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Schwarzenegger Staff Pledges Confidentiality

THE RECALL CAMPAIGN | RECALL NOTEBOOK

September 19, 2003|From Times Staff Reports

Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign, which has employed many of Hollywood's techniques for media management, has picked up another Hollywood practice -- the confidentiality agreement.

According to a copy of the five-page, densely worded agreement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Schwarzenegger has devoted "substantial effort and expense ... to limit the constant efforts of the press, other media, and the public to learn of personal and business affairs" in which he is involved.

To protect his privacy, campaign staff members are required to agree not to reveal "information and items relating to or concerning (a) Arnold Schwarzenegger and his family, friends, associates and employees (collectively, "Related Parties"); (b) private and confidential matters concerning Employer or any Related Parties; (c) financial, business, medical, legal, personal and contractual matters

In particular, staff members are barred from taking "any photographs, movies, videos" or making "any sketches, depictions or other likenesses Of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Arnold Schwarzenegger's family, friends, associates or employees." The agreement not to "publish, disseminate, disclose or cause to be published, disseminated or disclosed" continues "during or after" the staff member's employment.

Staff members agree that Schwarzenegger has the right to obtain a court order blocking them from disclosing any information covered by the agreement, and that if they violate the terms they can be required to pay $50,000 for each violation. Such nondisclosure agreements are standard in the movie industry, but unusual in political campaigns.

The Schwarzenegger campaign would not comment on the record about the agreement, which was not surprising since the agreement provides that the existence of the document itself must be kept confidential.

A senior strategist, however, confirmed that all employees had been required to sign. "It's standard operating procedure, considering the celebrity nature of the candidate," the campaign strategist said. "This is someone who has had people around him who have repeatedly tried to profit off of him."

Camejo Gets Apology After Incident at School

Appearances on public school campuses have become rites of passage for the candidates in the recall election. But for Green Party candidate Peter Camejo, the opportunity did not go as planned Thursday, and the candidate was asked to leave the campus of Belmont High School, where he was scheduled to speak to a group of students.

Camejo was waiting in the school cafeteria for his speech to begin when Vivian Pittman, an assistant principal, asked whether there were members of the media in the audience.

According to the Camejo campaign, the candidate refused to answer Pittman's question, saying that it was his right to have media covering his campaign. Pittman asked students to leave the room, and Camejo was asked to end the meeting.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials said Camejo's ouster had been a mistake on the part of the school staff. Belmont High Principal Ignacio Garcia, who was not on campus when the incident occurred, called the Camejo campaign Thursday afternoon to apologize and invite Camejo to return to the campus.

Camejo spokesman Tyler Snortum-Phelps said he wasn't sure whether the candidate would be able to reschedule the appearance.

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