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Aug 20, 2007 - 03:45 PM

Arnold Appointee Says Donations Matter

by Carmen Balber
Kim Fletcher, a $110,600 donor who was appointed to a seat on the Del Mar Fair Board by the governor last month, told the North County Times this Sunday: "Contributions are secondary...I probably could have given less money and still gotten appointed."

Just as some donors give the governor money in hopes of bending his ear on policy issues, others apparently see their gifts as stepping stones to obtaining coveted political and prestige posts.

At least 14 Schwarzenegger appointees are also donors that have given the governor $1.85 million in campaign contributions. 5 of his current appointees to the Del Mar Fair Board gave $467,900.

Schwarzenegger appointee and donor Brent Wilkes was removed from two positions last year when he was implicated in a corruption scandal with former Congressman Duke Cunningham. But asking one donor to leave doesn't wipe the slate clean. The governor's team swears that donations have nothing to do with appointments, but some of his donors apparently think differently. If the gifts didn't grease the wheels, then Schwarzenegger should have no problem giving the money back.

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