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Governor won’t go on DC trip without a budget, spokeswoman says

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will skip a scheduled trip to Washington, D.C. next week if there isn't a budget, according to a spokeswoman.

The trip would include his attendance at the National Governor's Association Winter Meeting on Sunday. The next morning, he is to be the "special guest" at a $500 per person breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, at the Capitol Hill Club.

"The governor is scheduled to go to Washington, D.C., for the National Governors' Association conference and for meetings with federal officials," said Julie Soderlund, a political spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger. "However, if there is not a budget, he won't be going."

Andy Stone, western regional press secretary with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called on Schwarzenegger to skip the trip.

"With California in a budget crisis, 20,000 state workers about to receive pink slips, and hundreds of public works projects being put on hold, Congressman McCarthy and Governor Schwarzenegger should be focused on getting California's financial house in order, not filling Congressman McCarthy's campaign coffers," Stone said.

The fundraiser will come five days after negotiations broke down once again to attempt to pass a historically-late state budget. On Wednesday morning, Republican senators, dissatisfied with tax increases that he had agreed to, deposed their leader, Senator Dave Cogdill, R-Fresno. They replaced him with Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta.

Meanwhile, Hollingsworth cancelled his own $1,000 per guest fundraiser at Sacramento's Cosmo Café, which was to be held Wednesday night.

"Once he became leader, his time became all-consumed with leading the Republicans in the caucus," said Tim Clark, a political spokesman for Hollingsworth. "Holding the fundraiser right now just isn't possible. He's going to postpone it until all this is past."
An announcement for the fundraiser citing "Republican Senate Leader Dennis Hollingsworth" did go out on Wednesday afternoon from Wendy Warfield and Associates. Clark said that most fundraisers are scheduled at least 30 days in advance, and that the reminder was sent out "in the normal course of business" before Hollingsworth had time to cancel it.

Hollingsworth terms out in 2010 and plans to run for the Assembly in 2012, when Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, Murrieta, terms out. Hollingsworth represented that 66th district seat in 2001-2002, and has four years of eligibility left in the Assembly.

Schwarzenegger has been criticized at times for the amount of time he spends away from Sacramento, either traveling or at his home in Los Angeles. The governor was in Sacramento for negotiations from Saturday until Tuesday, when he flew home to LA, according to the Sacramento Bee.


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