The state Senate held a hearing on the contract yesterday, but the administration refused to testify, something the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights ( FTCR) is totally displeased with. FTCR is calling for Governor Schwarzenegger to "immediately disclose all contacts between himself, his staff and General Motors about an exclusive government contract and free advertising on state vehicles given to the long-standing Schwarzenegger donor." Subpoenas are possible.
Free advertising? See the paint job there by Schwarzenegger's shoulder? That's part of it. State Senator Dean Florez stated in the hearing that at least one of the state-owned vehicles is "still wrapped in General Motors' national ad campaign, 'live green, go yellow,' and driven to the GM booth at a private conference by a state employee on state time," according to FTCR. The Foundation has put together a handy list of Arnold-GM ties, which I've pasted after the jump.
Dan Waters, from the Sacramento Bee, says that this smells a lot like an issue the state had with Oracle about five years ago. Oh, Arnold, remember when it was the Tesla Roadster you loved?
- Schwarzenegger's role in GM getting flex-fuel contract questioned
- Ahem. California bought over 1,000 flex-fuel vehicles two years ago, but where's the E85?
- More details on the California state flex-fuel vehicles not using any E85
General Motors' long financial history with the governor includes:
- $47,000 in campaign contributions the company made to the governor's ballot measure committee, re-election, and 2007 inaugural committee
- The use of six General Motors vehicles and drivers during a trip to Japan just a few months before California purchased the flex-fuel cars from the automaker
- $15 million in cash and goods (Hummers) given to Schwarzenegger's nonprofit, Inner City Games, also known as After School All-Stars and Arnold's All-Stars
- Schwarzenegger had the first military Hummer converted for civilian use and acted as the monster car's first spokesman
- The loan of a Hummer that can run on hydrogen as a prop for a press conference on Schwarzenegger's "hydrogen highway" plans