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In a Power Point presentation
unveiled today, the Gov introduced plans to create a centralized state
Energy Department that, among other things, will take away oversight
for elements of California's energy infrastructure from the
Constitutionally independent Public Utilities Commission. Governor
Hiram Johnson, to whom Arnold often compares himself, must be turning
over in his grave. Johnson created the Commission to protect the public
from the corruption of centralized power in Sacramento.

The point of Arnold's Power Point seems to be making sure that his
political appointee and energy advisor, Joe Desmond, has a top-down
operation that tightly controls the public information related to the
Gov's energy designs. No more of those messy reports that point a
finger at oil industry price manipulation or some other big Team Arnold
supporter. Desmond is presumed to be the new Secretary of Energy. He
brings his own conflicts to the post of Energy Czar: he is the founder
of Infotility, which makes its dough through software developed to
manage the volatilities of the electricity marketplaces.

This hearkens back to the Gov's Cal. Performance Review, which was
panned last year by the public as an egregious attempt to up-end
important public oversight boards that were not controlled by the
executive branch. Today's Power Play looks like another one of Arnold's
attempts to dismantle the independent institutions of California
government.