Just before Christmas Arnold
created a new fundraising committee that can receive above-the-limit
contributions from big corporations, despite the state’s campaign
finance limits. The committee, called "Governor Schwarzenegger’s
California Recovery Team," was established to support the Governor’s
A list of donors to the new committee makes it clear that this cash is
not for the Governor’s much-touted budget initiatives that are on the
March ballot, but for a proposed initiative submitted last week that is
based on the governor’s proposal and would alter California’s workers’
compensation insurance system. The nearly $200K given to the "Recovery
Team" comes from only six contributors, five of which are major
out-of-state insurance companies representing some of the largest
workers’ compensation insurers in the nation.*
The insurers want a chunk of the state’s huge workers’ comp market,
which is currently dominated by the California State Compensation
Insurance Fund. But these out-of-state firms only want to sell
insurance to California businesses if it is entirely on the industry’s
terms: no regulation, a major weakening of the rights of workers to
file claims and limits on the amount insurance companies have to pay
out to injured workers generally.
Hence, the oversized donations to Arnold. And right on cue, less than
two weeks after the money began to flow to Anold’s initiative fund, the
pro-insurance industry initiative appeared.
It seems that the real reason the Gov’s committee is called the
Recovery Team is that he is going to help out-of-state insurance
companies recover major profits from California businesses.
It should be noted, that Arnold still seems to claim that he is not
receiving "special interest" donations. ArnoldWatch dares the Gov to
explain how these out-of-state mega-insurance companies represent
anything other than special interests.
*In addition to these recent donations from workers’ compensation
insurance giants such as The Hartford, Continental Casualty and
Travelers, Arnold accepted $100K from the nation’s largest private
workers’ comp firm, AIG, in November.