Political locavores

Sometimes you can get a free meal

Kevin De Leon and his kids recently got an Indian dinner on the house.
  • Kevin De Leon and his kids recently got an Indian dinner on the house.

San Diego–based Sempra Energy, whose corps of lobbyists regularly hand out food-and-drink freebies to California legislators and their staffers, took a bit of a break during the first three months of this year, spending just $437.50 for meals and beverages at countrified locales across the state.

Dameane Douglas, staffer for Democratic assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield, got the most, $89.93 at the convention center in Visalia. Another Democrat, assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens, picked up $32 at Sacramento’s Hock Farm. Sonia Lopez, who works for Democratic senator Holly Mitchell of Culver City, grabbed a meal on Sempra worth $15.48 at the Pancake Corner in South Gate.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s Barona Band of Mission Indians spent a total of $5743 on legislative wining and dining, including $108 to host California Democratic senate president pro-tem Kevin De Leon and his two children at Ella’s Dining Room in Sacramento. “Ella is just a block from the State Capitol in the heart of a bustling and vibrant downtown and is leading the way in the growing locavore movement by offering real, excellent, honest food served in a warm inviting setting, sourced mainly from the locally based community of farmers, ranchers, growers, and artisans,” according to the restaurant’s website.

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