FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 23rd, 2022
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GARDEN GROVE, CA – As the FBI probe of Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and the planned $320-million sale of Angel Stadium evolves into possibly the largest corruption scandal in Orange County history, Congresswoman Michelle Steel’s political and financial ties to Mayor Sidhu are coming under the microscope.
Mayor Sidhu, the focus of the FBI probe, is a contributor to Steel’s campaign, and Steel has been one of Sidhu’s strongest supporters, claiming in 2017 that “Harry Sidhu is the one candidate I trust to work for the people of Anaheim.”
Steel has a long track record of collecting campaign cash from unsavory figures. Last year Steel was tied to three high profile sexual predators. Her donor Anton Lazzaro was arrested after being indicted on five counts of child sex trafficking, fundraising partner Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation for child sex-trafficking, and supporter Steve Wynn has been accused of a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct.
To make matters worse, Steel has a track record of using her governmental power to benefit and protect her donors and allies. In 2018, Steel voted to defund the Office of Independent Review while it was actively investigating two of her close political allies – and campaign chairs – for misusing jailhouse informants to illegally obtain confessions.
While serving as an Orange County Supervisor, Steel twice acted to benefit private jet operator ACI Jet, one of her leading campaign contributors. In 2019, she allowed consideration of a wildly unpopular proposal to expand private flights at John Wayne Airport, which would benefit ACI Jet. Three years earlier, she voted in favor of a lucrative general aviation contract for the company, prompting a FAA investigation into the decision.
Steel also came under scrutiny for initiating a pennies on the dollar purchase of a public park to her campaign donor Buck Johns. The land sale was flagged as suspicious by Steel’s successor on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and was eventually stopped after significant public outcry.
“In the Navy we operate by the principles of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Unfortunately too many of our elected officials are lacking in those values these days.,” said Lt. Commander (Res.) Jay Chen. “When I am elected to Congress, I will be serving all of the constituents of California’s 45th congressional district, not just those with power and influence.”