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How Much From Special Interests?

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Mar 01, 2007 - 01:00 PM

Green Giant

by Doug Heller
 
After national outbreaks of E. coli tied to the California spinach and lettuce industry, one might assume that California's Fitness Guru-in-chief would be working hard to clean up the vegetable industry and protect the Popeye in all of us. But, as the LA Times reports, Arnold is resisting legislation that would ensure more oversight of growers of the leafy greens.

The gov says the agricultural industry should monitor itself, without government looking over its shoulders. This despite the fact that more than 350 people got sick from California greens during the outbreaks last fall.

So why does Arnold want to leave the leaf growers alone? It's the green, of course. Agricultural interests, who are concerned that cleaning up their act might eat into their profits, have given the gov more than $3.7 million in campaign contributions. One agricultural industry donor, A.G. Kawamura, doubles as the Governor's Food and Agriculture Secretary. So, next time you hear about an E. coli outbreak, take comfort in the fact that at least Governor Green Giant didn't offend his big donors.




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