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The AM Alert

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee today will convene an oversight hearing to discuss the Schwarzenegger administration's implementation of Assembly Bill 32 and the recent departures from the Air Resources Board.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez called the hearing following the firing of ARB Chairman Robert Sawyer and the resignation of executive director Catherine Witherspoon.

Both are expected to testify.

In the last week, the departed ARB officials lobbed accusations that officials in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration interfered with the board's independent actions, and Núñez said this week "the administration was tying their hands behind their backs."

Both verbally and in writing, Núñez asked top Schwarzenegger aides Susan Kennedy and Dan Dunmoyer to testify at today's hearing.

No dice, the governor said on Tuesday.

"My friend, Speaker Núñez, is always welcome to come down to our tent and ask any question," he said.

Aaron McLear, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, says the administration will be sending someone -- just not Dunmoyer or Kennedy.

The ARB story will continue next week, when Mary Nichols, the governor's choice to replace Sawyer at the air board, will face a confirmation hearing -- though no vote -- in the Senate Rules Committee, where Senate leader Don Perata, too, has been critical of the ARB departures.

On a lighter rock note, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell hosts his big annual fundraiser at a Chicago concert.

The concert, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, also marks the 100th live Chicago show that O'Connell has attended.