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NEWS RELEASE
Mar 02, 2005


CONTACT: Carmen Balber - 310-392-0522 x324

FTCR to Schwarzenegger: Fire Wilson

Japan Trip Reveals Insurmountable Conflicts of Interest
Santa Monica -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today called on Governor Schwarzenegger to fire his chief fundraiser and campaign consultant, Marty Wilson, for irreconcilable conflicts of interest. Wilson is a global manager for Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L), the public relations firm recommended by the governor's office for a no-bid contract to manage his trip to Japan as revealed in a Public Records Act request made by FTCR.

"Marty Wilson's most recent role as go-between for your office and MS&L is undeniable proof that his service to you is conflicted by personal financial gain. Taxpayers have no option but to assume that your decisions are being influenced by an advisor with private, not public, interests in mind," wrote FTCR. "As Wilson has shown himself unwilling to either eliminate his conflicts of interest or step aside, your only choice is to fire him."

Read the letter to Governor Schwarzenegger below, or at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporate/rp/rp004913.pdf
The documents obtained in the Public Records Act request are available from FTCR.

Manning Selvage & Lee received the $212,000 contract to produce the main promotional event of Governor Schwarzenegger's Japan trip, the California Festival. At least two other companies that employ Wilson's firm Wilson-Miller Communications, CGI-AMS and ChevronTexaco, also received business from the administration or rely on its support.

"As your chief fundraiser, Wilson is likely the man who solicited these corporations for your campaign committees. He was probably involved in the fundraising push for the Japan trip as well, which your office has refused to shed any light on. For all the public knows, Wilson conceived the whole trip, which our Public Records Act request revealed was also a waste of taxpayer dollars and included a $5,404 plane ticket paid for out of the state's general fund," read FTCR's letter.

The Public Records Act request also revealed that privately raised funds, state budget money and federal grants all paid for portions of the governor's marketing production in Japan.

-30-

--
March 2, 2005


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

Marty Wilson's loyalties are for sale. He gets paid to promote you and raise your campaign cash, and at the same time is paid to lobby for businesses that will profit from your support. As Wilson has shown himself unwilling to either eliminate his conflicts of interest or step aside, your only choice is to fire him.

Wilson and his firm Wilson-Miller Communications have been paid $310,000 by your political committees for campaign work and fundraising.

Wilson is also the Managing Director of West Coast Public Affairs for the public relations firm Manning Selvage & Lee. Through Wilson-Miller he represents the oil industry as well as the business and technology firm CGI-AMS. Each of these companies has matters before your office, has contributed money to your campaigns, or has received a government contract from your administration.

Upon your office's recommendation, Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L) was given a no-bid contract with the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) worth over $200,000 to manage your November trip to Japan. According to documents obtained through a Public Records Act request, Marty Wilson acted as liaison between your office and CDFA. Wilson admitted to television reporters that he "worked with both the MS&L and Dentsu [MS&L's Japanese counterpart] teams on the Governor's trip," though he denied getting paid.

Wilson-Miller Communications was hired by state contractor CGI-AMS to help "persuade state departments" to use its procurement systems. CGI-AMS gave you a $25,000 donation just weeks before your office awarded it the multi-million dollar contract.

Wilson's PR firm also represents the oil industry in its attempt to promote the use of liquefied natural gas to your administration and the California public. The oil companies lobbying for the use of liquefied natural gas in California will all need approvals from your administration or the Public Utilities Commission you appointed. ChevronTexaco, one of the primary industry players, has also given your campaign committees $222,200.

Wilson's connections to you as a campaign advisor and fundraiser are inextricably intertwined with his ties to these companies as employee and consultant. As your chief fundraiser, Wilson is likely the man who solicited these corporations for your campaign committees. He was probably involved in the fundraising push for the Japan trip as well, which your office has refused to shed any light on. For all the public knows, Wilson conceived the whole trip, which our Public Records Act request revealed was also a waste of taxpayer dollars and included a $5,404 plane ticket paid for out of the state's general fund.

Marty Wilson's most recent role as go-between for your office and MS&L is undeniable proof that his service to you is conflicted by personal financial gain. Taxpayers have no option but to assume that your decisions are being influenced by an advisor with private, not public, interests in mind.

The conflicts of interest cannot be erased and your relationship with Marty Wilson must end. His position is untenable in the administration of a man who pledged to clean up politics in Sacramento.

Sincerely,

Carmen Balber


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