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The governor's gifts: Antiques, clothes, wines and cigars

March 03, 2009|Patrick McGreevy
  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger walks away from the podium after a press conference inside the State Capitol building in Sacramento on Wednesday, February 18.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger walks away from the podium after a press… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year received more than $32,000 in gifts, including a Mongolian shield, a bronze bust of a California condor, a replica of a high-speed train, antique dumbbells and lots of wine and cigars.

In a disclosure report filed annually by elected officials, the jet-setting governor said the gift-givers included Prince Karim Aga Khan (a clock), Mexican President Felipe Calderon (cigars), Chilean Ambassador Mariano Fernandez (a book) and film director Chris Columbus (wine).

He also received flowers, drawings, clothes, ties and plants.

The most expensive gift was a $1,600 watch given by Eyal Lalo, the chief executive of Invicta Watch Co. of America. Schwarzenegger had to write a $1,210 check for that one, to abide by the state's $390 limit, according to Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the governor.

The Mongolian shield, valued at $380, was provided by Manhattan Beach businessman Chris Robins. The condor bust from National Heritage Collectors Society founder David Spellerberg was valued at $1,200; Schwarzenegger had to pay $810 to keep that one within the gift limit.

The antique dumbbells came from a former aide to the governor, while the train replica came from the head of the French railroad.

Schwarzenegger received $110 in wine from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a food basket worth $70 from Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and steaks worth $369 from the vice chairman of Net Jets, a private aviation company.

Some of the gifts came from firms that do business with the state or rely on it for regulatory decisions.

The governor received $120 worth of clothing, including a jacket, hat and T-shirt from an executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which has received state help in developing the area around its L.A. Live entertainment district in Los Angeles.

He was given a pair of life vests by an official of the Department of Boating and Waterways.

The governor's personal finances are also subject to disclosure, but only in broad categories. He reports having an interest in seven limited partnerships and stock funds of more than $1 million each.

The governor also reported that the California State Protocol Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with the California Chamber of Commerce, provided $19,251 in travel costs for his attendance at the National Governor's Assn. meeting in Philadelphia in December.

McLear said he could not say which gifts were the governor's favorites, because when the reports were released today, Schwarzenegger was asleep in Germany on a foreign trade mission.

If he returns with suitcases full of gifts from foreign dignitaries, those will have to be reported next year.


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