Governor's Nov. Election Plan Is $70 Million Campaign Finance Dodge
Sacramento, CA --- "Air Arnold" flew again today above a Schwarzenegger campaign event with a message for the governor, "Real Taxpayers Oppose $70 Million for Extra Election," from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and California Nurses Association.
Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to call a special election in November of this year is an attempt to evade campaign finance laws that otherwise would prohibit the governor from appearing in campaign advertisements and raising unlimited funds for his ballot measures in 2006, according to FTCR.
Polling has shown that over 70% of Californians oppose holding a special election in November when they learn that it will cost taxpayers up to $70 million.
"The governor's special election plan is equivalent to every man, woman and child in California burning a two dollar bill out of the General Fund; a $70 million extra election is a waste of taxpayer money," said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate with FTCR.
The Political Reform Act (section 85310) states that any committee which runs political advertisements featuring a candidate for office within 45 days of an election cannot accept campaign contributions above $25,000 from any one person. Several ballot measure committees are promoting the governor's agenda at the ballot. Under a Fair Political Practices Commission regulation (18531.10), if any of those committees accepts more than $25,000 from any one person, the governor would be barred from appearing in the group's television advertisements during the month and a half before the next election in which he appears on the ballot -- the June 2006 gubernatorial primary. A 2005 election allows the governor to avoid that campaign law and raise unlimited funds.
"The governor who ran for office pledging to limit the influence of money in politics should be going to great lengths to uphold clean government laws, not calling an extra election so he can avoid them," said Balber.
Governor Schwarzenegger is pursuing a legal challenge, also at taxpayer expense, to block a patient safety law designed to ensure that hospitals have adequate numbers of nurses on duty even though a recent judgment found that the governor had no authority to do so.
Schwarzenegger has broken fundraising records by raising an average of $80,000 a day from his big industry donors. He has vowed to raise $50 million to back his special election initiatives.
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