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Jul 16, 2010 - 04:00 PM

FPPC should axe Arnold's illegal budget ads

by Mark Reback
Late last year, we lobbied the state's ethics agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), to adopt new rules aimed at preventing ballot measure committees controlled by elected officials from promoting the officials rather than the initiatives and referendums. This was in order to stop abuses like Governor Schwarzenegger's California "Dream Team" committee, which is set up to advocate for ballot measures, spending $523,000 on executive jet services to shuttle Arnold around last year.

The new regulations were indeed adopted back in January, but apparently Arnold doesn't care, and is at it again.

We sent a letter of complaint to the FPPC Wednesday, alerting them that the governator has improperly used funds from his California "Dream Team" committee, which is set up to advocate for ballot measures, to pay for statewide TV ads touting his position on the budget crisis, and the ads have nothing to do with any ballot measure, past, present or future. And we also highlighted the hundreds of thousands of corporate special interest dollars lavished on the gov's committee in the first half of this year, during the statewide special election and the current budget negotiations.

The LA Times reported that the California Democratic Party also filed a similar complaint with the FPPC yesterday, which seeks an injunction to stop the ads. In an interview, state Democratic Party Chairman John Burton called for immediate action. "The ads should be taken off the air. They violate the regulations of the FPPC," said Burton.

Agreed. Maybe Arnold would be working a bit harder on fixing the budget debacle, and less time illegally promoting his image, if his jacuzzi and stogie smoking time was in danger...

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