LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS’ ‘WAR AND PEACE’-LENGTH ANNOUNCEMENT OF HEARINGS ON IRENE RESPONSE DOESN’T EVEN INCLUDE A DATE

Hearst newspapers’ Brian Lockhart has an interesting (and accurate) take on the announcement that the state legislature would their own hearings on the response to Tropical Storm Irene.

A very young Shad once had a news director who always said, “If you’re press release is longer than one page, it better be damn compelling. And if it’s more than two pages, it better be announcing ‘the second coming.’”

As legislative committees (no less than four) gear up to look into how utilities, communications systems and just about everything else responded to Irene, the announcement of the hearings quoted no less than 12 senators and House members. It seems everyone wants some face time or some ink. The kicker is, they didn’t even set a date for the first hearing.

Announce the hearings, quote whoever is chairing the thing and be done with it. These hearings aimed at low-hanging fruit that is the utilities, have the potential to turn into a legislative “Christmas Tree”—everyone wants to put something on it.