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Mar 01, 2005

CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, (310) 392-0522 ext. 319

Don't Sign: Stop the Poll Tax

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) warned California voters today that by signing Schwarzenegger-backed ballot initiatives, taxpayers could be faced with a "poll tax" for a special election this November with an estimated cost of $70 million. The governor announced today a signature gathering drive for ballot initiatives to privatize state public pensions, put retired judges in charge of legislative redistricting and change the way a teacher's pay is calculated.

"California voters have a right to know, your signature amounts to a poll tax of $70 million," said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR. "This special election is little more that a ploy to get around state campaign finance laws that bar Schwarzenegger from appearing in big money television commercials promoting ballot initiatives during election years in which he is a candidate for office."

For more information on the campaign finance laws, read FTCR's recent letter to Governor Schwarzenegger at:

"Air Arnold," two banner planes pulling messages for the governor flew over the Oscars ceremony, criticizing Schwarzenegger as a "bad actor" for breaking his promise to remove big money from politics and raising $80,000 a day in his first year in office. Schwarzenegger has raised twice as much as his predecessor Gray Davis, whom Schwarzenegger replaced for being a cash register politician. One of the banner messages over the Oscars read, "Arnold: Bad Actors Make Worse Governors - /"

Another lighted banner message, flew over the Vanity Fair post-Oscars party, read "Governor: Please Stop the Fundraising - the People." Governor Schwarzenegger recently told the Los Angeles Times about his excessive fundraising: "The people don't see it as a negative. Maybe the press does, but the people don't. I have never seen anyone come up to me and say, Governor, please stop the fundraising."

Despite promises that Schwarzenegger made to voters to clean up cash-register politics, the governor has raised $40 million since taking office and has announced plans to raise another $50 million from big industry for his re-election campaign.

Air Arnold is organized by the California Nurses Association and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights which runs

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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is the state's leading nonprofit and nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. For more information visit us on the web at

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