Friday, July 15, 2005

hail to the (editor-in-) chief

As an American citizen it still troubles me that from the 1987 sci-fi/war flick Predator, THREE of its cast have since run for election to be governor of American states, and TWO of them actually went all the way. That’s a fact, everybody.

Here’s what seems to be the opening salvo in California’s next gubernatorial (what an amazing word that is! Find an excuse to use it people!) campaign, courtesy of Reuters’ Oddly Enough files…

Schwarzenegger making millions as muscle mag editor

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be forgoing a state salary as California governor but he is still pulling in millions of dollars a year as an editor of two bodybuilding magazines.

American Media Operations, which publishes "Muscle & Fitness" and "Flex" magazines, said on Wednesday it was paying the former Mr. Olympia $8.15 million over five years to serve as executive editor of those magazines.

Schwarzenegger announced his role with the magazine last year but declined to detail payments. American Media disclosed their "consulting agreement" with the governor in Security and Exchange Commission filings.

"Having Arnold as executive editor of both magazines has enormous value and brings credibility to the publications," said American Media spokesman Stuart Zakim.

The firm, which bought Weider Publications formerly owned by Schwarzenegger's mentor Joe Weider in 2003, may be happy about the arrangement, but some analysts say earning millions on the side while serving as governor is troubling.

"I would say that if someone is getting $8.1 million from the fitness industry, even if it is a magazine, it potentially creates a conflict of interest," said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. "If is not in violation of California law, it certainly violates the spirit of our conflict of interest laws."

Schwarzenegger's office confirmed that $8.1 million figure, but said it did not constitute a conflict of interest. "My reply is so what, what's the harm?" communications director Rob Stutzman said in an interview.

"We've been clear ever since he's become governor that he still would have outside income," he said. "He reports that income under state law in a form filed on an annual basis."

For the rest of the article click here.


James Howard Shott said...

It would be better if he didn't do it, but there's a strong liklihood that there isn't an actual conflict.

I think the bigger issue is how he's finding the time. Even though an executive editor doesn't have to be hands on, he does have duties and responsibilities.

Mr. Middle America said...

Air America Radio, as you can imagine (or maybe even know) has been all over this...

James Howard Shott said...

I heard tonight on FNC that Arnold has decided to give up his connection with the magazines.

Good decision.

Maxwell Bevis said...

I think it''s fucking gorgeous.