Friday, February 08, 2008

Arnold Involved in CIRM Legal/PR Strategy?

CIRM documents in the Remcho/Rubenstein PR "laundering" affair suggest that the office of California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may have been involved at one point – or that somebody connected to either the agency or Rubenstein wanted to engage the governor's aides.

An Oct. 15, 2006, email from Patrick Smith, executive vice president of Rubenstein Associates, to Richard Murphy, interim CIRM president, concerning a conference call about the Monash investigation in Australia contained this sentence:
"Do you (Murphy) want to include someone from the governor's office?"
It was not clear from the 54 pages of documents concerning Rubenstein's business with CIRM what generated that reference. Normally the governor's office does not become engaged in legal or PR strategy sessions of state agencies unless something exceptional is taking place.

It also was not clear from the documents whether gubernatorial aides actually did assist in CIRM's discussions.

We asked Smith what generated the mention of the governor's office in his email and whether the governor's aides became involved. Here is Smith's response verbatim:
"We do not discuss client matters."
We are querying CIRM and the governor's office about the matter.

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