Schwarzenegger and Shriver repay $235,000 earned from tourism ads

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Without realizing it, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California First Lady Maria Shriver earned $235,000 over five years for appearing in tourism commercials promoting California, according to the governor’s staff. The money was repaid after The Times asked about income from the commercials reported by Shriver on her state financial disclosure form earlier this week.

According to the governor’s office and the president of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, the first couple wanted to waive their fees, but they were required to be paid a minimum amount under union contract rules for the Screen Actors Guild. The commercials feature scenes from across California, including restaurants, a golf course, Disneyland, a beach and a ski resort.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver are shown in one ad sitting with wine glasses with a waterfront vista. In another, the governor is skiing. Other celebrities who have appeared in tourism commercials include Rob Lowe, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood.

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento