California Recovery Team -- a political committee ostensibly created
for the Gov to raise and spend money on ballot measures -- reports
accepting a $25,000 contribution from Shell Oil last week.
Yet Arnold has promised he'll work with the legislature this year and
claims to be through with ballot initiatives. Why raise money into a
"ballot measure committee" if he isn't going to be supporting measures
on the ballot? And why give to a committee with no declared purpose and
no clear prospects?
As a termed-out legislator, Schwarzenegger can no longer raise money
for his candidate committee since he is not running for office. For
special interest donors like Shell -- who want to keep the money
flowing in, so the favors flow out -- the California Recovery Team
provides the opportunity to give unlimited funds, and maintain
unfettered access, to a Gov who is otherwise at the end of his
fundraising capacity. Shell has a big stake in the Gov's decision about
whether to open California to liquified natural gas and in oversight by
Schwarzenegger's California Energy Commission.
Schwarzenegger also opened a new "officeholder" account this week,
expanding his fundraising options under a bill he signed allowing
termed-out legislators to continue to shake down donors for their own
creature comforts, like lavish parties, junkets and fine steak dinners.
The Governor, who promised to clean up Sacramento, can't make any more
excuses. With no upcoming election, and no initiatives on the ballot,
Arnold doesn't have to keep playing the fundraising game he claims to
The first step is admitting his $95K a day fundraising habit is a problem. When Arnold goes cold turkey and kicks the habit, Californians can finally give thanks.