Arnold Schwarzenegger was voted into office in a barrage of hyperbole and obfuscation clearly intended to deceive the voters of California. He never sat down for a serious interview – but rather got his message out via soft sitdowns with the likes of Oprah and Entertainment Tonight.
Despite the soft focus, however, he made enough campaign promises to fill 24 single-spaced pages on his website, most of which he broke within days of taking office – and some of which he continues to break over and over again.
Chief among these was his promise not to seek donations – ever. He and his flying monkeys sneered a then-Gov. Gray Davis, who was a prodigious fundraiser, as a political ATM. At first, Schwarzenegger said he would take no campaign money and pledged to work to reform the fundraising system. Later, he said he would take money as long as it was not from a special interest.
Now the governor is heading out across the country “on a whirlwind, 17-event fundraising tour from here to Boston, tapping donors who have a stake in bills soon to arrive at his desk for signature or veto.” His aides say he will likely raise $5 million on this Grand Hypocrisy Tour.
The events come at the end of the legislative session, when past governors and most legislators traditionally have raised money. But Schwarzenegger, who has raised $22 million so far this year, has criticized the practice…
Schwarzenegger will be collecting campaign money from individuals and entities that have major Capitol lobby operations and are embroiled in legislative battles…
Schwarzenegger’s decision to appear at the events marks a reversal from last year, when the governor’s aides made a point of saying that he would steer clear of end-of-session fundraisers.
Early in his tenure, Schwarzenegger had proposed a “black-out” period barring fundraising when the Legislature was in session. He and other Republicans criticized his predecessor, Davis, for holding fundraisers at the end of legislative sessions when governors decide what bills should become law.
“We’re in the middle of a campaign and we have to raise money,” said Marty Wilson, one of the governor’s top political aides.
Wilson said… “We’re very clear with our donors. If people are making inappropriate comment and try to lobby the governor, they will get their contributions returned.”
Yeah, right. After the money is spent on ads which aides have said will be used to create a “phenomenon of anger” against teachers, firefighters and cops.