Yay, it’s Friday. Here are some links for your weekend (or your Monday, whatever):
• Since Willie Brown was termed out, the Speaker’s Office hasn’t really been the same. Some have had moments of effectiveness, and others have been, well, a little less effective. Bob Hertzberg? Well, I’ll let you place him along that spectrum for yourself. His name keeps getting bandied about, this time by Joel Fox. He likes the idea of a private sector approach being brought to government reform through California Backward. I’m not so sure that any of their ideas actually have a shot in the Leg, and that’s why the rumors about them going directly to the ballot make sense. However, if they plan on messing with the Sinclair Paints decision or some of the other deforms that they are pushing, count this progressive (Brian) out of the Bob Hertzberg Fan Club.
• Mother Jones has a story about how Darrell Issa is trying to become the Henry Waxman of the right, using his ranking membership on the Oversight Committee to press investigations. The difference is that Issa is purely using the probes to go after political enemies based on the thinnest bits of evidence.
• The AP delves into abandoned mercury mines along the central coast and the federal governments inability to clean them and remove the threat to the state’s waterways.
• Next Saturday (9/26) Rep. Buck McKeon is hosting a town hall in Santa Clarita. Apparently, he’s been sending out emails to his supporters about the event, so a solid D turnout would be nice.
• Arnold the Do-Gooder: Preventing the eviction of a group of disabled Californians. Now, if he could find some money for home health care for those folks… and quick, because the IHSS budget cuts take effect November 1. 97,000 people will lose at least some aid due to the cuts. So keep that in mind.
• The state released TV efficiency standards. TV manufacturers have been fighting this for a while, saying that it will kill the market for TVs over 55″. Soound familiar to the arguments against the requirement of a catalytic converter? TVs are one of the biggest energy hogs in the home, so these regulations are important. Car manufacturers were able to get cleaner cars to the state. TV manufacturers will get more effecient TVs to California. The first regulations will go into effect in 2011, with tighter regs going into effect in 2013.
• Gavin and Jennifer Newsom have announced the birth of their baby girl, Montana Tessa Newsom. Best to them, but for gimmick purposes, “California” might have been a better way to go on the name.