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May 05, 2004 - 04:05 PM

Unfair Business?

by Jamie Court
Arnold has filed a lawsuit against Bosley Bobbing Head Doll Company in Los Angeles Superior Court for using his unauthorized likeness on a plastic bobble head doll -- even though other politicians such as George W. Bush, as public figures, do not have such control over their image.

"He's no different than any other politician," said Todd Bosley, an owner of Ohio Discount Merchandise Inc. in Canton, Ohio, who has satirized George W. Bush, Abe Lincoln and Barbara Bush with the bobble head.

Schwarzenegger has a right to go to court to say his image is harmed, but just yesterday the Gov also hinted to the California Chamber of Commerce that he would be joining Big Business in a November ballot initiative to severely restrict lawsuits under the state's unfair business competition law. Today, environmentalists issued a statement warning that the Chamber's initiative would wipe out legitimate cases over environmental harm. (See "We are warning California voters as early as possible that this proposition is a sham," said Bill Magavern, Senior Legislative Representative for Sierra Club California. "It is masquerading as a balanced approach, but it is simply a move to allow polluters and big business to put profits ahead of public health and safety without consequences." Among the donors to the initiative are companies like BP/Arco that has been held accountable under the unfair business competition law for polluting.

If a plastic likeness of a public figure is unfair business, then isn't pollution of our water, air, and earth? Stay tuned for Arnold's decision about whether to side with environmentalists or the special interests who gave both $940,000 to Arnold and $1.6 million to the initiative to gut the state's unfair business competition law. For more on the public interest groups' campaign against the initiative, visit

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