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Jan 06, 2005 - 04:15 PM

Back To The Days Of The Hapsburg Dynasty

by Jamie Court
Today, the Governor announced the proposed elimination of 94 public protection oversight boards such as the Medical Board, Board of Registered Nursing, Accountancy Board, Racial Profiling Panel, the Brown vs. Board of Education Advisory Committee and the Campus Sexual Assault Taskforce. In doing so the governor would be eliminating public process and citizen oversight boards subject to open meetings laws that have been developed over decades. It's a power grab befitting a king who wants to make all the decisions in closed chambers, with the aristocrats at his side and the serfs suffering the consequences.

For example, instead of a committee of doctors and members of the public overseeing medical discipline through open meetings, the Governor would have his political appointee, former Assembly member Fred Aguiar (who took big money from doctors and insurers and voted their way) overseeing the profession. This will make the medical-insurance lobby jump for joy because they have Aguiar's ear, but it will quash prosecution of dangerous doctors who happen to be politically connected. Similarly, hospitals will be given free reign to save money by letting less skilled caregivers take over the jobs of Registered Nurses if the Nursing Board disappears. All of this will turn the clock back on consumer protection and medical safety, and literally threaten patients' lives.

The same threat to life and limb holds true for the elimination of the Boards of Pharmacy, Building Standards, Dental Services, et al... To "absorb" control of professional licensing into a political bureaucracy where industry money talks is to forget the public and its safety. It belies the arrogance of a ruler who thinks that he and his court make up the only process that counts.

Arnold wants to send us back to the House of Hapsburg, the rulers of much of Europe from 1218 to 1912. In those despotic days, the safety of buildings, medicine and dentistry were a little different too.

In a related note: Arnold has not, interestingly, done away with the California Film Commission. Seems that the movie star has a little different view of what's important.

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