In what seemed to me to be a political attempt to gain points and attention, politicians in Graz, Austria have been petitioning to remove Arnold Schwarzenegger's name from a stadium in his hometown. The petition was started when Schwarzenegger refused to grant clemency to quadruple murderer and founder of the Crips gang, Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Williams was executed December 13. Now Arnold has struck first and defused their attempts at grandstanding.
In a show of just how much character the man has and how much he views his own beliefs, Schwarzenegger has told them that they no longer have the right to use his name for either the stadium, nor the town. While some in the town support him I agree totally with Schwarzenegger that if people are going to criticize you for your beliefs then they should have no right to gain from your accomplishments.
What did Austria ever do for Arnold Schwarzenegger anyway? He made his own mark in the world and other then being his birthplace they seem to have nothing in common with the man. He asked that his name be removed by years end.
In a letter that began "Dear Mister Mayor," Schwarzenegger said he decided to spare the Graz city council "further concern" should he be forced to make other clemency decisions while he's governor. Another inmate is scheduled to be executed in California Jan. 17.
"In all likelihood, during my term as governor, I will have to make similar and equally difficult decisions," Schwarzenegger said in the letter. "To spare the responsible politicians of the city of Graz further concern, I withdraw from them as of this day the right to use my name in association with the Liebenauer Stadium."
In the letter, Schwarzenegger also said he would no longer permit the use of his name "to advertise or promote the city of Graz in any way" and would return the city's "ring of honor."
The ring was given to him in a ceremony in Graz in 1999. At the time, Schwarzenegger said he considered it "a token of sincere friendship between my hometown and me."
"Since, however, the official Graz appears to no longer accept me as one of their own, this ring has lost its meaning and value to me. It is already in the mail," the governor wrote.
Maybe this will backfire on the politicians who made it an issue and they'll be voted out by the people.
Tipped by: Outside The Beltway, where James Joyner sees the letter as "meanspirited".
Never bluff a straight shooter.