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Dec 15, 2006 - 10:45 AM
Inaugural "Money In" Still A Secretby Judy Dugan
Governor Schwarzenegger still has not disclosed, as he promised, what companies are footing the bill for the two-day bash he's planning for his second inauguration. Perhaps his campaign staff is waiting for an unobtrusive Friday afternoon between two holidays in hopes that the press corps will be too busy counting sugarplums to call him to task for, yet again, ignoring the political reform promise that gave him his office three years ago: cleaning the special interests out of Sacramento.
Invitations to contribute to the inaugural ask for pledges amounts of $50,000 for a "Gold" sponsorship, including 10 tickets to a lunch with legislators and a private reception with the Gov., plus seats at the swearing-in. $15,000 for a "Silver" sponsorship buys just two tickets. An L.A. Times story on Dec. 4th revealed that "The governor's political team has approached Chevron Corp., PG&E, Blue Cross of California, AT&T and other businesses," for big donations, and that Southern California Edison admits to ponying up $15,000. But from the governor's staff, not a word.
So far, the inauguration slush fund amounts to secret access to the governor and legislators. It may not be illegal, but it's pay-for-play at its smelliest.
One other tidbit... For ordinary folks who might want to help out with $25 or so, the "contribute here" button on the inaugural web site sends them straight to a donation form for Arnold's reelection campaign committee -- which means that they can clean up Arnold's boring campaign debts but won't be allowed to rub shoulders at the private inauguration events.
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