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About a hundred Californians
showed up to protest Arnold at his Restaurant Association fundraiser in
Downtown Los Angeles today. This event may mark the bottom of the
barrel for the once reform-minded Gov. First, as the SacBee reports,
Arnold has broken his pledge not to accept money from single industry
trade associations -- the California Restaurant Association, California
Hospital Association and the American Council of Life Insurers all have
contributed recently. The premise of Arnold's ban was that these
organizations only exist to promote the particular (special) interest
of the trade, so campaign contributions are made with the sole purpose
of promoting or influencing specific public policy. Arnold went as far
as mentioning the ban in his fundraising letters and it's still on his website. Guess Arnold's ethics change faster than the Internet.

But Arnold's ethical collapse was allowing the Restaurant Association
to sponsor today's fundraiser at all. The association is a chief
opponent of legislation to raise the state's minimum wage (AB 48). That
proposal is likely to be on the Governor's desk by Labor Day and his
decision will be tainted by the thousands of dollars he accepted from
opponents of the increase. Last year, Arnold refused to fundraise
during the final days of the legislative session because of the obvious
potential for conflicts such as this.

To get into today's event (at a $500 minimum donation) would have
required a minimum wage worker (at $6.75 an hour) to work 74 hours. It
would still take about 69 hours of minimum wage work under the AB 48
proposed 50¢ increase to afford access to Arnold, but with the Trade
Association serving up big time dough to the Gov, it looks like the
minimum wage hike could be toast.