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How Much From Special Interests?

The Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

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Press Release
May 25, 2005 - 01:00 AM


CONTACT: David Fink, 818-458-9397 (cell), Jerry Flanagan, 310-392-0522 x319

College Student Asks Gov Why He’s “Too Chicken” to Commit to Graduation Speech

Sacramento, CA -- A Santa Monica City College student called Governor Schwarzenegger "chicken" today for refusing to confirm his appearance at the college's graduation ceremony in June until 48 hours before the event.

The student, wearing a bright yellow chicken costume, joined nurses and consumer advocates this morning to confront Schwarzenegger outside a Chamber of Commerce event to ask him why he will commit to talk to industry executives but not to nurses and students.

"Governor Schwarzenegger called students 'special interests' as an excuse to raise tuition fees and now he's too chicken to talk to us," said Santa Monica City College student Trevor Dilling.

Santa Monica college students in chicken suits plan to follow the Governor around the state until he agrees to talk to them. At the press conference today, nurses and consumer advocates said that Governor Schwarzenegger is ducking public events because he is afraid of scrutiny on his record-setting fundraising and pandering to special interests.

"Schwarzenegger is too chicken to face the public so he ducks events where he'd likely face tough questions and enters his fundraisers through the back door, " said David Fink of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). "Schwarzenegger has no problem appearing before big industry donors who will benefit from his proposed special election this November but the Governor refuses to talk to real Californians."

FTCR cited a long list of reasons why Governor Schwarzenegger is "too chicken" to confront teachers, nurses, students, and taxpayers. For example, the Governor:

* announced plans to raise college student fees instead of blocking an $80 million taxpayer-funded giveaway to some of the state's largest corporations who did not pay taxes last year (for more information visit www.ftcr.org/corporate/pr/pr004833.php3);

* threatened to call a special election in November that will largely benefit his big industry contributors and cost taxpayers $70 million even though there is a regularly scheduled election just seven months later;

* violated campaign promises by raising $44 million in his first year in office -- an average of $80,000 per day -- after claiming in his campaign that such campaign contributions corrupted policy decisions;

* used his emergency powers to repeal hospital safety rules requiring that there be enough nurses on duty in hospitals to take care of patients (Click here for more information);

* announced plans to require the disabled to join HMOs who'll be allowed to limit access to health care (Click here for more information);

* supported overturning the "Consumer Bill of Rights" that state regulators approved last year to protect consumers against cell phone overcharges, unfair practices, poor connections and other abuses (Click here for more information);

* proposed to dissolve dozens of public oversight boards that protect the public from consumer rip-offs, dangerous doctors, and other special interest attacks (Click here for more information).

For a web log chronicling Governor Schwarzenegger's betrayal of the public trust visit: http://www.ArnoldWatch.org (run by FTCR).

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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is the state's leading nonprofit and nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. For more information visit us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org




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