Dan the phantom man

Assemblyman Logue bringing a ghost of an issue to Chico Chamber

Assemblyman Dan Logue continues to mystify us with his love of trumped-up controversies. We’re not sure if he’s a conspiracy theorist or a ghostbuster, but either way he keeps chasing phantom menaces.

First, he led a “fact-finding mission” across state lines to uncover why California is losing businesses to Nevada. Problem is, as our Reno News & Review colleague Dennis Myers found, the existence of such an exodus is highly debatable.

Now, Logue has jumped on a year-old study released by Gov. Schwarzenegger declaring that regulations on businesses have deprived the state of—gulp!—$492 billion and 3.8 million jobs! Republican lawmakers called this a “smoking gun,” and Logue—in an editorial he wrote titled “California Business Waterboarded by Governmental Overregulation” (subtle, he’s not)—laments “the real costs to businesses in our state that are caused by our own government.”

Unfortunately, like Logue’s previous woe-is-biz claim, the report has major flaws. As KQED Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers details, it draws heavily on Forbes magazine’s rankings of the best and worst states for conducting business. (California ranks No. 40.) That’s a cherry-pick, if you ask us, and a serious one, since a number of calculations stem from this ranking number.

There’s more. The report doesn’t delineate which regulations it includes—and “without such information,” Myers writes, “the study offers little in the way of guidance for state lawmakers in making California more business friendly. Getting rid of all regulations is both impractical and a political non-starter.” Moreover, the study doesn’t distinguish between the effects on small businesses and large businesses.

Assemblyman Logue is welcome to his opinion. He’s even welcome to share it with constituents who will listen, as he will at a gathering Oct. 9 at Chico City Council chambers. We’d just prefer his opinion jibed with more credible findings, and that he’d choose his crusades more prudently.