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How Much From Special Interests?

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Jul 15, 2004 - 07:35 PM

A Budget Coup d'Etat

by Doug Heller and Jerry Flanagan
In a press conference this evening to explain the budget stalemate, Arnold repeatedly blamed special interests for getting in the way of resolution. It was exactly these kinds of distractions that led Arnold-the-Campaigner to promise that he would put an end to fundraising while budgeting.

But what about all that special interest money that Arnold has been raising this budget season, like the $54K from mega-mortgage firm Ameriquest this week?

Or how about the fact that one of the biggest sticking points in this budget is whether or not to repeal a bill that has nothing to do with the state's budget but everything to do with Schwarzenegger's special interest campaign contributors? The law under attack by the Chamber of Commerce and others in Arnold's Army allows employees to challenge employer labor violations.

Schwarzenegger is apparently prepared to shut down the government if lawmakers refuse to repeal this employee protection law. Using the budget to toss out a duly enacted law is to turn the government over to the special interests. Will Arnold continue to hold the state's $100 billion budget hostage and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of state employees and their families, in order to pull a special interest coup d'etat?

Arnold's press conference platitudes about special interest control of government is not such a good alibi when he has been aiding and abetting the crime.


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