No Arnold at the yacht club

I waited, and waited, and waited, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t show today at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco’s Marina District for an event unveiling a hybrid pleasure-boat engine.

Two of his cabinet secretaries — California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Linda Adams and California Resources Agency Secretary Mike Chrisman — were there to sign a memorandum of understanding with Austrian Consul General Martin Weiss to have the state cooperate with the governor’s native nation on environmental protection initiatives. Adams said the governor “could not be more proud that we are taking this action today;” Chrisman said the governor “certainly recognizes the importance of this relationship.”

Then the three officials joined Michael Frauscher, managing director of Austrian boatmaker Frauscher, and Steyr Motors CEO Rudolph Mandorfer for a cruise beneath the Golden Gate Bridge on a 25-foot Frauscher 757 St. Tropez motoryacht powered by the world’s first electric-diesel hybrid marine engine — California Chris-Craft will be the world’s first distributor to offer the new Frauscher hybrids — before returning to the dock for sips of chilled sparkling wine. A gloriously beautiful day on the bay, to be sure.

But although Frauscher’s public relations firm had insisted Wednesday, Thursday and through much of this morning that Schwarzenegger had been confirmed to attend — and that the event had been moved from Thursday to Friday to accommodate his schedule — there was no governor. He was in San Francisco, apparently meeting with a certain newspaper’s editorial board, but he didn’t make the yacht event (though many reporters did, with most splitting as soon as it appeared he wouldn’t show).

So — no questions about the “yacht tax” hubbub, just eco-friendly yachts.

UPDATE @ 4:15 FRIDAY: Aaron McLear, the governor’s press secretary, left me a voice mail a few minutes ago saying “we never were committed to doing this, we were never planning to do this” and suggesting that I confirm such things with the press office from now on. I did e-mail McLear and two of his deputies about this on Wednesday and they never returned the message, though I suppose it easily could’ve gotten lost in the mountain of budget-revise inquiries they were getting that day.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.