Governor Swings Meat Axe at Consumer Boards


January 28, 2005

Contact: Richard Holober, 650) 589-3135 office; (650) 307-7033 cell

Bogus ‘reform’ means secrecy in regulating business
"Governor Schwarzenegger wants to replace sunlight with
secrecy,’ Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer
Federation of California told the Little Hoover Commission today. ‘His
bogus ‘reform’ wipes out checks and balances, and concentrates in his
hands the power to kill consumer, worker, and environmental

The Little Hoover Commission is considering the governor’s plan
to eliminate 88 boards and commissions that regulate businesses,
professions, labor, environmental and educational matters.
The Consumer Federation of California urged the Little Hoover
Commission to reject the governor’s proposal in its entirety. The
wholesale attack on the regulatory structure of California is
fundamentally flawed, and is not worthy of serious consideration.

Richard Holober pointed out that:

‘ Instead of the governor’s meat axe approach, a rigorous, thoughtful
review of each board and commission is warranted. The Little Hoover
Commission can not physically conduct this review in the few weeks that
the governor has given it to respond to his proposal.

Fortunately, a
process for rigorous review is already in place, through the Joint
Committee on Boards Commissions and Consumer Protections, formerly the
Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee. This bipartisan committee
should be allowed to do its duty under law. This Committee has the
authority to introduce legislation to reform or eliminate boards and
commissions following its review of their effectiveness.

‘ The boards and commissions that the governor would eliminate
operate in the open, with opportunities for public testimony. In most
cases these boards and commissions include members that represent
public and consumer interests as well as industry representatives.
Under the governor’s proposal, administrative agencies would take over
the functions of the boards and commissions.

These agencies are headed
by members of the governor’s cabinet, who are hand-picked appointees of
the governor. The governor would dictate regulatory policy on any
controversial issue. This governor has demonstrated his hostility to
consumer, worker, and educational interests.

"Schwarzenegger’s plan would create secret government. Consumers,
workers, students and environmentalists would be silenced. Corporate
California would have a field day,’ Holober added. ‘His plan imperils
the public and should be rejected."