July 15, 2005

Schwarzenegger's $8 Million Conflict of Interest

Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't developed a great reputation for separating state business from his political fundraising efforts.

Now, he's having trouble clearly distinguishing between the public interest and his personal fundraising efforts. He recently vetoed a bill focused on regulating dietary supplements, and an $8 million deal he has to consult with the publisher of Flex and Muscle & Fitness magazines. He also serves as an "editor" and writes columns. Both magazines rely on the supplement industry for much of their ad revenue.

I can't prove that the Guv-a-karten Cop (putting a new polish on "Guvenator") vetoed the bill specifically because of his contract with the magazine publisher, but I strongly believe that citizens of California do have a real reason to be concerned about their chief executive's ability to remain impartial, or focused on their best interest, while he is being paid $8 million by any private company.

From an action movie star who complains about teachers, nurses and janitors, this interest seems particularly "special."

On a sidenote, you'd expect that one positive by-product of electing an out-of-touch, multimillionaire ideologue was that he couldn't be bought. Alas, not even that small respite can be offered to our West Coast friends.


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