If Arnold was really slick, he would turn down campaign contributions entirely. It's not like he needs a few more million dollars, and it would generate great publicity. He has said several times that he won't be beholden to special interests and that he's rich enough that he doesn't need anyone [else] to buy the election for him, so why doesn't he stand on that and make a huge issue out of it?
This SFGate article (via Rough & Tumble, and awesome source for California political news) gives us some insight into the various campaigns.
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting the financial help he promised he would never need in his race for governor as California business interests poured $788,000 into his campaign committees over the weekend.Again, why bother? That's spare change to him, and the publicity that turning away all money would generate would be incredible. Typically, rich candidates don't want to look like they're buying office by spending all their own money, but in this particular case it wouldn't be a bad thing.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante received a $321,000 contribution from one of the state's leading Indian gambling tribes and Peter Ueberroth, a Republican businessman running as an independent, raised $368,600 in the past few days.Bustamante is owned by the gambling industry and Mexico, everyone already knows that. It's interesting that Ueberroth raised more money than the Lt. Gov., considering that he's not generally considered a major candidate.
Gov. Gray Davis, fighting to fend off the Oct. 7 recall, raised $353,000 over the weekend, including contributions from two longtime Democratic donors who had been appointed by the governor to state positions.And then there's Davis, who gives people jobs and then takes kick-backs to fund his political career; a crooked form of re-investment, I suppose.
Unfortunately, the article barely mentions Tom McClintock. Bill Simon has already pulled out of the race, and McClintock will probably give up soon as well. Without Simon running it's conceivable that McClintock could get the plurality he needs to win, but it would still be a long-shot and staying in will increase the odds of Bustamante ceding the state to Mexico.
On the other hand, maybe it would be in the Republicans' best interests to leave the state with a Democratic governor if the alternative is a liberal Republican. If Arnold doesn't end up taking the conservative fiscal positions that are necessary to turn the state around, then the "R" next to his name will only serve to allow the Democrats to evade the blame for our dismal situation.