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Jun 24, 2008 - 01:00 AM

by State & Local Wires

Schwarzenegger Still A Big Fundraiser

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Even as a non-candidate, Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is still raising millions of dollars each year for ballot initiatives.

Schwarzenegger has solicited more than $4.6 million this year on behalf of a November ballot initiative to change how California draws its voting district boundaries. He also wants the Legislature to add three measures related to budget and water projects for the same election.

Since the 2003 recall campaign he has raised more $127 million, far surpassing the $87 million raised in five years by his predecessor, Gov. Gray Davis, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger cannot run for re-election and has not stated any plans to run for another office. But some observers remain concerned about his dependence on contributions to fund ballot measures.

"I think voters should be wary of the extent to which the governor has to go to fund those ambitions," said Carmen Balber of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "If you look at his overall trend, business interests are
overwhelmingly represented."

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