FTCR Calls Freeze "Special Interest Coup d' Etat"
In Executive Order No. 2, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has frozen all pending state regulations for a duplicative review of their impact on businesses in the state. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) called the 180 day freeze "a special interest coup d' etat."
Among the spectrum of laws to be put on hold include pending regulations to root out pesticides, to protect Californians' privacy, to create drinking water standards for arsenic and perchlorate, to implement electronic waste legislation, to halt Energy Commission rules crucial to the renewable porfolio standard, and to publicly disclose doctors' medical negligence settlements.
"For a governor who wants to reduce government burdens and stop special interests, this executive order forces governmental agencies to do their job twice and gives big business a reprieve on consumer and environmental protection laws passed during the last two years," said Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "This is both a waste of taxpayer money and an abuse of power. The regulatory process is where a governor can slow and stop legislation that his contributors do not like. This executive order rolls back vital public protections and only serves the large industries that have fought tooth and nail to make sure they do not become law."
FTCR today launched www.arnoldwatch.org to watch the hidden hands of special interests over the administration.
To announce its new web site, the consumer group hired a 22-foot moving billboard to circle Arnold Schwarzenegger's inauguration, and a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored lunch that followed it, printed with Webster's definition of special interest. It reads, "n. a person or group seeking to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests; especially lobby."
Schwarzenegger has claimed that special interests include only labor unions and native American tribes, not large corporations and other business interests that have been his biggest boosters.
- 30 -