Arnold’s Common Cause

Published on

The Gov is at it again –
trying to steal a good guy group’s brand – this time it’s "Common
Cause." Tomorrow he is expected to hold a press conference at 3 PM EST
with the group announcing support for a "compromise" model plan on
redistricting – a plan very different from the redistricting ballot
initiative for which Arnold is fundraising up and down the state. A
conversation with staffers at the group confirms Common Cause opposes
the redistricting ballot initiatives on file to be circulated for the
November special election. They even oppose a key provision of the
"compromise" plan that allows mid-decade redistricting. The group is
also against Arnold’s "no limits" fundraising practices for the
November special election – practices being challenged for violating
state campaign finance laws.

Arnold has given the legislature only until March 1st to enact any
compromise before going to the ballot. There is no time for the model
plan to be enacted in the statehouse. And there’s no time to file
another ballot initiative for a special election in November 2005 (not
unless 1 million signatures for a constitutional amendment can be
gathered in under 3 weeks.) So what does Arnold have in mind? Another
bait and switch. The minute Common Cause endorses any plan of Arnold’s,
he’ll try to steal that legitimacy for a ballot initiative the group
does not support by claiming he had Common Cause’s backing, but the
legislature just wouldn’t act, so he had to.

Worse, Arnold’s using a redistricting ballot initiative as cover for
other initiatives that are red meat to corporate donors who are being
asked by the Gov to give six figure contributions to all the
initiatives — in violation of campaign finance laws (see
.) Those other initiatives are a wish list for corporate donors —
privatizing public pension funds, eliminating government regulatory
bodies, etc.

Will Arnold call off the special election and file the Common Cause
plan for a 2006 ballot initiative or will he go ahead with one of the
initiatives on file that Common Cause opposes and, through showmanship,
steal their brand? If he waits until 2006, though, Arnold will have to
abide by strict rules that limit donations (see .) And that’s not the common cause he shares with his big industry donors.

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