Ethics czar angers bloggers with proposal to shine light on campaign pay [click here]: The state's ethics agency has formally proposed that campaigns be required to disclose when they pay bloggers, tweeters and other online pundits to write favorable posts about them.
As expected, the idea is being thoroughly trashed on the blogosphere, with one prominent Internet commentator arguing it violates free-speech rights and is unenforceable.
The state Fair Political Practices Commission has given notice that it will consider the proposed regulation at a public hearing on Oct. 18. The proposal would require campaigns to report payments made to bloggers, tweeters and others to promote their candidacy in the Internet, including the Web location where the paid advocacy occurs.
(Mod: This is shocking news. Not so much the part about candidates having to report payments made to blogs in order to get favorable coverage, but that candidates actually do such things. I am very displeased to note that nobody has ever tried to pay off The Tattler in exchange for favorable coverage. Or unfavorable coverage, since in certain constituencies that might be considered a good thing. How did we ever miss out on this?)
Patch Regional Editor Patrick Lee on Why He Jumped to KPCC [click here]: On Wednesday, July 11, Patrick Lee clocked his last official day as regional editor of Patch sites in northeast LA and the San Gabriel Valley. After a short, well-deserved break, he will slide over to KPCC/Southern California Public Radio on Monday, July 23 as managing editor, digital.
"It was too good an opportunity to pass up," Lee tells FishbowlLA via telephone. "I'm very excited about what I've heard KPCC and SCPR are trying to accomplish. I think they have some great ideas and some really great people. There's a lot of opportunity there to make SCPR.org a premier Web experience for the Southern California community. It can be a destination point for people interested in engaging community information, and I want to be a part of it."
(Mod: This apparently happened last July, and absolutely nobody noticed. And there was no notice on the Patch, not even a goodbye. However, that said, on a certain level this change does make sense. Patrick is going from a not so premier web experience that lost $150 million dollars last year to a taxpayer and listener funded non-profit. Obviously he has had some experience with the profitless financial demographic. And I am certain that KPCC website readers will revel in the stern lectures Patrick is certain to deliver to them about the many evils of commenting pseudoanonymously. But the big question here in Sierra Madre has to be whether or not he will be taking Justin Chapman with him. And if not, who exactly will be inventing news for Patrick at KPCC?)
Monday is "Stay Away from Seattle" Day [click here]: Are you getting excited for Monday? Ready to shun outsiders and turn up your nose at anyone who doesn't have a born-and-raised Seattle pedigree? Oh, goodie. Me too.
Monday -- in case you don't have your calendar marked already -- is Stay Away From Seattle Day. That's apparently the day when we defend Seattle's honor against Californians, Texans, Canadians and any other undesirable types who might move here and drive too fast on our freeways.
Not a real holiday you say? Uh, Hallmark seems to think differently. According to the card company's online calendar, September 17 is special because:
"Because frankly Seattle doesn't want you coming around, stinking up the joint. And last time you tracked mud all over the carpet and some of the special occasion dinnerware went missing. Seattle will let you know when it's ready to see you again. Until then, keep your distance."
(Mod: Is the world ready for a Stay Away From Sierra Madre Day? Of course, judging by the state of certain portions of our downtown area we could be well into a Stay Away From Sierra Madre Decade. Buxton "Market Demand" reports and all. However, here is a strategy that might work. We turn this promotion over to the Chamber of Commerce, and soon as the Chamber tells people to stay away, our downtown will be flooded with happy tourists. It certainly can't hurt to try.)
Proposal for downtown L.A. NFL stadium advances to City Council [click here]: A $1.2-billion plan for bringing an NFL stadium to Los Angeles passed a major test Thursday, even as anti-poverty activists pressed powerful developer Anschutz Entertainment Group to make millions of dollars in additional concessions.
After 10 and a half hours of review, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's appointees on the Planning Commission signed off on a set of agreements for the 72,000-seat stadium, concluding the project's economic benefits outweigh the "significant and unavoidable" impacts it will have on traffic, air quality, noise and light glare.
(Mod: There are plenty of good reasons to be dismayed by this. However, here is one many may have not considered yet, which is the NFL games that will be available on TV. How many can recall a time when there would be plenty of great football games to watch, yet we here in the Los Angeles area wouldn't get to see any because of some contractual TV agreement that required them to show some God awful Rams game? You know that they're going to bring in some used out-of-state failure of a franchise to occupy this new stadium. Are you prepared to have to endure them every Sunday? Instead of getting to watch real teams like the N.Y. Giants? Think about it.)
Powerful California State Agency Plans Gasoline Price Increases [click here]: The state of California is planning to hike the price of gasoline by at least a dollar a gallon. But you won't see more roads or public transportation or actually anything of value for the money. Instead, this is part of the direct cost of regulation that California motorists will shoulder from "climate change" rules passed during the past several years.
Officials with the Air Resources Board (ARB), the powerful state agency charged with implementing AB 32 and other climate control measures, are proudly touting their intent to force higher gasoline prices, but they're less committed to explaining the benefit to Californians from these price hikes.
Undoubtedly a dollar-a-gallon price hike is only the beginning. After all, when it was passed and signed by the Governor in 2006, AB 32 was aspirational - nobody had any idea of the economic, business and behavioral impacts. But now that the regulatory process is in full bloom, experts are taking a closer look at the effects on the economy.
For example, the Boston Consulting Group recently released a study, commissioned by the Western States Petroleum Association, finding that regulations flowing from AB 32 affecting transportation fuels (low carbon standard, cap-and-trade) will result in the closure if several refineries in California, increase the price of gasoline about $2.50 a gallon, and reduce the supply of fuels as early as 2015. They estimated regulatory-related job losses of 28,000 to 51,000, just in the refinery related sectors.
(Mod: The article goes on to speculate about where all of this money will actually be going. And that is to Sacramento, of course. How do you create a new tax without actually going to the legal bother of saying it is a new tax? You call it a "green initiative.")
Report: Anti-Muslim Film Director Also Made Softcore Porn [click here]: The director of the anti-Muslim film blamed for violence and protests in the Middle East this week once directed softcore porn and other low-budget films, according to Gawker.
In 2009 and 2011 casting calls for the film, now known as "Innocence of Muslims" but back then called "Desert Warrior," the director on the project was listed as Alan Roberts. An IMDB page for an Alan Roberts credits him with directing films including 1972's "The Sexpert," 1980's "The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood" and 1991's "Karate Cop."
David A. Prior, who worked with Roberts on low profile films in 2007 and 2008, told Gawker that Roberts had spoken to him about "Desert Warrior."
"I am sure it was the same Alan Roberts, as I remember him speaking about this project," Prior said in an email.
(Mod: Well, that is just about all I can take for this Sunday. We promise we'll be back next Sunday with even more excitement from a world that is quite obviously on the verge of losing its few remaining marbles.)