Mark Steyn tells us how Arnold unrang a bellIn "Like It Is: Tookie goes to Austria" (HT: Powerline) Mark tells the tale of a bunch of Austrian lefty politicians calling for a name change on a local stadium. Apparently, and I admit I didn't know this, the city of Graz, Austria named a football (by which I assume they mean soccer) stadium after Arnold in recognition of his success on the world stage. This is a pretty typical local-boy-makes-good story, I remember the renaming of "Mohammad Ali Blvd" in Louisville, KY when I was a kid.
This story has a couple of twists though. Apparently the lefties in Graz were upset with Arnold not granting clemency to Tookie Williams. They were so upset that they started a movement to pressure the city to change the name of the stadium.... to the Tookie Williams stadium (you have to remember these are lefties and are therefore, by definition, not rational). They claim Arnold is a criminal because capital punishment is illegal in Austria and he should further be stripped of his citizenship (didn't he give it up when he became an American citizen???).
Arnold's response is the key to the story. I won't spoil it all because you should go read Mark Steyn's great article but here is the best part.
Writing to the mayor of his old town, Schwarzenegger noted that in the course of his gubernatorial term he'd have to make decisions on other death-row inmates, too - the next one comes up in January. So, wrote the governor, "in order 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... I expect the lettering to be removed by the end of 2005" - and, given that most European municipal workers are on vacation till the second week of January, that means the mayor may have had to sub-contract the job to any obliging Albanian Muslim refugees he could round up.
"The use of my name to advertise or promote the city of Graz in any way is no longer allowed," continued Arnold. "Graz will not have any problems in the future with my decisions as governor of California, because officially nothing connects us any more."
And just for good measure he returned the "Ring of Honor" he was given in 1999 for the "pride and recognition" he brought Graz.