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Sep 12, 2005 - 03:35 PM


by Jerry Flanagan & Carmen Balber
If someone had bought Monica Lewinsky's blue dress before Ken Starr got hold of it, how much leverage would they have had over the President of the United States? Would the GOP have issued subpoenas quicker than they do tax rebates?

The revelation today about a second Schwarzenegger sex scandal pay-off, perpetrated by media conglomerate American Media Inc. (AMI), should be enough to convince Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and the legislature to investigate this private company's control over California's chief executive.

According to today's Los Angeles Times, AMI paid $2,000 to silence the owner of a copy of a Playboy video shot during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro starring Arnold "grabbing a scantily clad woman and making other sexually suggestive gestures." Last month we learned AMI also paid Gigi Goyette $20,000 to cover up her sexual relationship with Arnold.

If Nunez had held the hearings he promised back in July, the legislature would have already uncovered AMI's effort to suppress the adult programming.

Both attempted cover-ups occurred while AMI was negotiating a multi-million dollar deal that paid Schwarzenegger a percentage of advertising revenue collected from the manufacturers of pseudo-steroids. The contract guaranteed the governor's ear when legislation to restrict the sale of those psuedo-steroids reached Arnold's desk, and was vetoed, last year.

The effort to suppress the video, called the "Pecker Project" by AMI insiders, should convince Nunez to turn a spotlight on AMI's influence. With all the grabbing Schwarzenegger has engaged in, how hard could it be for Nunez to grab a single subpoena?

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