Schwarzenegger cleared of money violation claim

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has reviewed a much publicized complaint about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s income and found no violation of the state’s Political Reform Act.

In a Sept. 9 letter, FPPC Executive Director Roman Porter said his agency had received a complaint July 19, 2005 about the governor’s business relationships with health and bodybuilding magazine publisher Weider Productions LLC and its parent company, American Media Inc.

That complaint came four days after news outlets reported that just before he’d been sworn into office in 2003, Schwarzenegger had inked a consulting deal with Weider estimated to bring him $8 million over five years; the governor was to get 1 percent of the magazines’ ad revenue, much of which comes from nutritional supplement manufacturers. The governor in 2004 vetoed legislation that would’ve imposed regulations on that industry.

“The complaint alleged that payments the Governor received through Oak Productions Inc. from Weider Productions LLC or American Media Inc. were prohibited honoraria or gifts under the Act, or were a disqualifying source of income for conflict of interest purposes. Further, the complaint alleged that a payment which American Media Inc. made to the Governor’s charitable organization, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, was a behested payment that was not properly reported,” Porter’s letter says.

“This letter is to advise the Governor that we have completed our review of the foregoing allegations and found no violation of the Act,” he concluded. “We have therefore closed our file.”

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.