May 12, 2008

Schwarzenegger calls for more junkets

Governor Schwarzenegger, who has displayed incredible ineptitude in developing international trade and economic development policies for California, has brazenly called for State officials to take more junkets with Corporate money. As reported in a L.A. Times article entitled “See the world, let special interests pay”:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday encouraged lawmakers — especially those from small towns — to do more globe-trotting on the dime of special interests. Speaking at a forum on global economics held by the nonprofit Milken Institute, the governor suggested lawmakers would be more willing to embrace his plans to privatize the building of roads, schools, high-speed rail systems and other public works if they could see how effectively it has worked in other countries.

“Some of them come from those little towns, you know what I am saying, they come from those little towns and they don’t have that vision yet of an airport or of a highway that maybe has 10 lanes or of putting a highway on top of a highway,” Schwarzenegger said. “They look at you and say, ‘We don’t have that in my town. What are you talking about?’

“So they are kind of shocked when you say certain things. So I like them to travel around.” Such travel is typically paid for by a combination of special interests with business before the Legislature and foreign governments.

It usually involves stays at luxury resorts, high-end dining and the option of bringing a spouse along. Schwarzenegger has jetted around the world on “trade missions” paid for by donors whose identity is not disclosed. Campaign finance reformers are troubled by the ethical issues raised by such trips. Schwarzenegger said he is not.

“I am always against when the media beats up” on lawmakers “for traveling around because someone else is paying for their trips,” he said. “I mean, so what. If they were to take the money from the taxpayers,” then the media “would complain about using tax dollars to travel around the world and live in luxury and all this stuff.

Filed under California Politics, Governor Schwarzenegger by

Leave a Comment

Fields marked by an asterisk (*) are required.

Made with an easy to customize WordPress theme • Blues skin by TechieCoach