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Mar 29, 2007 - 02:15 PM

Arnold's Appointees Make Harriet Miers Look Like A Good Pick

by Carmen Balbe
A dirty battle is being waged on the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, where Schwarzenegger appointees are slinging accusations of threats, bias, theft, misconduct, secrecy, favoritism, discrimination and all-around bad behavior. A Senate committee opened an investigation and heard testimony on the scandal yesterday.

Two bodybuilding buddies that Arnold appointed to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners are at the center of the controversy. Arnold waved off responsibility when the story broke, noting incorrectly that the public protection board "represents their profession" not the public.

The governor can't seem to get this appointment game right. Questions were raised last August over plum appointments awarded to people who happen to also be Schwarzenegger campaign contributors. And two other Schwarzenegger appointments have raised eyebrows recently with their public messes:

Arnold nominated his appointments secretary, Timothy Simon, to the Public Utilities Commission. Simon was in bankruptcy for four years, and had defaulted on payments, including child support, at the time of his appointment. His financial difficulties raises serious questions about his ability to maintain independence from the multi-billion dollar gas, electricity and telecommunications utilities regulated by the PUC. Arnold's screening process somehow managed to also overlook the fact that Simon had little experience relevant to utility regulation, and no consumer protection credentials.

A Schwarzenegger Building Standards Commission appointee recently withdrew his nomination for a post reserved for a person with disabilities. Disabled advocates charged that Kim Blackseth's consulting business advises companies on how to get around disability standards, and that Blackseth advocated for clients on the board.

Arnold's appointees have been out of step, out of the loop and generally out of whack.

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