Arnold Schwarzenegger has, I’d estimate, about 30 percent more IQ points than Jesse Ventura. So when Jesse became governor of Minnesota, and took it as an opportunity to build his brand, as the MBAs say, he did it the dumb way — he accepted gigs in his old venue, professional wrestling, and did color commentary for the preposterous XFL. Hey, lots of people have second jobs, right?
But Arnold, governor of California, is smart, and so he did it in a way that wouldn’t require him to put on a stupid costume or work weekends — he signed an $8 million consulting contract with Weider Publications.
Weider Publications? you’re thinking. Aren’t they the people who publish, like Muscle & Sinew, or those other gay wish books?
Why yes. And what’s the meat of the “consultation?” Try this on for size:
The contract pays Schwarzenegger 1% of the magazines’ advertising revenue, much of which comes from makers of nutritional supplements. Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have imposed government regulations on the supplement industry.
Tiresome quote from good-government sort: Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., said: “This is one of the most egregious apparent conflicts of interest that I have seen. This calls into question his judgment as to who he is working for, and it calls into question what he thinks he owes the public.”
Silly man! Everybody knows that governors work to build their brand. He need to get with the program.
Of course, Ventura was just affluent, while Team Schwarzenegger is rich rich rich already — I’d imagine $8 million would cover two years’ detailing on the Hummer fleet. Silly people! It’s not about the money. As the great exchange in “Chinatown” tells us, it’s about much more than that:
“How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can’t already afford?”
“The future, Mr. Gittes! The future!”