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Jun 14, 2006 - 03:40 PM

How Much for That Loophole in the Window?

by Carmen Balber
Arnold blasted budget season fundraising during the recall campaign, declaring it "inherently suspect for politicians to be taking money from lobbyists while they are spending the people's money."

He even sponsored a bill that would have banned fundraising during budget negotiations.

What, then, is Arnold doing this budget season? Quietly collecting campaign cash from companies with billion-dollar budget questions on the table.

One of those questions is a plan to lower corporate taxes by allowing companies to change how the state taxes them. (Read today's LA Times story) Among the big players pushing the deal are Cisco, Applied Materials and Genentech. The gov took $133K from the three in just the last month as the budget was being negotiated.

Arnold, of course, has to sign or veto any corporate tax break squeezed into this year's budget. To avoid the appearance of a quid pro quo he'll have to return the money, or veto the plan, if a budget giveaway to campaign contributors reaches his desk.

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