This is an expanded version of that.
GOP's New Oversight Chair Asks Businesses Which Regulations Burden Them
by Marian Wang
A letter from Rep. Darrell Issa asks businesses and trade groups to help identify regulations his Oversight committee should target.
Because of my delay in posting it, it has since been updated, which is the version below.
GOP’s New Oversight Chair Asks Businesses Which Regulations Burden Them
by Marian Wang ProPublica, Jan. 4, 2011, 12:31 p.m.
1/6: This post has been updated.
We’ve noted that many of the incoming Republican chairs of powerful House committees have criticized the Obama administration’s “job-killing ” regulation of the financial and energy sectors, among others.
One of these, Rep. Darrell Issa, has sent letters to more than 150 businesses, trade groups and think tanks calling for their input on which regulations are burdening them and hurting jobs , Politico reports. From the text of the letter , which NBC has posted:
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is examining existing and proposed regulations that negatively impact the economy and jobs.
In fiscal year 2010, federal agencies promulgated 43 major new regulations. These regulations ranged from new limits on “effluent” discharges to new rules for Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations. The new limits on “effluent” discharges from construction sites will cost $810.8 million annually resulting in the closure of 147 construction firms and the loss of 7,257 jobs. In total, the administration estimated the cost, often referred to as the hidden tax, of the 43 new regulations to be approximately $28 billion, the highest single year increase in estimated burden on record, resulting in thousands of lost jobs. This new burden is on top of the $1.75 trillion estimated burden of existing regulations.
As a trade organization comprised of members that must comply with the regulatory state, I ask for your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth in your members’ industry. Additionally, suggestions on reforming identified regulations and the rulemaking process would be appreciated. Please submit your response as soon as possible, preferably before January 10, 2010. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at ...
The National Association of Manufacturers and the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, two groups that received letters, told Politico that in their responses to Issa they pointed to new EPA greenhouse gas rules as an example of burdensome regulation.
As we’ve written, since being named as the incoming chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Issa has sought to allay fears that he will use his new position—which includes subpoena authority—to initiate partisan investigations . He’s already requested information from many administration officials as well.
“Asking a question shouldn’t be labeled as partisan or political,” his spokesman told Politico. He also said that with their letters soliciting feedback on regulation, “[it] was a broad net that we cast.”
Update: The Hill has posted the full list of recipients of businesses and groups that received Issa's letters.-----
Far from the sand and surf and perpetual automobile gridlock of Hallandale Beach, a very sharp congressman from SoCal named Darrell Issa, someone who's familiar with all three in his northern San Diego district, and who became a multi-millionaire thru marrying a quality product, marketing savvy and high-technology -Viper car alarms- is asking some very reasonable questions in his role as the new head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
But first, the obligatory back-story: When I first moved to D.C., in those pre-Internet days, one of my best and closest friends was a staffer for that particular Comm. when John Conyers was the voluble Chairman, a man with a knack for getting in the national spotlight.
Sometimes, if I had the time, I'd agree to go with her into her office on Saturdays to help her catch-up on work and make sense of things, since that particular high-profile Comm. was constantly being deluged with requests for materials, like testimony from a hearing, that reporters and columnists and TV networks from all over the country wanted.
But mostly reporters, editors and produccers within the Beltway.
Those Saturday mornings of coffee and bagels and CNN in the background, with she and I walking round and round a large conference table with dozens of envelopes laid out on it with the individual reporter's info request on a Post It, and plopping-down whatever they needed, seem rather quaint now, since it could all be done in seconds digitally.
Obviously, much of our banter centered on our own lives and what was going on in town politically, but as you'd guess, it also included her giving me the low-down on which reporters we were helping out were friendly and professional, and who was not.
Over the years, her diagnosis was close to 100%, as I met many of those very same people in work-related or social situations.
(Sometimes, during the summer, after our mail distribution project and whatever else on Capitol Hill was history, we'd head over to the large apt. complex of a mutual friend in N.W. Washington that hosted one of the greatest summer pool scenes in the area.
Sometimes, even epic to be honest.
The only problem -if you can call it that- was that my Congressional staffer 'friend' was very
good-looking, esp. in a bikini. Normally, you wouldn't think that would be a problem, and it never had been before, but.. I came to realize over time that because she and I spent so much time together in and around the pool, I was never going to ever meet any interesting women there, even though they were, quite literally, everywhere.
All because of appearances, i.e. her knock-out good-looks and the first impression appearance that she and I were more than just friends.
I know this because more than once, when I'd get up to grab a Coke from the vending machjne nearby, or while by myself at the deep-end of the pool, hanging on the side, just relaxing, whether to actually find out some intel or merely just a harmless meaningless remark, an attractive woman would say to me, "So, is your girlfriend here today?"
When I'd reply, "Oh, you mean X, she's not my girlfriend, she's just a close friend," I guess I wasn't too convincing, because they seemed disinclined to believe the truth.
Apparently all those hours of us talking and being like book-ends in the pool had led to, well, misconceptions. Ladies and gentlemen, let's just say that that chapter of the book ought to be called "When your friend's beauty kills the best laid summer plans!)
When X took off on vacation in the summer, she was kind enough to let me drive her very sporty car. You know, to keep it in good condition!
I was only too happy to oblige her by driving up to Camden Yards on weekends for Oriole games -instead of taking the MARC baseball train from Union Station- or drive over to Annapolis with a date on the Chesapeake.
Those were the days!
End of back-story
To me, one of the great things about Issa, compared to many other congressmen, and GOP congressmen in particular, is that he's never forgotten his roots, when nobody wanted to help him, or the red-tape he dealt with when first starting his company.
He hates red-tape but he also hates business people who talk in generalities -and has little regard for execs born with a silver spoon- so the idea that he is in a key position to tell many well-known American businesses who have complained for years about red-tape of one sort or another, to finally be specific or shut the hell up, is great news for taxpayers and small business owners who aren't cronies of pols or officials in their city, as is the case here in
Speaking of HB, Issa was the person who personally bankrolled the beginning of the successful recall effort in 2003 against Calif. Gov. Gray Davis.
Hmm-m-m... speaking of recalls, I'll soon have some news about the possibility of one here in the coming months.
He is being very clear -identify what specific rules or regs are problematic to them.
Now if their business is poorly run and not delivering a good quality product or service to consumers at a price they can afford, I think we'd all agree that the regulations are the least of the problems.
But if they're doing what they need to do to remain competitive, well, then, it'll get very, very interesting, and we all benefit from hearing the unvarnished truth.
The recent meeting I attended on the discontent on Fashion Row in HB revealed to me the the true level of the city's myopia with burdening businesses with the most ridiculous rules -practically inviting them to leave the city .
Hallandale Beach City Hall's chronic inability to accept their fair share of the blame for how things are going in this city, much less, show some common sense, was demonstrated over-and-over again.
I wish we could see something like Issa's effort replicated here in Hallandale Beach and Broward County in general, where a public forum could be held to find out what are the most consistently contentious items of disagreement, and why are certain businesses/entities seemingly allowed to violate code compliance -and common sense- for years.
And why the city itself is one of the very worst offenders, something that is self-evident to anyone paying close attention.
Like yours truly.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale Beach working to boost Fashion Row District
By Sergy Odiduro
December 31, 2010
After years of wrangling with Hallandale Beach, Michele Lazarow is finally going to paint her building purple.
"For years I have been trying to paint my building. I gave up and then I thought I would paint a mural," said Lazarow, owner of a clothing and accessories boutique in the Fashion Row District, which is situated along Northeast First and Second avenues, north of Hallandale Beach Boulevard.
She told officials at a recent meeting that she struggles to boost her store's visibility while adhering to city codes, and that she often received conflicting information.
"I felt like my head was going to explode," she said.
City officials are now reaching out to business owners like her.
"We have met with the Fashion Row District to get some of their concerns," said Liza Torres, manager of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. "We want to create a district committee to present their priorities and goals so that we can bring it back to the commission."
At the meeting, a range of planned improvements for the area was discussed, including creating a two-way street and increased police patrols. Also discussed were expedited permitting and commercial loans and grants offered by the CRA.
Participants were urged to fill out a survey ranking goals for the district, including landscaping, increased public parking and signage improvements.
Mayor Joy Cooper said the outreach is part of an overall strategy to jumpstart the area.
"We want to make it a fun and funky district where there is entertainment and shopping, creativity and artists, and bring it back to what it used to be during its heyday, but with a little bit of edge," she said.
The district, formed in the 1960s, was a haven for tourists and bargain hunters who sought out trendy and unique clothing and accessories. But the rise of nearby shopping malls and large retail stores have hurt the area.
Some merchants said that dealing with a labyrinth of city codes and regulations has hurt their competitiveness.
"They talk a lot about beautifying the area, but there aren't enough business owners on the board to push the businesses' agenda," Josh Glansberg said. "There are so many rules and regulations, and they are so unclear that the people that are enforcing them don't even know what they are."
Sue Gordon, who has operated a business in the area for more than 30 years, was cautiously optimistic after the meeting.