of the Progressive Review





RADAR - Veteran Arnold watchers say the California governor's announced veto of his state's historic same-sex marriage bill is an affront to the memory of his most enthusiastic early supporters: the gay sugar daddies of the international bodybuilding circuit.

"Arnold has had a long association with rich gay men," according to Wendy Leigh, author of Schwarzenegger: An Unauthorized Biography. "When he moved to England [around the time of his first Mr. Universe title in 1967], John Dixey, a British businessman and well-known aficionado of muscle boys, was very, very kind to Arnold. You have to understand, before Arnold came on the scene, it was common currency that bodybuilders were less than macho - it was absolutely given and accepted that they supported themselves by catering to the tastes of wealthy gay men."

Another of Schwarzenegger's early benefactors, Leigh says, was Paco Arce Gomez, a Spanish millionaire and renowned gay playboy. In a 1992 Spy magazine profile of the Conan the Barbarian star, Arce was credited as the lens man behind a series of photos from the Austrian's early days, showing him "eating breakfast off of very fancy china wearing a tank top and tight underwear." (Schwarzenegger also posed nude for homoerotic photog Robert Mapplethorpe at least three times in the seventies and famously appeared naked in a 22-photo spread in now-defunct gay rag After Dark.)

Paul Barresi, an L.A.-based private investigator who claims P.I. Anthony Pellicano hired him before the 2002 election to "look into" any compromising relationships the then-prospective candidate still had in the demimonde, said he was "shocked that Arnold would turn his back on the very people who were obviously so helpful to him. In fact, Arnold even met his wife, Maria [Shriver], though his friendship with a gay member of Maria's family."

The governator has been careful to frame his veto as promoting the will of the people as evidenced by an outdated 2000 vote against same-sex nuptials (today public opinion is split down the middle), and has been mostly mum about his personal feelings on the issue. At least since his notorious 1977 interview with Oui magazine, in which he claimed to "have absolutely no hang-ups about the fag business." Apparently, it doesn't pay like it used to.




HARRY KELBER, LABOR EDUCATOR - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may have made a major political blunder when he called the California Nurses Association a "special interest" and sought to block the independent union's successful sponsorship of legislation to reduce the RN-patient ratio in the state's hospitals.

Schwarzenegger infuriated CNA members when he pointed at a group of protesting nurses in the audience at one of his fund-raisers and told the crowd they were "special interests" and he was always "kicking their butts." His remarks were also meant for the state's teachers, police and firefighters who have good reasons to oppose him. . .

CNA has led the fight against the "Great Arnold" by using guerrilla tactics that caused his public approval rating to plummet from 65% to 43% - and it's still dropping. RNs have dogged each of some forty of the governor's fund raising and media events, evoking his anger and frustration.

For example, at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco on April 5, some 5,000 RNs, teachers, firefighters and police circled the hotel and made it a media circus that dominated the news for three days and left 500 to 600 seats at the fund-raiser empty, while creating beautiful footage of the governor sneaking into the back of his own event. At various fund-raisers, a light plane has been a frequent uninvited guest, towing a banner through the skies that read "California is not for sale."


MAREVA BROWN, SACRAMENTO BEE - 100-plus days after California voters swept Schwarzenegger into the governor's office, some of the women who stepped forward [with allegations against the governor] now question whether their personal disclosures were worth the public scrutiny they evoked. Others are dismayed by what they see as the public's apparent lack of interest in underlying questions they sought to raise about Schwarzenegger's behavior with women.

Their debate is especially pointed this week in the wake of a Schwarzenegger attorney's move to dismiss a defamation suit brought by one of the women. The action followed release of a Field Poll that showed 81 percent of California voters say the governor's past behavior toward women has "no effect" on their view of his ability to perform in office. The Republican governor said this week he was "happy to hear" about the poll results...

One woman, a camera assistant on the 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron," said she is saddened by what she sees as the public's apparent apathy. "The groping thing is important because it is symbolic of his attitudes toward women and reflective of his character," said Kristin Glover. "And is character important to the American people? I think it actually is. But I think the definition has become very muddied."

"Our society doesn't seem to care anymore, and I think that's sad," [one woman] said. "Since about half the people in California happen to be women, and he has demonstrated a long history of demeaning women, one would think that would be important. Apparently, the celebrity is more important."


BARRY WITT SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke state law last year when he used a loophole to loan his campaign committee $4 million, a move that prevented voters from knowing before Election Day who would end up paying the governor's campaign bills, a judge ruled late Monday. Schwarzenegger will probably face no fines as a result of the ruling, but he will be blocked from paying himself back with the more than $3.4 million he has raised since his election and will have to convert the loans into a personal contribution to his campaign. The millionaire former movie star contributed an additional $4.85 million in cash to his campaign before the Oct. 7 recall election.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Loren E. McMaster said Schwarzenegger's use of a loophole to avoid a $100,000 cap that voters imposed in 2000 on candidate loans "flies in the face of the express purpose of the law." He said Schwarzenegger's approach would allow rich candidates to "evade both the $100,000 loan limitation and the requirement of pre-election disclosure of contributions, while those limitations would apply to candidates of more modest means."


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER - I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.


JENNIFER COLEMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS - Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) will hire a private investigator to look into allegations that he groped women, but he may keep the results from the state attorney general, a spokesman said Thursday. Schwarzenegger's reluctance to turn over the results of the investigation stem from remarks Attorney General Bill Lockyer made earlier Thursday. The Democrat said he advised Schwarzenegger that the misconduct allegations "are not going to go away" and he should cooperate with an independent investigation. Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman said those statements violated attorney-client privilege and have forced Schwarzenegger to reconsider whether he would provide any information to Lockyer.


JASON LEOPOLD, SCOOP, NEW ZEALAND - One of Schwarzenegger's first political moves as the state's chief executive will be an effort to push the state's electricity market closer toward deregulation, a move halted by Gov. Gray Davis two years ago in the wake of California's energy crisis. Schwarzenegger, while on the campaign trail, blamed Davis for his handling of the energy crisis.

Schwarzenegger drafted a comprehensive energy policy, that went unnoticed for much of his campaign during the recall election. He said he wants to eliminate public oversight on future power supply contracts the state signs with energy companies and adopt a design plan for deregulating California's electricity market from other states that restructured its electricity markets, such as Texas, New Jersey and Maryland.

"As governor, I will create a working wholesale power market based on the lessons learned from other states and the (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) standard market design," Schwarzenegger said on his campaign website. . . In August, the General Accounting Office issued a report criticizing FERC, the nation's top watchdog for electricity and natural gas markets, because the agency doesn't have the power to protect consumers from the side effects of deregulation, such as soaring electricity and natural gas prices, which ended up costing California more than $70 billion and bankrupted the state's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. . .

Schwarzenegger said he will fire dozens of energy advisors appointed by Davis to various posts in favor of his own energy team, one that "respects free-market economics." Schwarzenegger will also dismantle the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, the public power agency created by the state Senate in August 2001 that financed small publicly owned power plants in California to eliminate the possibility of future energy shortages.

. . . One of Schwarzenegger's boldest moves, however, will be to enter into quick settlements with about a dozen energy companies accused of manipulating the state's electricity market during the height of the state's energy crisis two years ago, aides to Schwarzenegger said Wednesday. For three years, California has been engaged in a costly legal battle against dozens of energy companies it said ripped off the state by purposely withholding much-needed electricity from consumers, creating an artificial shortage while boosting the companies' profits. Federal regulators ordered electricity refunds for California totaling about $3.3 billion, but Davis said the state deserves at least $9 billion and "not a penny less."




MAUREEN DOWD, NY TIMES - Feminism died in 1998 when Hillary allowed henchlings and Democrats to demonize Monica as an unbalanced stalker, and when Gloria Steinem defended Mr. Clinton against Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones by saying he had merely made clumsy passes, then accepted rejection, so there was no sexual harassment involved. As to his dallying with an emotionally immature 21-year-old, Ms. Steinem noted, "Welcome sexual behavior is about as relevant to sexual harassment as borrowing a car is to stealing one." Surely what's good for the Comeback Kid is good for the Terminator.

It was no surprise on Friday that Mr. S was backing off his promise to release those "Springtime for Hitler" outtakes from George Butler's 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron." No dummy, he knew years ago his "Nazi stuff" could be trouble. He bought up the incriminating evidence, 100 hours of histrionic interviews, for a mil, and worked with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, giving it a mil in guilt gilt.

I asked my friend Leon Wieseltier, who knows a lot about Judaism and politics and women, about Arnold. "Schwarzenegger is obviously not anti-Semitic or an admirer of genocide," he said. "Hitler does not appear to have been his moral ideal, but his business model. His old fondness for the Führer is just another expression of the animating principle of his life and movies: the worship and steady acquisition of power. Sacramento is simply the biggest Hummer he can buy."


NEAL KOCH, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW - When it comes to strong-arming the Hollywood press, some of the biggest muscle belongs to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who hasn't hesitated to use it, says author Wendy Leigh. And few journalists have been willing to cry foul. Leigh claims that Schwarzenegger - rumored to harbor national political ambitions - has waged a heavy-handed campaign first to suppress her book, Arnold, An Unauthorized Biography, and then to sabotage its promotion.

Some journalists have found her reporting worthy of attention. Time made it part of a profile of Schwarzenegger that ran in the magazine's May 28 international edition. And accounts of the contretemps surrounding the alleged attempts to interfere with the book appeared in New York magazine and the Chicago Tribune last May and in Newsday last July.

. . . James Willwerth, a Time correspondent for twenty-three years and the author of Time's profile of Schwarzenegger, says he's not a fan of Leigh's gossipy type of journalism. But, he adds, after checking out her research, using her thirty-four pages of source notes on the back of the book as a guide, he came away with a respect for her thoroughness. "It was very well reported", Willwerth said, "My nose told me that the book was on target." In Arnold, Leigh persuasively portrays Schwarzenegger as a crude womanizer - perhaps a misogynist - of limited morals who has been given to expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and admiration for Hitler's ability to lead.

. . . Leigh says that when she hit the promotional circuit, television show bookings and filmed appearances were mysteriously canceled at the last minute - in one case, even as TV promos ran - as were planned newspaper features for which she had already been interviewed. In at least one case Schwarzenegger himself turned up on the show soon after. Bruce Lynn, Leigh's former personal publicist, says that he believes that Charlotte Parker threatened producers of TV shows that they wouldn't get Schwarzenegger again if they put Leigh on the air. "People told me that," says Lynn. Lynn adds that a booker for one national program - which he declines to name, he says, because he still does business there - told him, "No way. We're doing Arnold for the movie [Total Recall], and we don't want to upset him."

. . . Time's Willwerth says the he wasn't threatened, but did receive "urgent, demanding pleas" from Parker to avoid mentioning the book. But he says that while she called it unfair, she never claimed it was inaccurate. Parker categorically denies any efforts by Schwarzenegger or any of his associates to inhibit either the book's publication or promotional efforts on its behalf.


CHRISTOPHER SMITH, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE - Sen. Orrin Hatch says Arnold Schwarzenegger should not be judged on past improper advances towards women but as the devoted husband he is today, adding that the foreign-born GOP candidate for California governor also should have the opportunity to run for president under a constitutional amendment Hatch is pushing.

. . . Hatch has introduced a resolution to amend the Constitution's ban on non-American-born presidents by allowing people who have been U.S. citizens for at least 20 years to be elected to the White House. While the measure was not introduced with Schwarzenegger in mind, Hatch said the Austrian-born superstar would be a perfect example of why the constitutional amendment is needed. "If Arnold Schwarzenegger turns out to be the greatest governor of California, which I hope he will, if he turns out to be a tremendous leader and he proves to everybody in this country that he's totally dedicated to this country as an American . . . we would be wrong not to give him that opportunity," said Hatch.


ADAM NAGOURNEY and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, NY TIMES - A film producer who chronicled Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to fame as a champion bodybuilder in the 1970's circulated a book proposal six years ago that quoted the young Mr. Schwarzenegger expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler. The book proposal by the producer, George Butler, included what were presented as verbatim excerpts from interviews with Mr. Schwarzenegger in the filming of the documentary "Pumping Iron." In a part of the interview not used in the film, Mr. Schwarzenegger was asked to name his heroes - "who do you admire most."

"It depends for what," Mr. Schwarzenegger said, according to the transcript in the book proposal. "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker."

In addition to the transcript, Mr. Butler wrote in his book proposal that in the 1970's, he considered Mr. Schwarzenegger a "flagrant, outspoken admirer of Hitler." In the proposal, Mr. Butler also said he had seen Mr. Schwarzenegger playing "Nazi marching songs from long-playing records in his collection at home" and said that the actor "frequently clicked his heels and pretended to be an S.S. officer."


NIKKI FINKE, LA WEEKLY - "He's never going to run. Some of us have skeletons in their closet. He has monsters in his closet." So said John Connolly, the freelance journalist who wrote that now infamous Premiere profile about Schwarzenegger alleging moral turpitude and sexual harassment, before Arnold announced his candidacy. Since then, the 55-year-old New Yorker has spent all the weeks of this recall campaign looking even deeper into the background of the actor whose next role is disturbingly likely to be governor. Where the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, ABC, CBS, NBC, and those other supposed bastions of superior reporting (why bother to even mention Fox?) claim to have found next to nothing, Connolly tells L.A. Weekly he has found a lot. . .

"I think I have very explosive information," Connolly alleges. He wouldn't give us details - he's saving them for his book. But the point is there seems to be information on Arnold out there for any enterprising reporter to find. "In sex, in business, in his personal life, how he's dealt with people over the years, it's extraordinary," Connolly says. "This couldn't have happened in any place other than in Hollywood.". . .

Hollywood circled the wagons and protected its own. Throughout the campaign, Schwarzenegger's treatment of women on and off the set has been an issue. Still industry eyewitnesses are afraid to come forward for fear of being blacklisted. . .

Increasingly, it's harder and harder to get any publication to print the truth about Hollywood, and not just because Big Media keep getting Bigger. Graydon Carter looks increasingly foolish sucking up to his buddies Barry and Brian, while Vanity Fair's Hollywood coverage just sucks, period. David Granger at Esquire hasn't even tried to blow the lid off this town. And David Remnick at The New Yorker weighs in only once a year with at best lightweight product.

There's something terribly wrong when the Los Angeles Times recently spread wider and dug deeper into Bob Hope's past on the occasion of his death than the paper has done into Schwarzenegger's after he announced his recall candidacy.

RENE SANCHEZ AND WILLIAM BOOTH, WASHINGTON POST - With California's recall election in limbo, candidates are biding their time by taking up a new hobby: bashing Arnold Schwarzenegger. . . The latest ambush came at a candidate debate here Wednesday that featured four prominent candidates sitting next to an empty chair that had been reserved for Schwarzenegger, who has shown no interest in attending any forum but one scheduled for next week in which he and his rivals will know the questions in advance.

After asking repeatedly, "Where's Arnold?" Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante, the only major Democrat on the recall ballot, proposed that all the leading candidates in the election skip next week's debate and instead try to embarrass Schwarzenegger by holding their own unscripted session outside of the site where the forum will be held. The three other candidates on stage with Bustamante -- columnist and political independent Arianna Huffington, Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock and Green Party candidate Peter Camejo -- each expressed interest in the idea. . .

In an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" late Wednesday, the actor dismissed the forums that have been held to date as "just little warm-ups."

"We go for the Super Bowl of the debates," he said, referring to next week's event. "When I was competing in bodybuilding, I didn't go into the Mr. Venice Beach contest. I didn't go into the Mr. Seattle contest. I went for the Mr. Olympia."

MICHAEL MINER, CHICAGO READER - In 1999 Jay Mathews wrote the article "The Shrinking Field" for the Washington Post on the often exaggerated heights claimed by male candidates for political office. "Sociologist Ralph Keyes has shown that men often claim to be taller than they are," he reported. "That goes double for celebrities. Men's Health magazine compared claimed heights to actual heights and discovered that Arnold Schwarzenegger was 5-10, not 6-2, that Charles Bronson was 5-7, not 5-11, and Burt Reynolds 5-8, not 5-11."


POLITICS US - In recent days, Internet journalist Matt Drudge has posted several stories charging California gubernatorial recall candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger with holding racist views towards African-Americans. But so far, the mainstream media has not reported this aspect of the actor's background, save for a minor mention in a San Jose Mercury News story of last week.

One week ago, on Sunday, August 31, Drudge filed his first "Flash" report citing an interview ABC News had done with former bodybuilder Rick Wayne, in which Wayne allegedly told ABC News that Schwarzenegger held racist views. Rather than simply report on Wayne's allegations as made to ABC News, Drudge led with what he said was a decision by ABC to spike the story. . . On Monday, September 1, Drudge filed an update to his earlier dispatch, stating that in the aftermath of his Sunday evening report, Wayne had been besieged with interview requests. And there the story sat, until earlier this evening, when Drudge filed his third exclusive report -- this time adding a corroborating witness to Wayne's allegations, in the person of Robby Robinson, a former Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. America champion.


DRUDGE REPORT - Another black bodybuilder has come forward claiming that California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger has a history of making racist comments, the Drudge Report can reveal. Robby Robinson, one of the most respected and well known of all body builders [a former Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe titleholder], backs up claims made by fellow black bodybuilder Rick Wayne. "No disrespect to fans of Arnold but Rick's claim is in keeping with my experiences with the man," Robinson explains in a message. Robinson says that Schwarzenegger repeatedly directed the term "nigger" at him.

Known throughout his career as "The Black Prince," Robinson continues: "In San Jose at the Russ Warner Classic, as it was called in those days, there was a scene. 7 or 8 of us bodybuilders were invited to guest pose at the show. We were all paid $650.00 to do our thing. After the show there was a big banquet. We were all dancing having a nice time and in walks Arnold who started shouting out, 'Down with the blacks, niggers this and blacks that,' for about 10 min. All during this time nobody said a word. The banquet hall was full of IFFB [International Federation of BodyBuilders] officals. There was a dead silence. You could've heard a pin fall. Everybody in the room was shocked except for me. "All of his hostility and rage was directed at me. For once he got caught out of shape and I was in contest condition. Me being in great shape put him in a bad light and a bad attitude.

"In my mind I wanted to bust him up. But that would not have done any good. So with all my intensity bottled inside me I walked out of the room. I'm walking out as he was still in his mode of, down with the blacks, when the silence was broken by Joe Weider's voice telling Arnold to stop. That did no good. He was on a roll by now. I left the banquet and went to my room.

"His actions were cowardly and disrespectful. That's why Rick Wayne is speaking out.

"During Pumping Iron more racial slurs were directed at me because I walked out of his house refusing to be involved in the movie if we did not get paid something. We ended up getting $100.00 a day but not before more racial slurs of nigger-nigger were leveled at me for speaking up for myself and the rest of the guys."


One problem I have with Arnold is that he looks like a condom stuffed with walnuts. I realize that is superficial, shallow, and unbecoming to a semi-serious-minded liberal like myself, but there it is. The other is that he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to public policy. - Molly Ivins


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER - The public doesn't care about figures. What the people want to hear is are you willing to make the changes. Are you tough enough to go in there and provide leadership. That's what this is about.

JON STEWART - Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned in New York this week, where he stepped up his controversial goal of helping children. . . It's all summed up in his campaign slogan, 'Arnold Schwarzenegger: Cutting violence in half with a laser-guided chain gun across a charred landscape - for the children.'

ROY RIVENBURG, LA TIMES - We feel guilty offering advice to alleged Gov. Gray Davis (motto: "Give me three more years and I promise to run the deficit up to $150 billion, a number we can all be proud of"), but if we were in charge of his campaign, we'd saturate the media with a recall edition of MasterCard's "priceless" ads