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Investigative reporters for Al Jazeera America have uncovered a political scandal reaching from the San Gabriel Valley to Sacramento. An FBI affidavit — still officially sealed — reveals a complex sting operation, involving a phony film company and $60,000 in alleged bribes to State Senator Ron Calderon, whose family has made politics its business for three generations.  No charges have been filed, but transcripts of taped conversations have led other officials to distance themselves from Senator Calderon and one to call for his resignation.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, families with children, the elderly and the disabled are feeling the first reduction ever in the Food Stamp program: $5 billion less for 48 million people.  Conservatives say cuts have been too long in coming: that food stamps create a "culture of dependency." We hear a dispute about economics, hunger and the role of government.

 

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Anna Scott
Gideon Brower

Main Topic Al Jazeera, the FBI and a Political Dynasty in California 22 MIN, 34 SEC

A 124-page FBI affidavit describes the details of an elaborate sting operation, with agents setting up a fake Hollywood film company and paying State Senator Ron Calderon for legislative favors in Sacramento. The document is still officially sealed, but it was uncovered by investigative reporters for Al Jazeera America.

Guests:
Josh Bernstein, Al Jazeera America (@jbreports)
Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee (@WaltersBee)
Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University (@LMU_CSLA)

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