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May 18, 2005 - 03:35 PM

CA Contractors & Oilman Host Texas Shakedown

by Jamie Court and David Fink
According to a fundraising invitation, the hosts of Arnold's Monday night fundraiser in Dallas are Jeff Rich, the CEO of state approved contractor ACS Inc; Bob Schlegel, Chairman and CEO of the Pavestone Company, which has a state construction contract worth $113,000; and Texas Oilman T. Boone Pickens. Pickens said recently that the US will see a boom market for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) imports and, not surprisingly, Schwarzenegger called on the federal government this week to maintain state oversight of LNG and LNG terminals to be built on the West Coast. That gives Schwarzenegger continued jurisdiction over an area of great interest to Pickens.
For 50 grand, Texas friends of the hosts can buy a photo and two seats at the Governor's table. 25G gets four seats at another table and a photo. This Texas shindig sounds an awful lot like a Texas Shakedown. Arnold should cancel, the way he recently closed down his fundraiser at the home of Harry C. Elliot III after the construction company owner told the Los Angeles Times that he wanted to ask Arnold about gutting the California Environmental Quality Act, whose environmental standards have cut into the profits of builders like Elliot and Schlegel since it was enacted 35 years ago.

Yesterday six San Diego pension board members were indicted for violating Government Code Section 1090, which prohibits members of public boards from having a financial interest in any contract the board engages in. Surely, the spirit of that law should apply to a Governor profiting from out-of-state contractors who raise six-figure donations to salvage Arnold's political future.

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