Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger, in the midst of a tough political fight to sell his budget-balancing package to voters on May 19, is the star attraction at an April 8 fundraiser to benefit GOP Assemblyman Anthony Adams – one of the few legislative Republicans to back the governor.
Adams, under threat of a recall drive by some elements in his own party, received statewide attention after conservative radio hosts excoriated Adams for his votes. However, Adams, 38, reportedly has received endorsements for his 2010 reelection from all the members of the Assembly GOP caucus.
At least four of the Republicans in both houses who voted for the budget all have been threatened with recall.
Schwarzenegger has vowed to support those who supported his budget. The two-year spending plan, which is already out of whack, covered a $41 billion shortage through a mix of cuts and taxes.
"The governor looks forward to helping Assemblyman Adams raise the funds he needs and supports him, and believes he is a person who puts California ahead of his own personal ambition," said Schwarzenegger campaign spokesman Julie Soderlund.
The governor's decision to raise money for Adams is a departure from earlier in his governorship, when he received some criticism for refusing to support lawmakers who had backed his budget plans. The relationship between Schwarzenegger and Sen. Abel Maldonado soured when Schwarzenegger refused to support Maldonado in the Republican controller's primary in 2006.
"When (Schwarzenegger) needs Latinos, Latinos are always there for him," Maldonado said of his slight by the governor. "When Latinos need him, the answer's been 'no.'"
Adams has aggressively sought to stave off the nascent recall attempt against him. He has already secured the endorsements of every member of the Assembly Republican Caucus. Former Assemblyman Richard Mountjoy has said he may challenge Adams in 2010.
The cost of the April 8 event in Glendora ranges from $500 a plate to a "platinum" package of $3,900 for four – which includes attendance at a "VIP Reception" and photographs with the governor.
Others expected to attend include state and local political leaders, including state Sen. Bob Huff and Glendora City Councilman Gary Clifford.
The May 19 special election ballot includes a half-dozen, budget-related propositions that were placed before voters by the governor and Democrat-controlled Legislature.
The measures, 1A through 1F, include a new cap on spending, sales and other tax increases. They also include getting $5 billion from selling pieces of the state lottery, and about $800 million by tapping money intended for children's programs and the mentally ill. The final measure, 1F, blocks lawmakers' pay increases in deficit years.