Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon
Go to Google, type in the words Schwarzenegger, Gigi and impeach --- and what comes up? Precious little. Yet at this very moment, we should be seeing the stirring of a widespread impeachment movement.
The California governor had a seven-year affair with Gigi Goyette, who now lives in Malibu. The affair may have started when she was underaged.
American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, signed a friend of the woman to a similar contract about the alleged relationship for $1,000.
The story was first told in LA Magazine back in September of 2004. Alas, everyone (including this writer) ignored the matter until the L.A. Times brought it back into focus.
The article had blindsided Schwarzenegger, who believed he had already dealt with the detritus of his life...
In the past, I have discussed the mafia and government connections of the American tabloid industry, which was begun by a mobbed-up CIA psychological warfare specialist. The National Enquirer has a history of protecting right-wing politicians while sliming the left.
Incidentally, the LA Magazine story referenced above is quite hip to tabloid history. As that story notes, AMI --- which now owns all the tabs --- refused to touch the philandering allegations surrounding Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, the home state for the tabloids.
Florida and California have more than Disney theme parks in common. After the publication of the above-cited story, the tabloids suddenly refused to touch Schwarzenegger.
The actor cut a deal with American Media, which also owns the fitness magazines with which Schwarzenegger has had a long-standing relationship. The deal was worth millions.
I suspect that we will soon learn much more about the relationship between AMI and Arnold Schwarzenegger. At a time when the tabloids are hurting, AMI sat on a huge story --- and even functioned as the proxy for the (rather paltry) pay-off to the lady in question. Would they have done so without strong financial inducement? Just what is the relationship between AMI and the Republican power elite?
Any gubernatorial candidate who, either personally or via proxy, bribes a woman to keep quiet about an affair has committed an impeachable offense. So why are Democrats keeping mum about this sordid affair?
The ghost of the Clinton/Lewinski scandal may still haunt the political landscape. But that ghost is (pardon the expression) easily laid. Neither Clinton nor his associates paid Lewinski any money.
Moreover, the United States constitution and the California constitution differ. A president may be impeached for treason, bribery, and "high crimes and misdemeanors." A California governor may be impeached simply for "misconduct" in office. California's corrupt governor was party to a bribe paid to maintain his political career. That action certainly qualifies as misconduct.
The state Senate must bring impeachment charges against Schwarzenegger. The Assembly will try those charges. The Republicans, I can happily report, do not control the California legislature.