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Dec 23, 2003 - 04:15 PM

Hes Not the King, But Is Arnold Earning Royalties?

by Doug Heller and Jamie Court
 
On supermarket racks, 7-eleven shelves and news stands across the state, Californians are being urged to pony up $4.95 a pop for a piece of California history - the Official Collector's Edition magazine "Arnold: His 60 Day Campaign That Changed California."

The commercial-free, pictorial biography of the governor takes us through his career, some of it in his own words. The magazine's publisher, American Media, Inc. (AMI), also puts out the National Enquirer and recently acquired Weider publications, the muscle and fitness magazine publisher closely associated with Arnold. (The Arnold mag devotes eight pages to the Gov's friendship with fitness publishing guru Joe Weider, and the magazine company is also a major donor to Arnold's campaign.) Weider was not only involved with the making of "Arnold" but also pays one of Schwarzenegger's firms an undisclosed amount annually, according to recent documents filed by Schwarzenegger. It's a fair question, then, whether Arnold is receiving royalties for his role as governor and the collector's edition that chronicles his ascension.

When Terminator 3 DVD sales took off internationally after the election, some surmised Arnold's gubernatorial ambitions were part of a marketing strategy to boost the sales figures of a sagging box office star. Regardless, movie business profits should be his. But if Arnold is collecting royalties or other income from a magazine that would never had been published had he not been elected, then Arnold is marketing his office and profiting from his governorship. That's self-serving, not public service. Inquiring minds want to know. What's Arnold's stake in "Arnold?" The governor should turn any profits over to the general fund. Arnold was elected governor, not given marketing rights to the office.


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