Fairness and bodice rippers

Thirty years ago, a massive public outcry against government corruption—in the wake of the Watergate scandal, which triggered the resignation of President Richard Nixon—prompted a number of reforms across the country. In California, a new board called the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) was assembled, with the idea that a little sunlight shining under the rocks where politicians allegedly do business might be a good thing.

After three decades of sunlight, one might expect that California’s governing apparatus is squeaky clean and that the state’s politicians are models of propriety when it comes to raising enough cash to run for office. One also might believe in the appearance of large bunny rabbits every April, and in jolly, fat, white-bearded and red-suited men come December.

As Jeff Kearns’ story on the FPPC (“Catch me if you can”) points out, all is not hunky-dory in political-reform land. Big offenders elude detection, while small offenders, or people who arguably are not offenders at all, get mangled in the wheels of enforcing the law. Such is the magic of government.

Of course, not everyone in the capital city is preoccupied by fairness in government. Some are more interested in fairness of face, along with suppleness of muscle, style, grace and other stuff like that. And, though Fabio no longer provides the template for the ideal bodice-ripping hunk, romance novels are still a big draw in certain circles. Becca Costello found three women who write romance novels right here in the River City, each of whom was willing to talk about how romance novels have evolved in some surprisingly non-cheesy directions. The story is in Arts&Culture.

However, no one Costello interviewed seemed to be working on a bodice ripper about an Austrian weightlifter turned celluloid hero turned governmental reformer, who came to Sacramento with a mandate to run all the bad guys (and other Democrats) out of town and make outdoor cafes safe for cigar-chomping good guys. Given the ample interest and background material available, we think this might be a moneymaking idea worth pursuing.