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Sep 29, 2006 - 01:45 PM

I'll Be Back -- To Collect More Special Interest $ Than Any California Politician Ever

by Mark Reback & Carmen Balber
The special interest cash keeps rolling in to Arnold's campaign committees... He has now taken $103,994,221, which is part of the reason more than half of Californians believe, according to Wednesday's Field Poll, that the Gov has not reduced special interest influence in the Capitol. Remember this Arnold quote from his Recall campaign?

"Any of those kinds of real big, powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them something."

Millions of entertainment industry dollars are flowing in from Hollywood ($6 million total and over $150K in the last two weeks), and the financial industry ($12.5 million), and the construction, real estate & development industries (over $16 million combined) continue to lavish Arnold with cash. No doubt they all want the Gov to lavish them with fat infrastructure bond contracts in return for their political investment.

And, as if the almost $104 million in special interest money that Arnold has acknowledged accepting wasn't enough, the LA Times and Sacramento Bee report that there is still more corporate cash coming in under the radar through the Gov's affiliated nonprofit groups.

Arnold's flashy events to sign the recently passed greenhouse gas emissions bill was funded through the nonprofit, which, it has been revealed, has received donations from the state's largest energy utilities -- PG&E and Edison. By funneling the money through a nonprofit, Arnold and his boosters avoided both public disclosure of the money and campaign contribution limits (the utilities had maxed out their legal donations to the gov).

This isn't the first time that the gov has used so-called nonprofit groups to thumb his nose at campaign laws. FTCR filed a complaint with the IRS over the financial funny business of another Arnold-affiliated nonprofit, the California Recovery Team. These unaccountable groups cost taxpayers and democracy by hiding the purchase of political influence and access by special interest contributors.

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