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Brash Schwarzenegger needles top donor

You've got to hand it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger - he seems willing to say just about anything to anyone.

Take last Wednesday.

First, he told an audience of Latino journalists that immigrants should "turn off the Spanish television set" to learn English. Then, later that same evening at a Silicon Valley awards dinner, Schwarzenegger made fun of Terry Semel, the $72 million chief executive officer of Yahoo!, whose earnings have come under fire as Google has overtaken Yahoo! in the online earnings race.

"People still today ask me, why would I leave a job where I made all this money in movies?" Schwarzenegger said. "And here I get paid basically absolutely nothing, because I don't accept my salary, unlike Terry."

The line earned the loudest laughs of the evening, according to published reports.

But it takes a certain kind of brashness to imply that one of your single largest donors ought to forgo his salary.

In fact, the laugh line came less than three weeks after Semel gave the governor's campaign committee $25,000, earning him a spot on the "Governor's Advisory Committee," where big donors are included in regular conference calls with Schwarzenegger.

All told, Semel has given Schwarzenegger and his campaign committees more than $194,000.

As for Semel, he resigned his post as CEO of Yahoo! on Monday.