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Mar 31, 2004 - 04:15 PM

Pay for Placement

by Doug Heller
Once again Arnold will be touting his message of job growth for California. And once again, the backdrop will be the corporate logo of one of Arnold's campaign contributors. Tomorrow, the Gov. will speak at the groundbreaking of a new facility for bio-tech firm Genentech. Genentech has donated $41,200 to various Schwarzenegger campaigns.

This is becoming one of Arnold's patented moves. "Donate money and I'll bring the world's media to your doorstep and talk about how fantastic a business you are." Remember Arnold urging shoppers to buy cars at the dealership owned by the Boeckman family of campaign contributors? Or his appearance at a groundbreaking for mega-contributor Dole Foods? It is not unheard of that a politician shows up at a groundbreaking event (though, it's usually a local official), but Arnold has a habit of using his public role to advertise his donors' businesses.

As Tuesday's LA Times noted, Arnold is very protective of the use of his image by advertisers. But he keeps selling his image, and with it the state's, to companies for no more than a donation to his political committees. Arnold is claiming that his image is worth $20 million per ad in a lawsuit he has filed. This gives ArnoldWatch an idea for solving the budget deficit. Why doesn't the Gov. make his donors pay $20 million into the state fund each time he rounds up the TV cameras and smiles with the CEO, telling consumers to buy, buy, buy.

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