Governor Schwarzenegger still
has not disclosed, as he promised, what companies are footing the bill
for the two-day bash he's planning for his second inauguration. Perhaps
his campaign staff is waiting for an unobtrusive Friday afternoon
between two holidays in hopes that the press corps will be too busy
counting sugarplums to call him to task for, yet again, ignoring the
political reform promise that gave him his office three years ago:
cleaning the special interests out of Sacramento.
Invitations to contribute to the inaugural ask for pledges amounts of
$50,000 for a "Gold" sponsorship, including 10 tickets to a lunch with
legislators and a private reception with the Gov., plus seats at the
swearing-in. $15,000 for a "Silver" sponsorship buys just two tickets. An L.A. Times story on Dec. 4th revealed
that "The governor's political team has approached Chevron Corp.,
PG&E, Blue Cross of California, AT&T and other businesses," for
big donations, and that Southern California Edison admits to ponying up
$15,000. But from the governor's staff, not a word.
So far, the inauguration slush fund amounts to secret access to the
governor and legislators. It may not be illegal, but it's pay-for-play
at its smelliest.
One other tidbit... For ordinary folks who might want to help out with $25 or so, the "contribute here"
button on the inaugural web site sends them straight to a donation form
for Arnold's reelection campaign committee -- which means that they can
clean up Arnold's boring campaign debts but won't be allowed to rub
shoulders at the private inauguration events.