California has hundreds of unelected boards and commissions that oversee and regulate countless activities in the state. The California Performance Review recommended a lot of changes to the boards and commissions, moving many in state agencies, eliminating some etc. Gov. Schwarzenegger has now rolled out his proposal to follow up on those recommendations, eliminating 88 of them. Reason’s George Passantino served as a Director of the California Performance Review, and he has predicted the “hordes of Mordor” style response to the boards and commissions proposals. Every tom dick and harry who’s special interests are served by the boards and commissions and prospects for comfy sinecures on them rises up to howl and bellow about “you can’t change the system, we need these things!” And you can see it has begun. “To me, it appears we’re simply sacrificing the public’s oversight role at the expense of pennies on the dollar of opportunity,” said Assemblyman Mike Gordon, D-El Segundo, a commission member. Never mind that no other state needs this vast horde of appointed commissioners to provide necessary oversight. And, hell, if no dollar is too much to spend on public involvement, let’s have direct democracy and let everyone vote on every little iota of regulatory consideration. That would make us all sick of it quick enough and maybe teach us about the virtues of keeping government’s role a little more confined.