Group Calls on Governor to Return $, Ban Fundraising During Budget Season
Santa Monica — New evidence discovered today by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) reveals that a construction lobby organization linked member attendance at last night’s Schwarzenegger fundraiser with the industry’s effort to keep $800 million worth of construction projects from being cut from the governor’s budget. FTCR called on the Governor to immediately return any funds received at the event, and to follow through on his pledge to ban all fundraising during the budget season.
The San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) announced last night’s Schwarzenegger fundraiser in La Jolla in its weekly online newsletter, urging members to buy tickets and “help erase his campaign debt.” In the very next online entry, the group criticized a Schwarzenegger budget cut it called a “raid of funds that should be dedicated to transportation projects.”
The contractors note that: “This sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Last year, Governor Davis proposed stealing over $1 billion from transportation. Fortunately, AGC worked hard throughout the year to help protect a majority of those funds.” FTCR sees the very kind of Gray Davis shakedown that Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to end. The newsletter can be found at http://www.agcsd.org/quarterback.htm
“An interest group doesn’t give money to a politician they don’t agree with unless they expect their dollars will change his mind. Even if Schwarzenegger doesn’t think the contractors are buying favors, the industry thinks so and so will the public. Californians can only assume the worst if the governor is accepting checks with one hand as he’s writing them for the state with the other — Schwarzenegger should live up to his own pledge to halt all appearances of quid pro quo by banning fundraising while the budget is negotiated,” said FTCR’s Carmen Balber.