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Schwarzenegger Deflecting Criticism for Key Reforms

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) __ Governor Schwarzenegger has gone on the defensive against criticism involving special interests, education and redistricting.

At a press conference today in Long Beach before his first “Citizens Kitchen Cabinet” meeting, he reiterated his positions on a number of key reforms being proposed by his administration. He sidestepped several questions from reporters about his promise not to rely on contributions from special interests, but said he “is not beholden to anyone” and “cannot be bought.”

Through ballot measures this fall, the governor hopes to change the way legislative districts are drawn and teachers are paid. He wants to shift public employee pensions into 401(k)-style accounts and create ways to cut spending when it exceeds revenue.

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