Arnold Had My Big Idea First

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It turns out I am an idea plagiarist.

Your blogger recently worked himself up into a self-congratulatory lather with an idea that California lead an organization of the world's largest "subnationals" -- highly populated states and provinces that have many of the same problems faced by the Golden State.

I even suggested that former Gov. Schwarzenegger take a break from making movies with Sylvester Stallone to lead the effort.

An alert Prop Zero reader sent word that there is already an organization like that -- founded last year by Gov. Schwarzenegger himself, with the cooperation of other global leaders and the United Nations.

It's called R20. And its members include major states, provinces and regions in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Its mission is more focused and action-oriented than the broader group I suggested. That mission:

"The R20 is a coalition of partners led by regional governments that work to promote and implement projects that are designed to produce local economic and environmental benefits in the form of reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; strong local economies; improved public health; and new green jobs. These local actions can help the world achieve our shared global environmental and economic goals."

This is the exactly the sort of partnership between big states that makes sense. It'd be great for California to do this kind of cooperative work on other issues, particularly because, in some ways, California has more in common with other big states than with national governments.

One final note: that same Prop Zero reader also noted that Schwarzenegger isn't just making movies, and that some of his recent movies don't co-star Stallone.

For these oversights, and for borrowing an idea that had already been put into action, I apologize.

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Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).

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