Brother, Can You Spare $500,000?
I'm not asking any of you to break the bank, but I have to
get to New York for an Arnold Schwarzenegger fundraising
dinner Feb. 24, and I can't afford a seat at the table.
Actually, maybe you will have to break the bank.
Schwarzenegger is asking high rollers to help fund his bond
measure campaign, and he wants them to write a check in the
amount of â€¦ wait a minute.
You have to sit down for this.
Are you ready?
He's asking for as much as $500,000.
HALF A MILLION DOLLARS!
I've never heard of a $500,000 political donation, and I
have to see it in person. It's an astronomical sum,
obviously, but that's only half the fun. It's being
requested by the very guy who promised he would strap
explosives to politics as usual and take a sledgehammer to
Yeah, Gray Davis made treks to New York, hat in hand. He'd
have flown to the moon if he thought there was a banquet
hall up there. But the whole point of electing Arnold
Schwarzenegger was to terminate that kind of pathetic
grubbing, not to mention the pandering to donors.
Now Arnold turns out to be Davis on steroids, times a
thousand, and I think it's in the public interest for me to
be a fly on the wall when Big Boy breaks bread in New
Let me make it easy on you, folks. All I need is for
500,000 readers to send me $1 each. If that's too much to
ask, my fallback is to beg 50,000 readers for $1 apiece,
because Schwarzenegger apparently will let you in the door
for a suggested minimum pop of $50,000.
I think I could raise the 50 grand, but I don't want to end
up shoved into a corner, talking to some sap who hasn't
gotten over the Dodgers bolting Brooklyn. Get me the
$500,000, which makes me a "California Recovery Team
Chair," and I'll be able to whisper in Arnold's ear like
all the Big Apple's high rollers.
As you might be aware, polls say a majority of Californians
are turning thumbs down to Schwarzenegger's $15-billion
bond proposal, which will cost us billions more in
interest. But he figures if he can raise $9 million for an
ad campaign, we'll march to the polls like sheep and bail
My guess is, he's right. A lot of people have been
star-struck from Day 1, and gladly overlook
Schwarzenegger's little inconsistencies, like his promising
to end the days of borrowing our way out of debt.
If I were to bang out a column every time he was careless
with the truth, I'd have to write every day and sleep on a
cot in the office.
Take his current roadshow, in which the governor claims he
inherited the budget gap. He inherited most of it, but he
dug the hole even deeper when he rescinded a car-tax
During his campaign, he said he was going to square the
books by ferreting out billions in waste, fraud and abuse,
and then he hired finance chief Donna Arduin to do his
digging. But like Punxsutawney Phil, all she brought up
from the hole was her own shadow.
Now Schwarzenegger is taking his act to Broadway, and Jamie
Court, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights,
is coming out of his shoes.
First of all, Court screams, the bond and money barons are
in New York, and they're all smiling like thieves as they
count the loot they'll make on California's Prop. 57. (I'm
asking you to please send me $1 today, before those Wall
Street jackals buy every seat at the fundraiser.)
And secondly, Court snaps, the event is being hosted at the
Trump Tower home of Robert Wood Johnson IV, of the Johnson
& Johnson family.
That company and other pharmaceuticals are lobbying against
bulk purchasing of drugs, Court says, a practice that would
save taxpayers money but cost the drug companies.
And Schwarzenegger declared this consumer protection week
in California, snarls Court, who takes the irony one step
Pharmaceutical companies owe California $1.3 billion in
rebates on drug purchases for Medi-Cal patients going back
10 years, says a new federal audit cited by the Orange
You'd think a governor who kept promising to audit
everything in sight would have found such an obvious
screw-up. But this kind of lapse is to be expected when you
spend so much time at political fundraisers.
Court says if the governor cracked down on his buddies in
the drug industry, he'd have that $1.3 billion in hand and
could nix proposed healthcare funding cuts of more than
Sure, but don't expect me to scold Arnold for every glib
contradiction. As long as he sticks with the Hollywood
hustle, I've got more in the bank than Donald Trump.
A judge says he illegally funded his campaign, and
Schwarzenegger calls the ruling fantastic.
He blows a kiss to cities, then backhands them.
He plans to have himself investigated, then drops the
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all
I am the egg man
I am the Walrus
Goo goo g' joob
See the article on Los Angeles Times website