Seems like when California politicians needs money, they fly over to Florida. Witness recent L.A. mayoral candidate (and winner this week) Antonio Villaraigosa, who paid a visit to South Florida and went home with a full coffer. The word is out that Florida has big bucks to give, especially if you’re a Republican. And a Republican named Arnold has to be worth major bling.
Gov. Jeb Bush will join Schwarzenegger at fund-raisers in Florida this weekend to raise cash for ballot measures aimed at side-stepping the Democratic-controlled Legislature of California.
In doing so, Bush is drawing criticism from both coasts for helping out with Schwarzenegger’s initiative campaigns.
This is funny, since Jeb and the Florida Legislature just spent considerable time and energy figuring out how to keep the “citizen” out of citizen initiatives.
“I think there is a certain bit of irony there,” said Ben Wilcox, executive director of Florida Common Cause, which has fought Bush and Florida’s Republican-led Legislature over efforts to restrict ballot measures.
“It always seems that people don’t like the citizens’ initiative process, unless their initiative is in play.”
Arnold is leaving no cash cow unmilked, with at least three events in three cities in three days.
The Orlando fund-raiser will take place at the Isleworth home of time-share magnate David Siegel, where seats are priced from $5,000 to $25,000.
Co-host is Robert Earl, chief executive officer of Planet Hollywood. Schwarzenegger, the former Mr. Universe and star of the Terminator films, is a past investor who promoted the restaurant chain in the 1990s.
So what’s in it for Jeb? Just trying to help those poor lost souls on the Left Coast.
“I am helping Gov. Schwarzenegger because I support his efforts to bring California out of its morass,” Bush said in an e-mail to the Orlando Sentinel.
Jeb would probably throw one of his trusted aides in front of a high-speed bullet train (you didn’t think he’d leap himself, did you?) to stop what Arnold wants if anyone tried it here.
In Florida, Bush has said repeatedly that he opposes the concept behind one of Schwarzenegger’s measures — having an independent commission draw voting district lines.
While Schwarzenegger is looking to take redistricting out of Democratic hands, Bush prefers that it stay with the Republican-dominated Legislature in Florida.