Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Seismic Safety Commission And Politics

The L.A. Times has a long story this morning by Sharon Bernstein about the Seismic Safety Commission in Sacramento, and the interference with its independence by Gov. Schwarzenegger's office.

This has been going on for some time, but I see this morning that Schwarzenegger has hired the insurance lobbyist, Dan Dunmoyer, and he is serving as a kind of spokesman on this issue.

This is like hiring Hamas to guard the Temple Mount.

Dunmoyer is one of a long line of insurance industry representatives who have gone to work for the governor. In Dunmoyer's case, it is probably to raise funds for the governor's reelection. The insurers have had a long, disgraceful relationship with Republican governors. They are a really major contributor, and it's not for the benefit of Californians, folks. I knew Dunmoyer well when I was covering insurance, and while, he's not the worst fellow, he is not to be trusted in such a capacity.

The Seismic Safety Commission lives on a shoestring, and yet it is an important source of information about and study of the earthquake danger.

Rather than retrofit the public schools, many of which are badly in need of it, the governor's office would like to ignore the obligation. There may not be a big quake soon, but there could be one tomorrow. In the meantime, California school children are being jeopardized. That should end, and now.

Schwarzenegger has long been a special interest governor. He should, in my view, not be reelected.


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