Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Page 6



Biggest Ego and Worst Judgment




 (The writer is a retired trial lawyer, an American Board of Trial Advocates  member since 1978 and a former professor of torts at five California law schools. He counts 4,000 of his former students among California’s lawyers and judges. He was presiding referee of the Disciplinary Board, later called the State Bar Court. He is a former member of the State Bar Board of Governors—1980 to 1983—and the Judicial Council of California.)

Ex-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can and should be very thankful the editors and publishers of the Guinness Book of World Records did not publish a category for biggest ego and worst judgment.  If they did, our former governor would occupy both slots.  Indeed, the tenure of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term in office is embarrassing to the people he sought to serve, the citizens of California.

The Governor entered the fray as a candidate based on his qualifications as a body builder, movie star and politician.  While these qualifications obviously did not meet the requirements for the office of Governor of any state, let alone a great state, he was elected fairly and squarely in a campaign to recall Governor Gray Davis and get himself elected as his successor.  Be it noted that Governor Davis was not impeached.  He was recalled.  The charges were incompetence, not misconduct in office, and on this issue, the people of California had spoken.  Rightly or wrongly, the die was cast.  “My country right or wrong” akin to “my mother, drunk or sober.” The people’s decision could not be questioned.

The political decorum was not served by calling his opponents in the legislature girlie-boys.  Groping of attractive women’s breasts was not in the playbook of political decorum. Yet, the worst was yet to come.

Governor Schwarzenegger had been married for more than a decade to Maria Shriver.  They had four children together and by all indications, theirs was a happy marriage.  She never publically complained about Arnold’s groping propensities.  She performed well as a television commentator.  Her father had been a candidate for Vice-President and was a founder of the Peace Corps.  Her uncle was a President of the United States.  By all indications, she was a dignified and respected daughter of two prestigious families.  Hence, the world was shocked when soon after the Governor left office, she announced that she was seeking a divorce.  Her sense of privacy allowed for no other details.  Then, lightning struck like a hurricane.  The Governor openly humiliated Maria, her family, their children and yes, even the people who supported and protected him as Governor of California.  He publically announced that more than a decade ago, he impregnated a housekeeper of their family.  He continued the housekeeper relationship and permitted and condoned bringing his newly discovered child into the family home and introducing him to his four half-siblings.

As though Maria’s humiliation was not enough, Arnold wrote a book exposing these facts.  How in the world can he say that he wanted to protect his and Maria’s and the housekeeper’s privacy?  Does this man have no scruples?

There is yet another problem.  As he walked out the Governor’s door, he commuted a sixteen year prison sentence to six years for the son of a crony.  The victim was Luis Dos Santos.  There was no other reason for the commutation; just politics.


Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company