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THE STATE | THE RECALL CAMPAIGN

Schwarzenegger Gets Corporate Donations

Total Recall group, which is not subject to contribution caps, has raised nearly $1 million.

September 09, 2003|Jeffrey L. Rabin and Joel Rubin | Times Staff Writers

Arnold Schwarzenegger's corporate backers, including a collection agency, a mortgage banking firm and the parent company of a major Orange County Mercedes-Benz dealership, have pumped major contributions into his pro-recall campaign in recent days.

And Schwarzenegger continues to fund his own efforts generously: His campaign reported at the end of last week that the actor had donated $500,000 to his Total Recall Committee, which is supporting the removal of Gov. Gray Davis from office in the Oct. 7 special election.

Schwarzenegger's donation, combined with the others, pushed the committee's total fund-raising toward the $1-million mark. Unlike Schwarzenegger's campaign for governor, the pro-recall committee is not subject to limits on contributions.

American Sterling Corp. in Irvine gave $100,000 on Monday. The firm is an arm of a Kansas City, Mo., company engaged in banking, mortgage lending and insurance services.

The same company gave $500,000 in late February 2002 to support former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's ill-fated bid to capture the Republican nomination for governor.

Also on Monday, Fletcher Jones Management in Las Vegas gave $57,600 to the Total Recall Committee. The Nevada company is headed by Fletcher Jones Jr., whose Mercedes-Benz dealership in Newport Beach is one of California's largest.

American Sterling and Jones also contributed the maximum $21,200 to Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign.

Schwarzenegger's Total Recall Committee on Saturday reported a $60,000 donation from Diversified Collection Services, a San Leandro company that collects on delinquent student loans and individual and business taxes owed to state governments.

The committee's earliest contributors include William Lyon Homes, an Orange County developer, which gave $100,000, and Paul Folino, chief executive officer of Emulex, a Costa Mesa-based high-tech company, who gave $99,164.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh said the contributions to the pro-recall committee don't conflict with the candidate's promise not to take money from special interests.

Walsh said there is a distinction between accepting contributions from Indian tribes and unions -- groups that are directly affected by the governor's economic policies -- and accepting money from companies that may have issues before the governor.

"These groups may, at some juncture, have some legislation before the governor," Walsh said of the corporations that have given to the Total Recall Committee. "But every group at some juncture may have legislation before the governor, including beauticians and the Elks Club."

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