Fundraising while Budgeting

Published on

When he wanted to be Governor,
Arnold said, "It is no coincidence that the budget season is also the
political fundraising season. It is inherently suspect for politicians
to be taking money from lobbyists while they are spending the people’s

When Arnold was caught with his special-session budget cuts on the
table and his hand out at fundraisers, the Guv said that was different
— he had not yet proposed his official budget. Well, it’s January and
Schwarzenegger has proposed his budget. Yet last Friday Arnold quietly
kicked off a new fundraising swing at the Four Seasons Hotel in Orange
County. Yesterday, he was stumping for dollars in San Francisco.
Wednesday the Governor’s cash register will be open to lobbying
interests in Sacramento. On Thursday, Arnold’ll have his hand out in
Los Angeles.

The governor’s people say Arnold’s hoping for six figure contributions
that total about $8 million to $12 million for his budget bond bailout,
Props 57 and 58. These contributions bypass state campaign limits to
politicians recently tightened up by the FPPC because they are ballot
initiative funds. Their spirit, however, is very clearly to promote
this Governor, his agenda and his brand.

Arnold’s not just breaking his promise to the public by fundraising
from lobbyists while spending the people’s money. He’s fundraising from
lobbyists to convince the people to spend more so the special interests
that give to him will have to pay less. The only budget alternative if
the bonds fail is to tax the big businesses and rich folks at these
fundraisers. The reasons the special interests care is to ensure the
budget hole is filled by average people, not by a tax on their own
riches, and to curry favor with a Governor who can repay them in other

If Arnold were really the world’s best salesman rather than
Californians’ governor, the people who elected him would by now have a
first-rate false advertising case.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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