On politics in the Golden State

Category: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger's new project: Showtime environmental documentary

The first time Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with director James Cameron, it was for the role that defined the future governor’s film career "The Terminator."

Now the two are teaming up on a very different project. The former California governor and Cameron  are teaming up with producer Jerry Weintraub and a pair of producers from “60 Minutes” on a new documentary series for Showtime that will focus on the effects of global climate change.

Schwarzenegger, who promoted environmental legislation as governor and signed a bill seeking to limit the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, will serve as executive producer of “Years of Living Dangerously,” set to air next year.

Other celebrities, including Edward Norton, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and Don Cheadle, will narrate the series, which is expected to include six to eight one-hour episodes, according to a release from Showtime. New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof will be “reporting from the field,” according to the statement.

“We’ll make it exciting,” said Cameron. “We’ll make it investigative. We’ll bring people the truth. And people are always hungry for the truth.”

Since leaving the governor’s office in January 2011, Schwarzenegger has returned to making action movies and founded a policy institute at USC.


Senate leader hails new era for California, plans for surpluses

Lawmakers make plans to spend $2.5 billion in new energy funds

State Senate begins new two-year session with oaths of office

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Advisors to Govs. Brown, Schwarzenegger trade barbs

 Top advisors to Gov. Jerry Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traded jabs this week over each administration’s use of catchphrases and stunts that they argued glossed over the other's shortcomings on larger issues.

 Steve Glazer, Brown’s longtime political advisor, took the first shot during a panel on reform, challenging Schwarzenegger’s oft-repeated promise to "Blow up the boxes" and "Cut up the credit cards."

"I think it's just a form of manipulation. It’s advertising," Glazer said of the frequent use of the phrases. "It’s just trying to appeal to a voter’s instinct or emotion." Glazer noted that despite the vow to cut up credit cards, Schwarzenegger left the state with a pile of debt.

"No one really understood what he meant by 'blow up the boxes.' It’s just anti-government," Glazer added during the discussion in Sacramento hosted Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

That drew a counter-jab from panelist Rob Stutzman, Schwarzenegger’s former deputy chief of staff.

"You forgot to mention 'take away the cellphones,'" Stutzman said, referring to one of Brown’s public vows to cut state costs by reducing the number of phones in the hands of state employees. The high-profile campaign barely made a dent in the multi-billion-dollar shortfall the state was facing earlier this year, critics noted.

Glazer said the campaign to reduce cellphones was part of a larger consolidation of state government and that and a program to reduce state cars represented "one way to connect with voters." Stutzman said Schwarzenegger’s vow to "blow up the boxes" also was not an empty promise.

"The Schwarzenegger slogan, granted a political slogan, of blowing up boxes actually led to a very substantive study,'' he said, referring to the California Performance Review done during the last governor's tenure. The review recommended 1,200 ways to improve state government, though most were shelved by the Legislature.

"It was more than just advertising," Stutzman insisted.


Skelton: Proposition 39 fixes lawmakers' tax mistake

Ex-Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez takes hit in real estate market

Berman, Sherman mix it up -- again -- in congressional race forum

--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Steve Glazer, a longtime political advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, (pictured with the first dog, Sutter) was critical this week of some of the political sloganeering engaged in by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Credit: Don Kelsen.

Schwarzenegger says politicians need more guts on immigration

SchwarzeneggerCapitolWhile Arnold Schwarzenegger has strenuously avoided taking sides in the presidential campaign, the former Republican governor of California offered sharp criticism Sunday of politicians, including those in his own party, who have failed to tackle immigration reform.

"You’re a political leader and you come to Capitol Hill. You can’t be scared of things and then hope that you get reelected and that becomes your No. 1 interest," he said. "I mean, it takes a little bit more ... to run this job and to do this kind of a profession." More what? Think male anatomy.

The comments came during an interview with NBC News' David Gregory on "Meet the Press," where Schwarzenegger also discussed his notorious affair with a maid, which produced a son and led to his divorce from Maria Shriver.

It's not the first time Schwarzenegger has used anatomy to make a political point.

In 2009, he sent state Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) a metal sculpture of bull testicles, complete with a note suggesting the lawmaker would need them to make some tough budget choices.

These days, Schwarzenegger is preaching bipartisanship, saying that he had learned first-hand the perils of political polarization. He cited the special election he called in 2005 to advance a series of conservative ballot measures. California voters rejected all of them.

"I thought I could go off by myself and it’s my way or the highway just with the Republican Party," he said. "It failed miserably. So I learned first-hand that the only action is when both parties come together."

On immigration, Schwarzenegger called on both parties to revive the plan put forth by Sens. John McCain and Edward M. Kennedy (who died in 2009), which included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. "What do we do with the people who are here now?" Schwarzenegger asked. Politicians "have not yet gotten into it because they’re scared."

Asked if he would run for political office again, Schwarzenegger said he was focused on working at the think tank he started at USC and repairing the damage his affair inflicted on his family.

"You never say never, but I don’t see that in front of me," he said of another political campaign.


Opponents prime arguments for corporate tax campaign

Procter & Gamble stands aside as corporate tax battle heats up

Immigration-rights advocates criticize Gov. Brown's veto of Trust Act

--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento


Photo: Then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Credit: Matthew Cavanaugh / EPA

Schwarzenegger apologizes for affair on 'The Daily Show'


This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

On Sunday night, the venerable news show "60 Minutes" aired an interview with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. On Monday, he was in less serious territory, appearing on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Jon Stewart began the interview by seeking Schwarzenegger's contrition -- for "Jingle All the Way," the Schwarzenegger comedy panned by critics.

"Dreadful," Stewart said. "Just dreadful."

Schwarzenegger and the crowd laughed, but the conversation quickly turned to the actor-turned-politician's notorious affair with a maid, which produced a son and led to his divorce from Maria Shriver. 

"This was a mistake that I made," Schwarzenegger said. "I feel embarrassed about it, I feel ashamed about it. I hurt a lot of people by doing that."

Schwarzenegger, who waited years before admitting the affair to his wife, told Stewart that "it's much better to just talk about it."

Stewart asked Schwarzenegger if he could somehow go back in time and stop himself from making the same mistakes, and the former governor joked that could be the plot for "Terminator 16."

Schwarzenegger has been trying to rehabilitate his image, writing a memoir and launching a think tank with $20 million.

[For the Record: 8:20 a.m., Oct. 1: A previous version of this post stated that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger contributed $20 million of his own money for a new think tank. The total includes a personal donation as well as money he collected through fundraising.]


Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses affair in interview

Arnold Schwarzenegger describes being busted for love child

Book Review: In 'Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,' Arnold Schwarzenegger holds back

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento


Photo: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in July. Credit: David Muang / EPA

Schwarzenegger performed two same-sex marriages as governor

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who opposed a California constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, officiated at the same-sex nuptials of his chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, in the governor’s office, he told CBS News.

Schwarzenegger told interviewer Lesley Stahl that Kennedy’s ceremony was one of two same-sex marriages he performed as governor during a five-month window in 2008 when gay marriage was legal in California.

Schwarzenegger also presided over the marriage of a then-aide and his same-sex partner at the then-governor’s Brentwood home.

The former bodybuilder and Hollywood star said he personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. But as governor, he refused to fight for Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment approved by state voters banning same-sex unions.  

Schwarzenegger made his comments during an interview with CBS News’ Lesley Stahl. The comments were not part of Stahl’s interview with the former governor that ran on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, but they were posted on the "60 Minutes" website.


Endangered turtle is named state marine reptile

New law is fallout from state official's killing of mountain lion 

Gov. Jerry Brown tweets that he signed social media privacy bills

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Schwarzenegger calls affair with housekeeper 'stupidest thing I've done'

As he prepares for the release of his new memoir and a national book took, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discussed his affair with a member of his household staff in an interview with CBS.

Schwarzenegger’s sitdown with Lesley Stahl will air on “60 Minutes” Sunday. His memoir, “Total Recall” is set for release the following day.

In a clip of the interview released by CBS on Friday, Schwarzenegger said the affair  “was the stupidest thing I’ve done in the whole relationship,” he said. “I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids.”

He  said his estranged wife has not seen a copy of the manuscript.  “At this point,” Schwarzenegger said, “she hasn’t read anything.”


Prof. Schwarzenegger gives a lecture on post-partisanship

The Arnold Schwarzenegger affair: An issue of privacy

 Schwarzenegger Institute kickoff will fuse Hollywood, politics

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo:  Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/ Associated Press

Trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Last Stand' released online

They say you can never go home again, but in the case of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, that may not be true.

A trailer was released Thursday for "The Last Stand," which features Schwarzenegger in his first starring role since putting his acting career on hold to run the state of California back in 2003.

The movie, which also stars Forrest Whittaker, features Schwarzenegger as a small-town sheriff who is the only thing standing between an escaped drug kingpin and the Mexican border.

The trailer shows Schwarzenegger up to his pre-political tricks -- there are car chases, explosions, rocket launchers, plenty of gunfire and the trademark Schwarzenegger one-liners.

The film, which was directed by Jee-woon Kim, is scheduled for release in January 2013.  


Schwarzenegger and USC to establish bipartisan political think tank

Arnold Schwarzenegger wants fans to help design his book jacket

Schwarzenegger fan takes out heckler at Ohio statue unveiling

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Skelton: Affordable Care Act may not be affordable for Sacramento

In his column, George Skelton said he's concerned that the Affordable Care Act will end up costing California more than it can spend

SkeltonIn a place such as California's Democrat-dominated Capitol, it's not popular to question President Obama's sweeping healthcare legislation. 

But in Monday's column, George Skelton said he's concerned that the Affordable Care Act will end up costing California more than it can spend.

"It's as if somehow it would be contradictory -- even Democratic heresy -- to support a laudable expansion of healthcare coverage and to also acknowledge that it was going to require more California tax dollars," he wrote. "To ignore the cost is to be intellectually dishonest."

In 2010, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration said the state would need to spend up to $2.65 billion annually. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration said that estimate isn't correct, but hasn't offered a new one.

Although the Affordable Care Act is expected to bring more federal funding to California, it is also likely to expand the state's healthcare program for the poor, Medi-Cal, by an estimated 1.6 million people.

You can read more of Skelton's columns here.


Supreme Court's healthcare ruling: The outlook for California

California to lose big if Supreme Court scraps U.S. healthcare law

Chief justice leads Supreme Court's support of federal healthcare law

Photo: A Los Angeles doctor talks to a mother about her 6-year-old son. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Arnold Schwarzenegger wants fans to help design his book jacket


Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has turned his upcoming memoir into a social media experiment.

First, he invited his Facebook fans and Twitter followers to suggest topics for his upcoming autobiography, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” which is set to be published by Simon and Shuster in October. Now, Schwarzenegger is asking his online fans to suggest art for the book’s back cover.

Schwarzenegger wrote on his website that he is planning three different images for the back jacket of the book which “will showcase the three major stages of my life. It will represent my career in bodybuilding, my acting career and my time as governor.”

Which image best tells the story of Schwarzenegger’s seven years in office in Sacramento? Perhaps an image of the former Terminator star battling Count Cartaxula during the 2005 special election campaign? Or maybe one of Schwarzenegger at the state fairgrounds literally turning off a giant spigot of faux red ink to criticize the Legislature's spending?

Now you, gentle reader, can help Arnold choose.

As Schwarzenegger explained on his website Monday, “Yes, I could sit in a dark room and choose them myself, but that's no fun, and I'm just one person.”


A good day to scare up support

Governor's use of workers criticized

Schwarzenegger reveals book cover for 'Total Recall' memoir

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo: Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during a Capitol press conference in 2005. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/ Associated Press

California lawmakers remain highest paid, so raises unlikely


Gov. Jerry Brown’s $173,987 salary is slightly lower than the pay of his counterpart in Pennsylvania, but California legislators still have much higher salaries than lawmakers in other states, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The state survey will be used by the voter-approved Citizens Compensation Commission to determine in the coming weeks whether to grant pay raises to elected state officials, but a couple of panel members said it is unlikely they would vote to hike salaries given the state’s current budget woes.

"I don’t think the state is ready to give any pay raises -- definitely not," said Commissioner Kathy Sands, a former mayor of Auburn.

The commission is scheduled to hold its annual meeting March 29. The survey conducted by the California Department of Personnel Administration said the Pennsylvania governor’s salary is $177,888, the highest in the country and nearly $4,000 more than the pay of Brown, who has the second biggest paycheck. New York's governor is legally entitled to a salary of $179,000, but voluntarily takes a 5% pay cut.

Brown's salary is higher than the pay of governors in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio, the survey found.

Commissioner Charles Murray said it is "most unlikely" that he would vote to give Brown or legislators a pay raise. "If he (Brown) can bring his salary down close to what Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger received I’d be happy,’’ Murray said of the former chief executive who did not accept a salary.

The survey found that the $95,291 base salary for California legislators remains higher than in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, North Dakota and Ohio. The salary is $60,584 in the latter state. The survey does not include the state with the second highest pay for lawmakers, New York, where the base salary is $79,500, but where several legislators get premiums for serving in leadership jobs.

The survey also found the California secretary of state is the highest paid of eight states surveyed, but the lieutenant governor, controller and treasurer are also paid less than their counterparts in Pennsylvania.


Transitional kindergarten could be spared budget cuts

Gov. Jerry Brown faulted for taking down transparency website

California lawmaker drops bid to oust Fish and Game commissioner 

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photograph: Gov. Jerry Brown is the second highest paid governor in the country, according to a survey to be used to determine whether he should get a raise. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...





Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: