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Santa Monica, CA -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer rights today called on campaign finance reformer Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to cancel his appearance with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Monday at a multimillion-dollar fund-raising event for Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign. Sponsoring the event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, according to the invitation, will be 48 donors who have already given Schwarzenegger more than $13 million -- including developers poised to benefit from Schwarzenegger's proposed multibillion dollar bond measures. The top ticket, with the greatest access to the governor, goes for $100,000.

In a letter sent to McCain's Washington office, FTCR called on him to terminate his involvement with the governor's "high-stakes money-machine event" and instead endorse a planned clean money elections initiative, backed by the California Nurses Association, for the California ballot in November. Read the letter here.

"Your efforts to reform campaign financing drew the direct line between contributions and influence, and we are disheartened that you would stand by Mr. Schwarzenegger while he collects from his corporate benefactors," said the letter from FTCR's Judy Dugan and Jamie Court to McCain. It quoted McCain's own statement in 1999 that the campaign finance system "'is nothing less than an elaborate influence peddling scheme in which both parties conspire to stay in office by selling the country to the highest bidder.'"

Schwarzenegger has vowed to raise a record $120 million for the November election. As the letter to McCain noted, Arizona's Gov. Janet Napolitano was elected with public funding approved by the state's voters to quell corruption in Arizona government. The letter says McCain should support the same choice for California voters, who polls show are increasingly dismayed by Schwarzenegger's incessant fund-raising.

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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is the state's leading non-partisan and non-profit consumer watchdog group. For more information visit us online at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org