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Jul 14, 2005 - 02:20 PM
Supplementary Incomeby Douglas Heller and Jamie Court
Arnold told voters he was so rich that he didn't need anyone else's money; he could be trusted not to be corrupted. Well, disclosures in today's papers and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show Arnold is raking in millions every year based on the advertising revenue from muscle magazines owned by American Media Inc, which also publishes the National Enquirer. Arnold gets paid 1% of ad revenue or $1 million a year (which ever is greater - the LA Times estimates that the contract is worth about $8 million) for magazines like Flex and Muscle & Fitness. Much of the ad revenue for these mags comes from dietary supplements.
Arnold never disclosed this deal to the public even while he vetoed a bill last year to regulate supplements. Open up this month's issue of Flex and you'll find it dominated by ads for the types of products that Arnold chose not to regulate -- Vitrix (Natural Testosterone Stimulator) and Methyl-Dianadrone ("So androgenic, so anabolic"). These ads pay Arnold's secret salary creating a serious conflict for Arnold the Governor. When put to the test, he didn't have the muscle to stand up to his paymasters and regulate use of the supplements.
Arnold has to choose between the private business deals that make him millions and the public he was elected to serve. The Gov should give back all the money and sever the $8 million contract immediately or he should resign. The legislature should convene hearings and issue subpoenas very quickly to find out if this is more than a major ethical lapse by Arnold, but also illegal.
In his Statements of Economic Interest, Arnold masked this million dollar a year contract by lumping it with 20 other contracts he has through his company "Oak Productions" and only acknowledging "more than $100,000" in income from Oak. (Read the key pages of Arnold's Economic Interest filing.)
The details of Arnold's magazine contract and all the others should not be hidden from public view. So the public can better learn how much Arnold is really being paid by these private interests, Arnold should finally agree to do what other public officials do and make his tax records public.
The standards that Californians hold for their officials is spelled out in the State Constitution: "State officers... are subject to impeachment for misconduct in office." A secret contract paying the Gov millions to sell ads for dietary supplements, while using his public office to protect the supplement companies is a conflict of interest... on steroids.
The LA Times has the full story.
The SacBee links to Arnold's contract with the magazine publisher.
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