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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Gospel According to Arnold: A Case Study in Hypocrisy

Arnold Schwarzenegger took GOP legislators to task this week for supporting Proposition 70, an initiative that would expand tribal gambling in California, after taking money from some of the tribes that it would benefit.
"The legislators should not take money from the Indians, from the Indian gaming tribes, and then endorse Proposition 70. They should not," the governor said Monday.
During the run-up to last year's recall election, Schwarzenegger promised that he would clean up the influence of special interests in Sacramento. Since his November election, he has raised over $20 million for his committees, much of that from businesses with a stake in either legislation that has since crossed the governor's desk or in initiatives that have received the governor's much sought-after thumbs-up or -down.

Schwarzenegger and his staff insist that he has "no idea" who sends him checks and even if he did, it doesn't affect him:
What I am against and what I campaigned for is that special interests should not have an influence on our Capitol and that they should not buy their way in. You can accept money, but don't return favors for them.
In other words, Arnold can rake in millions of dollars in contributions from pharmaceutical companies, gambling interests, oil companies, and the auto industry, but no other public officials can, not even from his own party. He's not partisan; he's deluded by his own ethical grandeur. Rest easy all ye watchdogs - Arnold is in the house.

Hey Gov! How about instead of relying on your self-proclaimed sense of fair play to monitor the effects of millions of dollars of wealthy-interest cash pouring into California elections, we pass real campaign finance laws that apply across the board to everybody?

No cute tag lines. No cunning arguments. Just democracy.

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