Thursday, February 5

"Fiscally Responsible"

Mind you - this isn't to raise money for California or for much-needed programs or funding. This is to raise money to sell Schwarzenegger's plan to Californians! What can $8 million buy for your community? You may never find out.

Tickets to Schwarzenegger Fundraiser in New York Will Cost Up to $500,000

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking his fundraising machine to Manhattan for a dinner with a top price tag of $500,000 a plate.

The event is to help pay for the governor's campaign promoting two measures on the March 2 ballot.

The minimum donation for admission is $50,000. But the price goes up to $500,000 — a level that surprises even longtime critics of California's campaign finance system. Those who give $500,000 will be dubbed "California Recovery Team Chair."

Organized with the help of New York Gov. George Pataki, the event will take place Feb. 24 at the Central Park West home of Robert Wood Johnson IV, heir to the Johnson & Johnson Co. fortune, owner of the New York Jets football team and a major GOP donor. The invitation offers a "private dinner" with Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger is campaigning for Proposition 57, a $15-billion bond proposal to restructure California's budget debt, and Proposition 58, a companion measure intended to curb state spending.

California's celebrity governor, a major fundraising draw, has more than $1 million in an account to pay for the twin campaigns and is seeking $8 million or more.