San Diego California state senate president pro tem Don Perata has named San Diego Democrat Denise Ducheny chairwoman of the powerful Budget Committee. Senator Christine Kehoe, who has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the cell phone industry, takes over as chair of the Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee. ... The anticipated sale of the Journal Star in Peoria, Illinois, as part of David Copley's plan to pare the newspaper chain he inherited from his mother down to the Union-Tribune, might not be such a bad thing after all, opines Billy Dennis, a former reporter who now runs the Peoria Pundit blog. "I am worried for my friends and enemies at the Journal Star," Dennis writes. "I don't want to see my hometown paper eviscerated. But I also know that this newspaper has used its editorial pages to promote the private agenda of the people who run it." He adds, "Perhaps new ownership will bring with it new voices on the editorial board that aren't fighting battles against their favorite targets, but in really representing their readers, and don't seem Hell-bent on promoting their pet projects and spreading disinformation about politicians they don't like."