by Patt Morrison

Los Angeles Times

February 24, 2003

Noise-Free America has awarded February’s “Noisy Dozen” honor — one prize for each month of the year — to Gov. Gray Davis for signing a bill “making it much more difficult for police officers to protect the people of the Golden State from noise pollution created by hot rod ‘enthusiasts.’ ” The bill enacts a statewide exhaust noise testing program that the organization says could alter noise standards.

The group’s spokesman, Mark Huber, even linked the law to ominous chinks in the nation’s security armor, quoting Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and declaring: “The proliferation of aftermarket exhausts — and Gov. Davis’ willingness to give them legal protection — lessens our ability to be ‘alert and aware’ of threats to our safety and security.”

A previous winner of the “Noisy Dozen” award is former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. In a past life he was a member of the Mongol motorcycle club, some of whose members have been arrested for a variety of crimes, involving drugs, guns and thefts — maybe even noise pollution.