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March 2, 2010; The Los Angeles Times | To some it’s the charitable thing to do. But for others the fact that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lets a nonprofit that accepts money from groups doing business before the state pick up his travel tab, the practice raises concerns. According to the Los Angeles Times, of the $585,000 in gifts the governor received last year, much of that money came from the California Protocol Foundation to underwrite travel for Schwarzenegger and his entourage to Denmark, Germany, Iraq and Israel. While the governor’s spokesperson defended the practice—something he said previous office holders also did—because it saves taxpayers dollars. California Common Cause Executive Director Kathay Feng fears the travel subsidies provide a way for special interests to try to influence the governor. We can’t tell if this is putting a smile on the faces of the state’s residents, but surely those funding the Protocol Foundation must be feeling good.—Bruce Trachtenberg