Wow. In a deal that was announced last year at the 2004 Arnold Classic, David Pecker (CEO of AMI, who owns Weider Publications) announced that Arnold was joining forces with AMI by becoming the Executive Editor of two magazines - Muscle & Fitness, and Flex. With this added responsibility, they very generously agreed to commit to $250,000 annually to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. What we didn't see in the press release is the special additional monies that would go directly to Arnold himself.
But because of a SEC filing, information came out that Arnold is getting over a million dollars a year, or more, because the agreement calls for Arnold to get 1% of the magazine's advertising revenue each year. Thus, the contract calls for up to over $8 millions dollars over 5 years. Nice, very nice.
Of course, Arnold was receiving money from the magazines before this agreement, because he was writing a monthly column for the last few years anyway. But this number stunned many in the bodybuilding industry. Not too mention the many out there who would love to find any dirt they can get on Arnold.
Not that this isn't legal. California law says that any elected official can keep a consulting or job. But because Arnold vetoed a bill that would restrict dietary supplements in the industry (even though he did the right thing), his critics are crying conflict of interest, and want all ties with AMI and the magazines cut off. So Arnold has to make a decision - a political one - on whether or not do to this. If he doesn't, it will continue to be a big issue and might effect his next run for Governor. If he does, it would solve some problems, but his critics will still dredge it up whenever they can.
Oak Productions is Arnold's company where the payments go to. The deal, while not needed to be public, still should have been disclosed earlier last year, and things are further clouded with the contract as it says "Mr. S" on it, and not Arnold Schwarzenegger. So the opinions on the street and on the Internet. While Arnold is in perfectly legal rights to keep the deal, and no laws have been broken. the issue is a moral one - one which looks like a conflict on interest, and may cause much problems for him over the future.