On Monday afternoon, John A. Pérez will be sworn in as the newest speaker of the California Assembly.

The Los Angeles Democrat will commence with a speech to his colleagues outlining his priorities in the powerful post. His first news conference as speaker will follow.

Then the real party gets started: An evening soiree with well-heeled patrons paying up to $50,000 to host to the affair. The money won’t be going to Pérez directly, but to fill the coffers of the California Democratic Party. But those party funds can then be spent helping elect Democrats to the state Assembly -- the house Pérez is now charged with running. In fact, the invitation, which was widely distributed to lobbyists and interest groups around Sacramento, asked donors to address their checks to the “California Democratic Party/Assembly Democrats.”

A “friend” can buy a single ticket for $2,000 to a special hour-long VIP reception and the party to follow. A $10,000 “sponsor” gets three tickets. A $25,000 “patron” gets five passes. And the $50,000 “hosts” receive 10 tickets to the private event.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento