The mix of Hollywood and politics didn't serve former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that well in Sacramento, but maybe it will help in the world of academia: Schwarzenegger is creating a think tank at USC that he says will delve into bipartisan solutions and incorporate the drive of tinsel town and political savvy.
From the LAT's Anthony York: "He hopes to infuse public policy with a little show-biz daring this fall at USC, where he's preparing to kick off his new academic institute with the same celebrity flair he once took to Sacramento (albeit with mixed results)."
"Marquee names from politics and entertainment will be on hand Sept. 24 for the first symposium at the new center, which Schwarzenegger said would host the study of bipartisan solutions to environmental problems, economic policy, political reform and other issues."
"Hollywood and our entertainment industry has solved many, many great, great problems and has been very talented with technology and bringing entertainment all over the world," he said by telephone. "The same brains, if utilized, can actually solve other problems as well."
Capitol Weekly, a website that provides information on politics and government, released the first installment of it's Top 100 List.
From the Capitol Weekly Staff: "It is dynamic and changes from year to year, which is why you’ll notice that some who were on last year aren’t on this time, or are lower or higher in the ranking."
"It includes a few journalists, grudgingly, and includes some spin doctors, even more grudgingly. The heart of the list is the group of people who we think define policy, move political money around, lead campaigns, educate their colleagues and opponents and successfully pressure institutions."
"Finally, we try to keep security on the Top 100 List tight until it’s released, but as we were putting the finishing touches on it at a Curtis Park coffee shop, a journalist and his wife stumbled into our meetings two days in a row. You just can’t keep anything a secret in this town."
Speaking of websites, the Fair Political Practices Commission is looking at regulations requiring political campaigns to disclose their payments for online communcations, such as blogging and twitter.
From CalBuzz: "But as we have said on more than one occasion, when voters increasingly get their political information from online sources, they need to know if what they’re reading is bought and paid for."
"Calbuzz is an “interested person” in this discussion. And we wholeheartedly support the FPPC’s move away from trying to regulate bloggers and social media users and toward further regulation of campaign committees’ use of the intertubes. We stand at once for unfettered free speech, online and otherwise, and against unscrupulous campaigns and their mercenary sock puppets."
Lights, camera, action: A New York artist plans a two-year lighting display for the Bay Bridge.
From the Chronicle's Sam Whiting: "Out on the Embarcadero, Leo Villareal looks south toward the Bay Bridge and sees an abstract pattern of white lights, 25,000 of them. It is a mirage now, but come March he will throw the switch on "Bay Lights," an installation that will cost $8 million to put up and stay up for two years."
"Villareal, a New York artist, describes the piece as a light sculpture, as opposed to a light show or light treatment. As such, there will be no blinking and no discernible message or image in the lights..."
"The complex electronic display was originally intended to honor the 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge, in 2011. But the permit process was slow, and the fundraising process was slower. Organizers are still $2.5 million short, but that is close enough to give the green light to the white light."
Some 400 miles to the south, an attempt to overturn the prohibition against pot shops in L.A. has qualified for the ballot.
From David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum in the LAT: "Backers of medical marijuana dispensaries needed 27,425 valid signatures for their measure to qualify. Lagmay said a statistical sampling of the signatures showed that activists had turned in 110% of the amount needed."
"The council now has the option of repealing its ordinance, calling a special election or placing the measure on the ballot in the March 5 election, when voters will choose a mayor, city controller, city attorney and eight council members. The third scenario is currently considered the most likely."
"Councilman José Huizar spearheaded passage of the ordinance, which prohibits the sale of cannabis but allows groups of three people or fewer to cultivate and share the drug. Implementation of that ordinance was put on hold when activists turned in roughly 49,000 signatures seeking to overturn it."
And finally, from our "The Way It Was" file comes word that a trove of photos from the Environmental Protection Agency's "Docuamerica" file has come to light. If you're looking for pix from 1971-977, this may be right up your alley....