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Oct 17, 2007 - 10:37 AM

Media Has Arnold's Number

by Carmen Balber
I recounted yesterday how big business made out like bandits this year when the dust cleared on the governor's bill signings, but didn't have a chance to share the media's take on the same.

Here's a sampling:

In the LA Times: "Big business on a hot streak with governor"
    When the smoke cleared Monday, there were plenty of grins and grumbles. But no group in Sacramento was smiling wider than one of the governor's most predictable allies: big business and its Sacramento mouthpiece, the California Chamber of Commerce.

"Donor-backed bills challenge governor"
    They would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, including a hike in the "car tax" that Schwarzenegger vilified in his first campaign for office. And signing them would belie his self-styled image as a reformer who won't stand for business as usual in the Capitol, because they were forged in classic under-the-radar deal-making.

    The measures as passed were not publicly debated. They received little vetting by policy experts. They were not fully written until the clock had almost run out on lawmakers preparing to adjourn and get out of town last month. And key provisions were shaped by a small group of big campaign contributors.

"Motorist fee increases signed by governor"
    Some consumer advocates accused Nuņez of slipping the bill through in the waning hours of the legislative session to let oil companies -- big campaign contributors in Sacramento -- off the hook financially for the cost of meeting clean-air and alternative fuel goals.

    "Instead of going to the deep pockets of big oil, this bill goes to the much shallower pockets of the average consumer," said Judy Dugan, research director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "It's business as usual in the Capitol."

And in the Sacramento Bee: "Governor rushes to clear bills"
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has used his governorship to raise environmental awareness and push healthy eating, on Sunday vetoed bills that would have forced chain restaurants to post nutritional information and encouraged "green" construction of buildings.

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