Did governator send coded message to legislator?

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sends a veto message that seems to include a hidden f-bomb

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 28, 2009 6:40PM (UTC)
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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a pretty creative guy, so it wouldn't be too surprising for him to have found a creative way of getting back at a fellow politician who'd ticked him off. That seems to be what he did in a letter explaining his decision to veto a bill that the state legislature passed unanimously.

The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, would have helped the port of San Francisco with financing issues. And it was relatively uncontroversial, as that unanimous vote showed. But Ammiano is controversial, and he recently got some headlines when, after Schwarzenegger dropped in to a Democratic fundraiser, he shouted "You lie!" at the governor, and then left the room telling the governor, "kiss my gay ass."


Schwarzenegger sent the members of the state assembly a letter explaining his decision to veto the bill. Only thing is, as the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Tim Redmond noticed, it didn't really explain all that well why he'd veto the bill. But there did seem to be a very explicit sort of message contained in the letter, one visible only if you read the first letter of each line. Those letters -- f, u, c, k and then in the second paragraph y, o, u -- spell out "fuck you."

After he put up a post explaining what he'd found, Redmond heard from Aaron McLear, a spokesman from Schwarzenegger, who commented, "what a strange coincidence." Redmond believes McLear was being sarcastic, and maybe he was, but he also sent the Wall Street Journal a list of other, innocuous words that could be similarly spelled out in veto messages.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger California San Francisco War Room