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Oct 05, 2005 - 04:15 PM

No Disclosure

by Carmen Balber
When he campaigned for governor, Arnold promised to bring sunshine to Sacramento and embrace full disclosure by politicians. But the ads for the gov's initiative agenda don't even disclose what every other initiative campaign in the state does -- who is paying for them.

Since the governor, teachers, nurses, or cops seem to be featured in every initiative ad for the special election, we've started reading the fine print to figure out who's who. Arnold's TV disclosure says only: "Paid For By Governor Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team."

Other ads tell us whose ideas we're watching. "Paid for By No On 75, Educators, Firefighters, School Employees, Healthcare Givers and Labor Organizations Opposed to Paycheck Deception and Alliance For A Better California, CA Teachers Association Issues PAC, and CA State Council Of Service Employees Issues Committee" shows us public employees and unions produced the No on 75 ad.

"Paid for By Californians Against the Wrong Prescription -- No On Prop 79, Sponsored By The Pharmaceutical Research And Manufacturers Of America And Major Funding Provided By Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, And Other Companies" makes it perfectly clear that the pharmaceutical industry opposes Prop 79.

It's this obvious because California law requires the names of ballot measure committees to include their major donors. Gone are the days of "Californians For Puppies and Ice Cream" because the voters did away with disclosure subterfuge. A second rule requires initiative ads to include the names of the two largest donors to the campaign.

What about Arnold's top givers? The gov is using a loophole in disclosure law to avoid naming his special interest donors.

What should Arnold's committee really be named? The law would suggest: "Governor Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team, A Coalition Of Big Businesses Including The Health Care, Real Estate, Insurance, Entertainment, Technology, Finance and Agriculture Industries With Major Funding Provided By Developer A.G. Spanos and Retired Executive William A. Robinson."

Not pithy, just the facts. Every other campaign plays by the rules. Arnold should too.

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