Bucks For Bills In Golden State
SEPTEMBER 11, 2006
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has raised millions of dollars for his reelection campaign from big time contributors with pending legislation that he will soon veto or sign into law.
The former Hollywood actor has raised $26.4 million from a variety of industries that clearly hope to receive favorable legislation in return. Among the deep-pocketed businesses with bills on the governor’s desk are; restaurants, insurance companies, banks, construction and real estate interests and energy producers.
The car sales and agriculture industries have each dished out $1 million since several bills that currently sit on the governor’s desk would deeply affect them. The big one for car dealers would require that half of all vehicles sold in California by 2020 be fueled by alternative sources. Pending farming bills would increase monitoring of contaminants in groundwater and could raise workers’ compensation charges for employers.
While state legislators approved more than 1,000 bills in August, bills that now depend on the governor’s signature, Schwarzenegger toured the country soliciting campaign cash. Collecting millions from the very businesses that lobby for favorable laws during the make-it-or-break-it period has even drawn criticism from the governor’s avid supporters.
One of them, former California Republican Governor George Deukmejian, said that, while he is sure Schwarzenegger wouldn’t do anything in exchange for a contribution, “it does give that appearance” and “that should be avoided.”
Ironically, Schwarzenegger called for a fundraising blackout period as a first-time candidate in 2003 and criticized former Governor Gray Davis, whom he replaced in a recall election, for raising money during the months when he was signing bills. Now the Terminator is doing the exact same thing. The big question now is; will he be back?
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