Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Innocuous letter or gubernatorial prank? [Updated]

It reads like an innocuous letter from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, explaining why he vetoed a wonky piece of legislation that would have made changes to “infrastructure financing districts.”

But hidden in Schwarzenegger’s text is another message: an obscene phrase apparently directed at the bill’s author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who ridiculed the governor earlier this month. The phrase, “F--- You,”  is spelled out by the first letter of seven consecutive lines along the left margin.

Schwarzenegger has been a prankster at least since his bodybuilding days, when he persuaded competitors that they should eat huge amounts of food -- ice cream, ground nutshells and salt, for example -- that made them sick, according to two of his biographers.

The veto message about the Ammiano bill was issued Oct. 11, four days after the lawmaker jeered Schwarzenegger – using his own obscene phrase -- when the Republican governor spontaneously popped in at a Democratic fundraiser being held near another event he was attending.
It says AB 1176’s proposed revisions to rules on developing the San Francisco waterfront were unnecessary. The coded message was reported by the San Francisco Bay Guardian on its website  today.

“My goodness, what a coincidence that it would say something along the left-hand margin,” said the governor’s spokesman, Aaron McLear. “But I suppose when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen.”

McLear said words including “ear,” “poet” and “soap” can be found by reading down the side of other veto messages Schwarzenegger issued this month.

Overall, Schwarzenegger vetoed six of the eight bills written by Ammiano that made it to his desk, according to the governor’s office.

Updated at 6:05 p.m.: Quintin Mecke, a spokesman for Ammiano, said AB 1176 would have expanded financing options to help the Port of San Francisco make improvements to a pier.

“Kudos to the governor for his creative use of coincidence,” said Mecke. “But I think as much as you have to have a sense of humor in politics, it’s unfortunate that this comes at the expense of the Port of San Francisco.”

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento
Comments () | Archives (19)

“But I suppose when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen.”

Um, the odds for that combination of 7 letters occurring randomly is about eight billion to one...

Schwarzenegger is an embarrassment. It may have been amusing to some in the beginning, but frankly it's cringe-inducing to endure this swaggering narcissist routinely outdoing SNL caricatures of himself with non-stop quoting of his own movies in a sham of governing, making childish outbursts, and idiocies like this. It's painfully obvious that he has no respect for the importance of his job. He's a joke, but as the governor of our state, he's not funny.

Thanks for the story.

This is my opinion, the Gov. is a putz!

Doug Wallick

Classy Arnold...

That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(While I don't agree with some of his politics) I didn't realize Ahr-nold had such a wry sense of humor and dry wit...

How ironic that the San Francisco papers couldn't ever figure out any of the Zodiac Killer's straight-forward ciphers and yet concoct this silliness out of thin air! Mundus vult decipi defines the Paranoid, no?!

Fortunately, undefiled Californians kiboshed the hatred, enmity, maliciousness and rancor native our Loony Democrats!

Very clever. Go Arnold!

Hilarious. Arnold always had a sense of humor.

Someone on Schwarzenegger's staff must have read the obituary of that judge who died last week who did the same thing in a Court of Appeal opinion footnote, as mentioned in the obit that ran in the Times. Juvenile stuff.

If only he were so creative in solving California's problems.

The question is this:

Did Schwarzenegger type this thing up, or did a secretary do it for him?

The document is very carefully formatted with a flush left and right edge.

San Francisco has a port?

I support Arnold!

Clever. Too bad the man has been such a disappointment, especially in the last few weeks.

Arnie, I love it! Ammiano is an idiot who deserved it. The CA legislature is a joke. Look at our state. Now we are going to shorten the school year? The lefties love the children. Whenever they bring up something expensive that we can't afford it is all bout the precious children. Now the mess they got us into screws them. Arnie, they all deserve that message not just Ammiano.

OK, my wife and I moved here from NYC just over a year ago. Our last governor should have gone to jail for taking hookers across state lines, & we thought nothing could be more embarrassing than Albany.

Arnold and Sacramento trump just about anything I've ever seen in the annals of government folly.

Should've done our homework...

re: about a 1 in 8 billion chance

Just another example of our California education system gone wrong.

The raw numbers would reflect that it was over a 1 in 8 billion chance (26 to the 7th power or 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26). But this does not take into account the unequal distribution of words in the English language as sorted by their first letter, nor any other number of factors.

As such, the commenter comes up with what looks like an impressive stat, but it is woefully inaccurate due to a failure in data collection and critical thinking.

Hey, at least you didn't get the last governor from Alaska - she couldn't even manage to stay on the job, let alone do the job.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: