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Jul 03, 2007 - 04:30 PM

First, Dump Dunmoyer

by Judy Dugan & Doug Heller
Arnold may think that naming a veteran air quality official like Mary Nichols to head his Air Resources Board will quiet things down. But any new appointee is bound to fail unless the Gov first dumps Cabinet Secretary Dan Dunmoyer. Dunmoyer's history (as an insurance industry lobbyist) includes a "destroy your opponents, don't work with them" mindset, as we warned when Arnold hired him. Last year the LA Times uncovered a damning memo authored by Dunmoyer in which he complained that politicians who challenge the insurance industry have never "felt any pain or suffered any angst" and he called for imposing "real negative consequences" against critics.

Dunmoyer, though once a slick lobbyist, hasn't learned that if you leave a recorded phone message, you shouldn't pretend you said something else.

Robert Sawyer, who Arnold fired a few days ago as head of the California Air Resources Board, and his executive director, who quit Monday, both blamed meddling and demands from Dunmoyer and Arnold's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy. They described being pressured to go easy on industry while implementing the much-touted state law to limit carbon emissions.

The San Francisco Chronicle tells us that Robert Sawyer, who Arnold fired a few days ago from the job to which he just appointed Nichols, recorded a phone message from Dunmoyer.

The Dunmoyer message: Don't pass any stronger greenhouse emission rules than the three weak ones the governor had approved.

The irony: The governor's office later tried to say that Sawyer was fired in part for only passing the three weak rules that Dunmoyer demanded. And Sawyer even voted against them, demanding more.

In closing, here's the last line from our letter last December to the governor:

"Mr. Dunmoyer... cannot serve as a dispassionate communicator between regulatory agencies and your office."

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