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Friday
May252012

POLITICS: 57th Assembly District, California Fair Political Practices Commission, questions, contributions directed from Orange County Assemblyman Tony Mendoza to Assembly candidate Rudy Bermudez....  

* Orange County Register:  "Did O.C. assemblyman illegally funnel thousands of dollars to a Democratic ally?" - From the Register:

   State officials are investigating whether an Orange County assemblyman illegally funneled thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to a political ally and former O.C. lawmaker.

   The Watchdog has obtained a letter from California Fair Political Practices Commission confirming that it has launched an investigation into a series of contributions involving Assemblyman Tony Mendoza and Assembly candidate Rudy Bermudez, a former lawmaker. The transactions in question are legal under state law — if they were not coordinated. If they were, the contributions could constitute money laundering to avoid campaign contribution limits. . . . . . . . .

   Mendoza has denied any wrongdoing; Bermudez has not responded to five phone calls from the Watchdog. The investigation was sparked by a compliant filed by Leslie Rodriguez, the campaign manager forIan Calderon, who is running against Bermudez for the Assembly. Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement for the Fair Political Practices Commission, wrote Rodriguez a letter on Monday that said the commission “has initiated an investigation” into her complaint.

   Bermudez represented the current 56th Assembly District, which includes Buena Park, from 2002 until 2006, when he was defeated by Ron Calderon (Ian’s uncle) in a Senate race. Mendoza succeeded Bermudez as the representative for that district, and, now that Mendoza is termed out in November, Bermudez is seeking to return to the Assembly in the new 57th Assembly District, which does not include any parts of Orange County. Mendoza has endorsed Bermudez’ campaign. Both are Democrats.

   Until early March, Mendoza served as the chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. Mendoza has said he resigned the chairmanship to run for a seat on a local water district board, but both the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee have cited anonymous sources saying that caucus members were unhappy with his leadership.

   It was during his final days as caucus chairman that the transactions began...................