A new campaign has taken off in the waning days before the election - but it's not really for an office. Emails to Arnold Schwarzenegger's media list aren't just coming from the governor's site; they're also coming from a standalone site: JOIN ARNOLD. All indications from the site itself are that the governor wants to preserve his environmental legacy; encourage political reform; and support the cause of California's infrastructure.
Join Arnold is funded by a committee that's existed since 2002. This year's contributors include some of the most significant opponents to Arnold's environmental legacy - Occidental Petroleum gave him $600,000, after also contributing about half that to the Yes on 23 campaign. PG&E gave this one committee of Arnold's $200,000. (He also raked it in from the CA Dental Association and CA Hospitals Committee.)
Meanwhile, what's the committee been spending money on? Well, Rene Croce, who pulled down $823,000 or so in the last two years.* Mercury Public Affairs was paid $413,000 by this committee alone - and Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw is Join Arnold's lawyer, to the tune of half a million in billings or so. But the biggest expenditure is more than 2 million dollars spent for the successful Yes on 14 campaign: 14's passage was hailed by the Governor as a great day for independent voters.
[*WHO? You're asking. Shane Goldmacher knows, having written a story 4 years ago on Schwarzenegger's Million Dollar Woman. Fun excerpt: "People are so nice they don't ask for anything or want anything," says Croce of donors. "What they want is just to be part of a process."]
This is just one of many of Schwarzenegger related committees. It caught my eye because it's just so darn proud of the governor getting the first-ever climate leadership award from E2. And as he accepts a gift of algal oil aling with his Silicon Valley Leadership Group lifetime achievement award. Etc. But it seems like something fun to keep an eye on as we transition to whoever's next in that office.