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Ads to back Schwarzenegger for president

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Tokyo.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attends an event promoting California tourism and agriculture at Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo on Saturday.Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Californians will soon see advertisements urging them to help give Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other foreign-born citizens the chance to run for president.

The cable television ads, set to begin running Monday, are from a Silicon Valley-based group that wants to amend the U.S. Constitution, which limits the presidency to people born in the United States. Schwarzenegger was born in Austria but became a U.S. citizen in 1983.

“You cannot choose the land of your birth. You can choose the land you love,” Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones says in the ads.

She is a San Francisco Bay area mutual fund manager and major Schwarzenegger campaign donor who is helping pay for the ads and created a companion Web site.

Schwarzenegger, 57, has said he would consider running for president if the Constitution allowed but hasn’t pushed for a constitutional change.

The TV ads mark the first significant attempt to build public support for an amendment. While polls show Schwarzenegger remains popular with voters, the idea of a constitutional change is not.

Four proposed amendments are circulating in Congress, but none has advanced. Constitutional amendments require congressional approval and ratification by 38 states.