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Mar 21, 2007 - 12:40 PM

AT&T Delivers 500Gs For Arnold -- Will It Get To The Kids?

by Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
The Gov had to go out of state yesterday, straight into the heart of Texas, to pick up a $500,000 check from AT&T for his favorite charity, Arnold's All Stars. The payment comes about six months after Arnold delivered big for AT&T with a pay-tv and telecommunications deregulation law that was supposed to clear the way for AT&T to deliver fiber-optics to Californians. Those lines have not been laid and its pay-tv service has not become available, but AT&T has been given the right to bypass 500 local franchising authorities as it grows where it wants. It paid little more than $2,000 recently for a state pay-tv franchise.

Let's hope the money AT&T forked over in the Lone Star state at least goes to the kids and their after-school programs, not just the Friends of Arnold who administer Arnold's All Stars and its glitzy promotions. A quick check of the latest tax returns for the Arnold's All Stars, also known as "After-School All Stars Los Angeles," with the Attorney General's Charitable Trust Division shows a nonprofit that appears very top heavy given its $2.1 million budget. The executive director's salary at $225,000 is much higher than nonprofits of comparable size. The national After-School All Stars, which shares an address but not a tax return with After-School All Stars Los Angeles, paid its President and CEO an even more imposing $472,917 -- nearly 10% of the national group's $5.2 million budget that year.

Of course, AT&T wasn't thinking about the kids when it put up the money.

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