Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gets a prime speaking slot tonight at the Republican convention to introduce himself to the national party. In today's L.A. Times, Joe Mathews stops in with some conservative Virginia Republicans who like to think that the governor is one of them. Told that he "supports abortion rights, favors a number of gun control measures and has said he has no personal objections to gay marriage." one Polly Johnson of the state GOP central committee "expresses disbelief." Still, Arnold-mania is so strong in New York that three Republican groups sent out press releases crowing that he would be at their events on Sunday and Monday, even though he didn't arrive in NYC until Monday night.
Last week, John Broder of the New York Times came up with the roster of corporations paying for Schwarzenegger's $350,000 trip. They include Fox Entertainment, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, NBC Universal, Paramount, TimeWarner, the Walt Disney Company, Viacom, Abbott Laboratories, Amgen, Pfizer, ChevronTexaco and Conoco Phillips. The Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America also tossed in some bucks. The governor's office explains that the sponsorships mean taxpayers don't have to pay the cost of a purely political trip. Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Dan Weintraub shoots down a talk radio rumor that Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will sign the drivers licenses-for-illegals bill while the Guv is away.