Thursday, February 17, 2005

Common Cause Lost Its Common Sense

Common Cause has done some good work in the past, but they no longer have my support. They've apparently been "taken in" by Gropinator Schwarzenazi's star power and are now supporting his attempt to redistrict California.

I want to let you know that this afternoon we are going to join forces with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to put an end to California's failed system for drawing Congressional and state Legislative boundaries.

FTCR: Questions About Schwarzenegger's Common Cause with Common Cause2/17/2005 9:02:00 AM

To: National and State Desk Contact: Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, 310-392-0522 ext. 327

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 17 U.S. Newswire -- Governor Schwarzenegger, under increased scrutiny in California for illegal campaign fundraising and broken campaign promises, will try to shore up his image today at the offices of DC-based Common Cause.

The nonpartisan Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) raised the following questions regarding Common Cause's expected announcement today of support for a "compromise" model proposal on redistricting - a plan very different from the redistricting ballot initiative planned for 2005 by Schwarzenegger in California.

-- Does Common Cause oppose the redistricting ballot initiatives on file with the California Secretary of State to be circulated for the November 2005 special election? Staffers informed FTCR that Common Cause opposes the ballot initiatives on file. There is no time to collect signatures for a "compromise" plan in 2005.

-- Will Schwarzenegger wait until 2006 to submit the Common Cause compromise plan or go ahead in 2005 with a plan Common Cause opposes?

-- Is Common Cause opposed to Arnold Schwarzenegger's practice of raising contributions in excess of $22,300 for committees sponsoring his special election ballot measures -- practices being challenged for violating state campaign finance laws?

-- If Schwarzenegger does not agree to redistricting only once per decade and Common Cause does not agree to mid-decade redistricting, how can there be a compromise?

The redistricting initiatives and others supported by Schwarzenegger for a special November 2005 election are being used by Schwarzenegger to evade state campaign finance laws limiting how much money a political figure can raise for initiative campaigns, a tactic Common Cause opposes. See Arnold Watch

"Governor Schwarzenegger, who ran on a platform of sweeping money out of politics, is the poster child for cash register politics by raising more money in a year than any California politician or $80,000 per day," said FTCR president Jamie Court. "The California public should understand any redistricting proposal they will vote on this year is not one that has the approval of Common Cause or any other campaign finance reform group. Schwarzenegger should not be allowed to pull a bait and switch by winning Common Cause's endorsement for a model plan and substituting a ballot initiative on redistricting opposed by every public interest group in the state and nation."

FTCR is California's leading non-partisan consumer advocacy organization.
© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770