More heat for the Governator as Massachusetts residents complain about Arhnold’s fundraising event at the Rolling Stones’ Boston concert.
Massachusetts residents want California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to comply with state laws that cap how much can be added to the price of concert tickets and make the block of Rolling Stones tickets he is selling to campaign contributors available to the general public. Schwarzenegger is hosting a political fundraiser for himself in which donors who pay $10,000 get a front and center seat to the concert and those who pay $100,000 get a ticket to join the Governor in a luxury box. Schwarzenegger reportedly received the event tickets from the tour sponsor, Ameriquest, which is embroiled in state investigations into its unfair lending practices.
Under Massachusetts’ anti-scalping law, tickets can only be resold with a minimal mark-up over face value. Consumer advocates at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) believe that $450 is the approximate face value of the seats that Schwarzenegger is selling for $10,000.
Schwarzenegger is selling the Stones tickets at hugely inflated rates to raise money for his campaign in order to push a series of ballot initiatives in an extra election he has called for this November. Polls show a majority of California voters don’t want to spend the $80 million estimated cost to run a special election since there is a 2006 primary already scheduled for June, according to the non-profit FTCR. Schwarzenegger, who has traveled around the country a number of times to raise money for his political campaigns, has set a goal of raising $50 million for his special election.
Arhnold, who pledged not to raise “special interest” money when he intially ran for Governor in 2003, “has already raised about $50 million.”
Early in his campaign, Schwarzenegger announced:
“Any of those kinds of real big, powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them something.” And, “I will go to Sacramento and I will clean house. I don’t have to take money from anybody. I have plenty of money.”
Many Californians who voted for Arhnold have now realized they were taken to the cleaners. Arhnold’s popularity ratings have plummeted, as Bush’s have; and support for Democratic candidate for Governor, Phil Angelides is on the rise.
“Arnold was elected on a promise to clean special interests out of politics and focus on the needs of Californians. Instead, he’s traveling around the country, scalping rock concert tickets for a hundred grand a piece to any special interest that wants access during the key weeks of the legislative session,” said FTCR’s Heller.