Gov's rent deal questioned

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political committees have paid him $166,859 the last three years for renting space in the Main Street Plaza he owns in Santa Monica. The San Francisco Chronicle says it's technically legal, and Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson says the governor's people checked with the state first to make sure it's kosher. But Robert Stern of the Center for Governmental Studies here said the arrangement is "taking advantage of a ridiculous loophole" in the law. If Schwarzenegger owned the building himself, he could not pay himself rent from his own fundraising committees. Because his company owns the building, it passes the legal test, the Chronicle says.


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