The payments, revealed Wednesday in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are from American Media Operations Inc., a subsidiary of American Media Inc., the company that publishes fitness magazines including Flex and Muscle & Fitness and the gossip titles National Enquirer and Star.
Critics say the contract is a conflict of interest because Schwarzenegger's pay comes from advertising revenue and the magazines often feature ads about dietary supplements. The governor last year vetoed a bill that would have imposed government regulations on the dietary supplement industry.
Bill sponsor Sen. Jackie Speier, a Democrat, called on Schwarzenegger to cut all ties with the magazines. "Whether it is an actual conflict or not, it certainly gives the appearance of being a conflict," Speier said.
Independent political observers agreed, saying the contract showed a lapse in judgment by the Republican governor.