Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on June 10, 2008
We Californians have had five years to come to grips with the fact that we have a triple threat (body builder/actor/businessman) as our head of state. His unique background has made for some colorful and contradictory behaviors. For example: he donates his $175,000 salary to charity but spends $38 million of his own money on a GulfStream IV jet; he wins a European Voice award for his Californian Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, yet he flies his private jet back and forth between Los Angeles and Sacramento every day; he’s a Republican and yet his preferred method of transportation is private jet.
Hang on, that last one isn’t a contradiction. Anyhoo, you get the point.
Commuting from L.A. to Sacramento by air, a 380-mile round trip, is not only highly unusual for a state governor, it’s a carbon bingeing slap in the face to the environment. However, this movie star-esque behavior may be coming to an end. According to a report on Bloomberg.com: “A federal judge will decide on May 15 whether the governor can land aboard a Gulfstream IV in Santa Monica, a 15-minute drive to his home in Los Angeles’ wealthy Brentwood enclave.” Santa Monica city council members, including Schwarzenegger’s brother-in-law Bobby Shriver, voted unanimously to ban large jets at this beachside airport. Ouch.
Santa Monica “is currently fighting a temporary restraining order obtained by the FAA that blocks enforcement of the ordinance.” While the FAA uses the Santa Monica airport as overrun to relieve congestion at LAX, the city argues the ban will protect residents and passengers from jets skidding into homes located less than 300 feet from the runway. Thus far, Schwarzenegger’s camp hasn’t commented. However, Shriver says he knows how the governor may respond if the restriction holds: “‘Now I have to drive an hour and a half because of Bobby and the communists,’” Shriver said, mimicking his brother-in-law’s Austrian accent. Hmmm, I foresee an awkward family Christmas dinner ahead.