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Dec 03, 2003 - 11:55 AM
Constructing a Budget One Fundraiser at a Timeby Carmen Balber and Jamie Court
Arnold pledged during his campaign not to build a budget while he was building a campaign war chest. At least some boosters of last night's fundraiser for Arnold in La Jolla, however, used the leverage of Schwarzenegger's pending budget cuts to turn out donors.
The San Diego wing of the construction lobby -- Associated General Contractors of America -- urged its members to join Arnold last night to "help erase his campaign debt" and noted in the same breath Arnold's budgetary "raid of funds that should be dedicated to transportation projects" a.k.a. construction jobs.
As the contractors put it on their website: "This sounds all too familiar, doesn't it? Last year, Governor Davis proposed stealing over $1 billion from transportation. Fortunately, AGC worked hard [or contractors gave big] throughout the year to help protect a majority of those funds."
Sound like business as usual, the very type of Gray Davis shakedown Arnold promised not to repeat? We'll know in ten days, when large contributions must be reported to the Secretary of State, how much the construction industry raised. The public expects more than a budget constructed at fundraisers from a governor who promised to end quid pro quos in Sacramento. As long as government dollars and contributors' checks are dispensed in sync, the public can only assume the worst. ArnoldWatch calls on the Governor to give back last's night take and to live up to his pledge not to fundraise while his administration is determining the size of the checks it cuts.
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