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Governor Seeking Private Donations for Inauguration

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Aired 4/19/09

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced a bi-partisan committee of political all-stars to co-chair his inauguration — ranging from Nancy Pelosi to Nancy Reagan. The governor is seeking private donations to pay for the festivities. But some say despite historical precedence, it's not a good practice. Jenny O'Mara reports.

The ceremonies and accompanying parties will be more elaborate than those when Schwarzenegger was sworn-in following the recall election. A swearing-in ceremony, what's billed as a bi-partisan reception and a glitzy black-tie gala are all part of the plans…And he's seeking donations to pay for it. Ned Wigglesworth with California Common Cause notes the donations don't have to be disclosed, and have no limits. He also acknowledges it's a common practice. But he says it should be questioned.

Ned Wigglesworth : Voters should keep an eye on whether donors who have a stake in any of the issues that are going to be discussed in the upcoming term are giving large amounts to the Governor in such a way that it might be an attempt to purchase influence or access…

A spokeswoman for Governor Schwarzenegger's inauguration committee says the donations have been sought so that there is no expense to state taxpayers. Schwarzenegger will be sworn in on Friday, January 5.

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