Arnold did the right thing
this afternoon by severing his multi-million dollar contract with the
muscle mags. But the fact that Arnold's team defiantly defended the
deal yesterday indicates he's more concerned about a source of bad
press than the conflict of interest that caused public outrage. He
skirted that bad press for more than a year and made the conflict worse
when he lied about the deal, revealing an arrangement for charitable
contributions by the magazines in '04 but withholding the fact that he
was also personally making millions from the magazines' sale of dietary
So, just cutting the contract doesn't do the trick. If he wants
Californians to trust that his decisions are made in the public
interest and not because he's getting paid on the side, Arnold must:
1. Return any money that he has already received for selling diet supplement ads - at least $1.5 million.
2. Provide a more detailed explanation of all his income, including the
money received from the other 20 companies that were listed with the
muscle mags as income earned through his corporate shell, Oak
Productions, as well as other sources of income that he aggregates in
his ethics filings.
3. Do what President Bush and most other politicians do and make his
tax returns public. The citizens of California have a right to know
where Arnold gets his money each year to determine if he is being
unduly influenced as a result of other secret business deals.
4. Immediately revisit the law regulating the supplement industry that
he vetoed last year while receiving income from their advertising.
If the gov won't come clean, the Legislature should subpoena his
records to determine if there are other contracts that force Arnold to
choose between the public interest and his personal enrichment. There's
no such thing as being a little anabolic.