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How Much From Special Interests?

The Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

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News Archive - Web Logs - Press Releases

Dec 22, 2003 - 03:30 PM

A Dimension With No Contribution Limits

by Carmen Balber and Doug Heller
 
Recently ArnoldWatch called on the Governor to divest his $1 million-plus holdings in Dimensional Fund Advisors - a private mutual fund company that has a contract to manage $636 million for CalPERS, the state's pension fund.

If the conflict of a governor gaining financially from the decisions of a CalPERS board he has control over isn't bad enough, here's another reason Arnold must sell off his shares - purported to be up to 25% of the company's ownership (though his actual stake is as-of-yet undisclosed):

Dimensional manages money for an extensive list of corporate clients, including some of the biggest special interests active in the state: Verizon Communications, Citigroup, Pfizer Inc., Unocal, and WellPoint Health Networks (Blue Cross), AT&T Corporation, BellSouth Corporation, Boeing Corporation, Boise Cascade Corporation, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Sprint Corporation. These companies have a huge stake in many of California's hotly debated issues.

While the maximum campaign donation these corporations can make is $21,200, any one of them could give $21 million or more for Dimensional to manage, from which Arnold can make a fortune. And all the corporate money coming to the Gov through Dimensional won't be seen by the public since privately-held Dimensional reports little to the SEC, and the governor doesn't have to disclose more than the limited information we already have. We may never know how deep the Dimensional slush fund goes.

Arnold must clean up his own financial house if he has any hope of credibly laying claim to cleaning up Sacramento.

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