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Sep 20, 2006 - 05:00 PM

HP = Huge (Arnold) Patron, Headed to Prison, Hoping for Pardon?

by Doug Heller
Technology giant and Big-Brother-emulator Hewlett-Packard just gave Arnold another $25K. That moves the snoopiest firm in Silicon Valley up to #31 on the list of biggest donors to the Gov, with $296,200 given to Arnold to date. Maybe HP is trying to shore up it's government allies in the wake of revelations about the firms' corporate surveillance program -- HP had reportedly been spying on its own board members, employees and even spouses and reporters. Or maybe the spooks at HP don't want Arnold to sign any privacy related legislation, like the Identity Information Protection Act of 2006 (SB 768 by Senator Simitian). Or perhaps HP is afraid that all this spying they've been doing might make Arnold think twice about renewing the various taxpayer-funded contracts the company has with the state.

Whatever the reason for HP giving to the Gov, the Gov should give the cash back. It's bad enough that Arnold has taken nearly $300K from a company that is trying to influence government decisions and signing contracts with the state. (Whatever happened to Arnold's pledge not to accept money from people with whom he negotiates?) The fact that the Attorney General told the LA Times that he already has enough evidence to indict people inside HP should have been enough for the Governor to steer clear of their campaign cash.

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