|The LA Times' Robert Salladay has a story today about how Schwarzenegger has spent his campaign money. It begins:|
lmost everywhere Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger travels, he is shadowed by another sturdy Austrian: Dieter Rauter, his stunt double on "Terminator 3" and other films.
Rauter today is a member of the governor's vast and expensive political apparatus. When Schwarzenegger meets the public, Rauter's hand-held digital camera records the event for posterity, a service that has cost about $62,000 since Schwarzenegger entered politics about four years ago.
Here's the "meat" of the must piece:
Schwarzenegger hires scores of the best political operatives, travels exclusively by private jet and insists on a sought-after cinematographer to film his commercials — productions that involve casting agents, caterers, dry-cleaners. In flashiness and magnitude, his public appearances have exceeded anything else in modern California politics.
The premium expenses show that although Schwarzenegger is working in Sacramento, he hasn't entirely left Hollywood. The platinum-plated operation has given a tactical advantage to his political foes, whose spending habits have been more efficient and traditional.
Schwarzenegger's campaigns have written more than 8,100 checks totaling $142 million to promote nearly a dozen ballot initiatives, get him elected in the 2003 recall and launch his reelection effort. Fourteen campaign committees have existed to raise money for his causes.
The governor spends tens of millions of dollars on public events, television ads, polling and other traditional political activity. But he has spent a smaller percentage than his opponents on the No. 1 task of any campaign: communicating with the public.
The public employee unions that ran an anti-Schwarzenegger campaign during last year's special election spent about 75% of their money addressing voters through television ads, radio spots, phone banks and mailed brochures, according to state records. Schwarzenegger, who sponsored four ballot initiatives and lost every one, spent 63% of his cash communicating his message in those ways, the records show.
But you should really read the whole thing.