Voices from the Media
Letty Mendoza According to Los Angeles Times
Former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, a Democrat from Artesia, is running for Ronald Calderon's Senate seat next year. Four days
before he stepped down as chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus in February 2012, the caucus' foundation, which he
also headed, donated $22,000 to the Southern California LEAD Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Mendoza's wife.
Mendoza said neither he nor his wife benefit financially from the charity, whose stated purpose is to improve life for Hispanic
youths. The couple declined to provide a full list of the foundation's financial supporters.
"As the Latino Caucus Foundation chairman, I was involved with approving many charitable donations, including this one," Mendoza
said. "Mrs. Mendoza is an unpaid volunteer."
The caucus' check made up nearly half of the Mendoza foundation receipts of $46,267 last year, its federal tax filing shows.
The foundation spent $28,700 last year, $20,000 of it on travel, meetings and conferences and $3,150 on civic donations that
included $250 each to the Early Childhood Federation and the YMCA.
-- Nonprofits tied to
legislators collect cash out of public view, by Patrick McGreevy, Nov 17, 2013
Calderon isn't the only pol to take advantage of this loophole. The L.A. Times reported that former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza,
who is running for Calderon's seat next year, was chairman of the Latino Legislative Caucus when its foundation, which he also
headed, gave a $22,000 donation to the Southern California LEAD Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Mendoza’s wife. That foundation
spent $28,700 last year, $20,000 of it on travel, meetings and conferences.
-- Keep California legislators from profiting from 'nonprofits', Los Angeles Times Editorial, Nov 17, 2013