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Jun 23, 2004 - 04:40 PM

Is Arnold Twisting Arms at the FPPC?

by Carmen Balber
The Fair Political Practices Commission ("FPPC") will vote this Friday on a regulation which would interpret Prop 34's limits on contributions to political candidates to include contributions to ballot measure committees they control.

The San Jose Mercury News reports today that the Gov's campaign lawyer and committee treasurer is leaning on the FPPC to trash those proposed regulations which, not incidentally, would limit the now-unchecked flow of cash into the governor's labyrinth of ballot measure committees. Read the letter to the FPPC.

That voters, with the passage of Prop 34 in 2000, intended to limit the amount of money politicians can raise from each donor seems fairly clear: Prop 34 declares it intends to "minimize the potentially corrupting influence and appearance of corruption caused by large contributions by providing reasonable contribution and voluntary expenditure limits."

Can anyone reasonably believe that a $250,000 donation by Ameriquest Capital to one of Governor Schwarzenegger's ballot measure committees (not to mention the $150,000 more Ameriquest and its executives gave to other Arnold-controlled committees, or the six-digit donations by other special interests) does not exceed the "reasonable" contribution limits intended by the voters? Apparently, the Governor -- who said of special interests "if you take money from them, you owe them something" -- is blind to the appearance of corruption when it infects his own house of cards.

The FPPC is also in the midst of an investigation into Arnold's money shuffle between the multiple ballot measure committees to which he raises unlimited funds. Considering the ongoing investigation, and the Governor's recent attempt to slash the FPPC's budget by 15%, the Governor would do best to sit this round out.

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