Commentary: Some politicians live large, without shame

Too many politicians think they live in a different world.

They regularly take "gifts" from lobbyists and others who curry their favor, and think it's their right because of the office they hold. It's not. And it is especially galling at a time when California's unemployment rate remains above 12 percent.

Now, many are complaining because they are getting dinged by an increasingly aggressive Fair Political Practices Commission, which has concluded that they are failing to follow the law by neglecting to disclose in public filings that they've taken those "gifts" — things like tickets to concerts and Kings games, expensive dinners, preferred parking at airports and more.

According to the FPPC, Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, failed to disclose several "gifts" including a $160.21 dinner; $390 for food and lodging; and $1,077 for food and spa treatments for his wife. These "gifts" to Mr. and Mrs. Calderon were courtesy of the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies.

Ask yourself when the last time was that you spent $160 on a dinner, or $1,077 for a spa and snack. When was the last time your insurance company comped you to a nice dinner?

To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.