Schwarzenegger refuses to disclose lunch guests

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office and leaders of the state Legislature are refusing to share the names of lawmakers who lunched Wednesday with the governor.

Legal experts on Thursday said the information is central to determining whether state open meeting laws were violated.

The public and reporters were shut out of the lunch, which was held after the governor’s State of the State address.

Schwarzenegger invited all 120 members of the Assembly and Senate to the steak-or-salmon lunch at the private Sutter Club. His office said 70 lawmakers attended.

Lawmakers who were there said the gathering was not subject to open meeting laws because it was a social affair.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, says it’s inconceivable that state business was not being discussed.