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National Journal
Jan 28, 2004 - 01:00 AM

by State & Local Wires

CALIFORNIA CABLE: WHAT MEDICATION IS HE ON?

Gov. Schwarzenegger must pay back campaign loan with own money not contributions.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), "unruffled" by a court ruling that he "illegally" took out a $4.5M bank loan to support his election campaign, said 1/27 that he would "pay back the money himself," rather than "seek the funds" from pol. donors.

In a "lunchtime appearance" before the Sacramento Press Club, Schwarzenegger said he "agreed" with the ruling, calling it "great" and "fantastic." Schwarzenegger: "We never wanted to raise the money to pay it back. I myself [will] pay for that." Schwarzenegger said he had been out on the campaign trail and "unable" to write a check himself to cover campaign expenses
(Nicholas/Mathews, Los Angeles Times, 1/28). Schwarzenegger added: "It was a great decision for the judge. Exactly what we intended to do, and that's exactly the way the law ought to be" (Delsohn, Sacramento Bee, 1/28).

The statement raised an "immediate question" about why Schwarzenegger spent months "defending himself" in court after he was sued by Sacramento Labor Council's Bill Camp, which has "strong ties" to Dems. Berkley Atty. Lowell Finley, who represented Camp, said if Schwarzenegger was "delighted" with the judge's ruling, "he is on some kind of medication that I
would like to have a prescription for." Finley continues: "I don't buy it. ... I think he held out hope of being able to pay himself back and only changed his mind when the judge ordered him to" (Salladay, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/28).

Another critic, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights' Jamie Court: "This is like Howard Dean declaring victory in Iowa" (Los Angeles Times, 1/28).

SCHWARZENEGGER TO SPEAK AT GOP EVENT

Crain's Insider reports, Schwarzenegger will speak at Manhattan Co. GOP's annual Lincoln Day Dinner on 2/24 at the Grand Hyatt. GOP convo planner Bill Harris and NY First Lady Libby Pataki are the "honoree's." The "$1,000-a-plate" event will benefit "party coffers" (1/28).





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