Not a Moderate…Fundraiser

Published on

Arnold, with a premier
speaking spot at the GOP convention, will list a string of life
achievements in his American Dream speech tonight. However, he will
likely ignore one of his most recent accomplishments –becoming
California’s pre-eminent special interest fundraiser.

According to public filings, the Gov has raised $29.97 million since he
announced his bid for governor and stated that he did not need to raise
money. At the time, Arnold said: "Any of those kinds of real big,
powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them

Since then, Arnold’s fundraising has far surpassed that of recalled
Governor Gray Davis, who voters turned out of office in large part
because of the public perception that he spent too much time
fundraising and that contributions played too much of a role in his
decision making.

The Top Contributors by Industry to Schwarzenegger are:

Real Estate/Development/Construction — $4.9 million
Finance/Accounting/Investing — $4.8 million
High Tech — $1.7 million
Healthcare (e.g. HMOs, Hospitals, pharmaceuticals) — $1.5 million
Agribusiness — $1.1 million
Insurance — $1.0 million
Car Dealers/ Automotive Interests — $1.0 million has documented a series of legislative
decisions, appointments and other actions by Arnold that illustrate the
undue influence of his special interest donors. Here’s a review of a
few of them:

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Reform — More than $500,000 Raised
from Workers’ Comp Insurers: Schwarzenegger signed legislation
overhauling California’s workers’ compensation system. Despite efforts
to include regulatory oversight of the insurance industry as part of
the overall package, Schwarzenegger protected his insurer donors and
blocked any rate regulation. At the height of negotiations,
Schwarzenegger accepted $100,000 from workers’ comp insurer American
Financial Group. Previously, Schwarzenegger received $100,000 from
mega-insurer AIG.

Donors Win State Contract — Outsourcing Firm Contributed $25,000 Prior to Receiving State Deal:
The Canadian firm CGI-AMS contributed $25,000 to Schwarzenegger in
March. In June, the governor gave the firm a major state contract to
reduce the costs of state purchases and other expenditures. The
administration of recalled Governor Gray Davis was investigated after
it received a $25,000 contribution from Oracle, which had received a
large state contract.

Will Schwarzenegger Place the Interests of Drug Firm Donors Over Seniors’ Needs?
The governor has received over $335,000 in contributions from
pharmaceutical companies. Drug companies also have paid an undisclosed
portion of the $350,000 cost of sending Schwarzenegger’s entourage to
the GOP convention. Last week the California Legislature sent
Schwarzenegger a series of bills that would make it easier for state
residents to re-import their medications from Canada at lower prices
than are available in the U.S. and bills that would allow the state to
bulk purchase prescription drugs on behalf of public programs, the
uninsured and small businesses at dramatically reduced prices.
Schwarzenegger has not yet acted on the bills, but has signaled that he
is likely to veto the measures.

The American Dream that Arnold has realized is that if you’re a big
enough celebrity you can get away with calling yourself a political
reformer even as you turn government over to the special interests.

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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