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Oct 29, 2004 - 12:48 PM

Political Trick or Special Interest Treat

by Douglas Heller and Jamie Court
Arnold claims that he is going to "scare the special interests" during his statewide tour on Halloween. Scare them. With what? The $37 million in special interest money he has received since taking office? "Thank you for all your cash, and, umm... Boo!" Speaking of spooky, Wal-Mart heir John Walton gave Arnold $200,000 a few weeks back, after Arnold vetoed an increase in the state's minimum wage and a bill to stop Wal-Mart from locking its employees in overnight, a pretty eerie coincidence. And, frightening, Arnold will be stumping this weekend against Prop 72, which Walmart recently gave $500,000 to oppose since the world's largest retailer doesn't provide health coverage for all its California workers and dependents. And what might leave you pale as a ghost: $50K to Arnold from Blue Cross of California this month -- after Arnold's regulator approved the parent company's merger with Anthem and Arnold vetoed legislation requiring the insurer to cover maternity benefits.

But what's really scary is a new analysis of campaign statements showing that Schwarzenegger has received over $4.7 million from the big business backers who have given over $4.7 million to Prop 64. The special interests giving to Prop 64 have given virtually the same exact amount to Arnold. Pretty creepy! (See a full analysis at$.pdf ).

During Arnold's weekend tour, he will be trying to scare the public into voting for Prop 64 . The primary backer of Governor Schwarzenegger's bus tour is Ameriquest, which has given $1,169,000 to Schwarzenegger and $50,000 to Prop 64. The mortgage company has faced lawsuits for predatory lending under the Unfair Competition law that Prop 64 proposes to gut. (Visit for more on the initiative)

Given the corporate funders of Prop 64 and Arnold's advocacy of it, showing up as a man of the people is just a costume. The real Arnold is of the Phillip Morris, for the Tycos, and by the Exxons.

With all the treats that Arnold has been getting from the special interests, his Halloween "reform tour" is a trick on Californians.

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