Arnold Schwarzenegger may be forgoing a state salary as California governor but he is still pulling in millions of dollars a year as an editor of two bodybuilding magazines.
American Media Operations, which publishes "Muscle & Fitness" and "Flex" magazines, said on Wednesday it was paying the former Mr. Olympia $8.15 million over five years to serve as executive editor of those magazines.
Schwarzenegger announced his role with the magazine last year but declined to detail payments. American Media disclosed their "consulting agreement" with the governor in Security and Exchange Commission filings.
"Having Arnold as executive editor of both magazines has enormous value and brings credibility to the publications," said American Media spokesman Stuart Zakim.
The firm, which bought Weider Publications formerly owned by Schwarzenegger's mentor Joe Weider in 2003, may be happy about the arrangement, but some analysts say earning millions on the side while serving as governor is troubling.
"I would say that if someone is getting $8.1 million from the fitness industry, even if it is a magazine, it potentially creates a conflict of interest," said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. "If is not in violation of California law, it certainly violates the spirit of our conflict of interest laws."
Schwarzenegger's office confirmed that $8.1 million figure, but said it did not constitute a conflict of interest. "My reply is so what, what's the harm?" communications director Rob Stutzman said in an interview.
"We've been clear ever since he's become governor that he still would have outside income," he said. "He reports that income under state law in a form filed on an annual basis."
A spokesman for California's political watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, said income such as in the American Media deal was legal provided it was disclosed.
In the SEC filing, American Media said it would pay Schwarzenegger's firm Oak Productions one percent of its net print advertising revenues, with a minimum payment of $1 million a year. This is in addition to the $8.15 million over five years. Zakim, a senior vice president, said American Media is also contributing $250,000 a year over five years to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness.
An American Media filing on Wednesday said Schwarzenegger was helping "the overall editorial direction of the specific Weider magazines and otherwise helping in various ways to further the business objectives of the Weider business." ... (Continued Here) Source