You may know Arnold Schwarzenegger by such films as Terminator, Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, Terminator 2, Conan the Barbarian, Predator, True Lies, Conan the Destroyer, or Terminator 3. You probably also know him as the 38th Governor of California, serving in that office from November of 2003 until January 2011. During his time in office, he, like many other political executives, sparred with the legislative branch on occasion. One example of this came in October of 2009, when the California State Assembly passed an energy policy bill. The details aren’t important — if you’re interested, the Wall Street Journal covered it here — except that Schwarzenegger wasn’t a fan of what the Assembly had proposed. Instead, the governor returned the bill to the legislature, unsigned, thereby vetoing it. In doing so, Schwarzenegger included the following note:
The State Assembly members were not amused. Not because of the rejection — well, maybe because of the rejection — but also because the “Governator” used the letter to tell the legislature what he really thought of them. Don’t see it? This will help:
That’s not very nice.
News of the nastygram hit the press shortly afterward, as one would expect. Schwarzenegger claimed that the acrostic was unintended, but most weren’t convinced. The veto affected the financing for the Port of San Francisco and the rejected bill was sponsored by a San Francisco assemblyman named Tom Ammianno. Just a few weeks earlier, Ammianno and Schwarzenegger had a public falling out. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, showed up at a Democratic Party dinner, and in the words of SFGate, “Ammiano called the governor a liar and shouted from the audience to ‘kiss my gay ass.'”
While Ammianno took the return message in stride and with a sense of humor, Schwarzenegger nevertheless doubled down on the claim that the f-bomb was unintended. According to the Huffington Post, Schwarzenegger told the press corps that the perceived insult was “a total coincidence. . . a weird coincidence.” If that sounds unlikely, you’re right: a quick look into the math suggests that the odds of such a result occurring randomly are one in a trillion.
From the Archives: Crease and Desist: Probably the best letter ever written.
Related: “Arnold’s Bodyshaping for Women” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a book he co-authored in 1979. Mostly shared here because the cover made me laugh, for no good reason.