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Jan 05, 2005 - 01:10 PM

Good Government Resolutions

by Doug Heller and Carmen Balber
Here are a few New Year resolutions ArnoldWatch would like to hear from the Governor as he talks about reforming state government and cleaning up politics in tonight's State of the State speech.

1. I will stop raising money into multiple political accounts as a way to get around the maximum contribution law (while state law limits donations to the Governor to $22,300, Arnold keeps open a series of accounts so he can take far more by splitting big donations into multiple committees).

2. I won't use taxpayer-paid state employees to staff my political activities (Arnold's recently released calendar indicates that the Gov's Communications Director, Legislative Director and Chief of Staff staffed partisan fundraising events. The FBI is currently investigating Secretary of State Kevin Shelley for sending state employees to political activities).

3. I will collect debts owed to the state before I make drastic cuts in state programs (an audit found that drug companies owe as much as $1.3 billion in prescription drug rebates, a lawsuit claims that Blue Cross owes $500 million in unpaid taxes and dozens of corporations are asking for millions in tax refunds even though they paid no state taxes. The "Collectinator" has ignored this taxpayer money).

4. I will release my real calendar, not just a trimmed down version that keeps Californians in the dark about my activities (the Gov's much touted publication of his calendar didn't include most of the important details about Arnold's schedule, like who attended an "Energy Briefing" or the "CRT Finance Meeting").

5. I will not allow my staff to accept gifts or trips from special interests (last year Arnold's staff received tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from corporate interests with business before the state).

6. I won't stand for politicians who kill legislation by not-voting, a practice which lawmakers use to protect special interests without the consequences of voting against a popular bill (a recent USC study found that one-third of the bills that die in the Capitol are killed because politicians fail to vote, despite rules requiring otherwise).

7. I will close down the string of non-profit groups that I have created to promote my political image, because these groups hide contributors to me, and that doesn't fit with my call for sunshine in politics (Arnold has refused to make public donors to his "Jobs Commission" and "Recovery Team" groups).

8. I will not write "emergency" regulations every time big businesses want me to throw out public protection rules (see Dec 16, 2004 weblog:

9. I will not appoint any more donors or executives who work for donors into my administration.

10. I will not sign any legislation that did not receive a full public hearing (smoke-filled tents, dead of night decision-making and bills in print only a few hours before the final vote were characteristic of Arnold's biggest legislative deals during his first year).

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