Tag Archives: California Governor Race 2010
Rambling Jerry Brown speech raises fear among Dems
Brown started his speech by telling the crowd that he didn’t know what he was going to talk about, so when he arrived (late) for the speech, he asked San Francisco Democratic Party chair Aaron Peskin what he should say, and Peskin told him to talk about how there were more salmon in the streams and better overall environmental health back when Brown was governor in the ‘70s.
But rather than taking that advice and giving a forceful call to strength environmental regulation or conjure up California’s better days, Brown meandered around and mused on that and other topics, feeding fears that the 71-year-old candidate might come off as a nostalgic, slightly senile former-Governor Moonbeam rather than an effective agent of needed change.
“During that period when I was governor, I’m not going to call it the golden age because some people think I’m in the golden age, so I don’t want to get people confused. That’s why I don’t want to talk about way back then, because there are a number of people I can see weren’t even born then, so it gets a little embarrassing and I like to pretend it was just yesterday. But in that period, California created almost twice as many jobs as the nation did. We created jobs at about 24 percent over eight years and the nation grew jobs at 13 percent, so almost twice as much. And then Deukmejian did pretty good, he had about the same, maybe half a percent more,” Brown rambled, ticking off statistics, hedging his point by noting how little governors can really do to create jobs, before working up to a decent line that was flatly delivered: “It was a time when the environment got its biggest boost, as far as public policy.”
Nobody applauded, so he continued. “I was thinking tonight, I was trying to figure out that if I did announce, what the hell would I say? And so I decided to go back and read my first announcement, January 24, 1974. I was 35 then, it was another time, I’m now a little older than that. But I talked about clean air, I talked about the energy crisis and getting new sources of energy. I talked about statewide land use planning” – that last item drawing some applause – “and I talked about jobs. And I was thinking, wow, we still got a jobs problem, we got an energy problem, we have a land use problem that feeds into the energy problem, and while the air is cleaner in many respects, it’s not clean enough, or it isn’t healthy enough.”
My message of hope reaches to the core of the California dream: a vibrant economy for cities and communities all across the state. Every city has been hurting under California’s budget crisis, and that is why I will provide relief for the financially-strapped homeowner, jobs for the unemployed skilled worker, and aid for public education.
My comprehensive economic plan provides answers that directly translates into a reasonably immediate budget surplus, aid for schools and community emergency services like firefighters and police, monies to fix crumbling infrastructure and transportation, careful planning to promote sensible economic development while conserving water needs, as well as reduction of pollution, the homeless, and gang related crime that is even pushing out into smaller communities. These measures will help to make the downward trend more shallow, to keep the economy from “crashing” (See Economics 101). So, I am ’Rushing’ to the aid of Californians with my plan for the Economy, Environment, and Education. I have affectionately called this plan the “Big-E.”
Seven months ago, California had four Democrats running for Governor. Now, we only have one – who has yet to formally declare. John Garamendi’s ego dropped out to run for Congress in the wrong district (which he won anyway), Antonio Villaraigosa stepped out to focus on his day job as Mayor of Los Angeles, and Gavin Newsom appears to have withdrawn from both the Governor’s race and his day job. Unless someone jumps in (or back into) the race, June 2010 will be the coronation of Jerry Brown – a 72-year-old ex-Governor who quit the Democratic Party 11 years ago, and whose record after quietly re-joining has been a nightmare for progressives. Faced with only Republican opponents next year, Brown is moving further to the right – and will be pressured to do so down the road. Even though the Golden State, where the G.O.P. is in deep trouble, deserves a lot better than that.
As Beyond Chron has written on a number of occasions this year, California has led the progressive charge on the national level – but our state is in dire need of that kind of energy to fix Sacramento. And yet, progressives have failed to recruit a candidate of their own to be California’s next Barack Obama – leaving Jerry Brown as the only viable Democratic candidate to lead the largest state in the union.
Now, with no other Democratic alternative for Governor, progressives are left with two choices: (a) recruit a candidate to face nearly insurmountable odds to defeat Brown, or (b) organize on issues to the point that Jerry somehow feels compelled to respond. The former isn’t likely to happen, because the only Democrats with the stature to run a viable campaign are in Congress – and who would want to risk a safe seat when your party is in power in Washington? The latter is practically our only choice, and it remains to be seen how much Brown will bend in to public pressure. If 2010 is a wake-up call to California progressives that we need to focus more on state issues, it may be a good thing long-term.
One year before the 2010 election, Gavin Newsom’s abrupt withdrawal from the governor’s race leaves the campaign without a candidate conveying the message most aligned with California’s zeitgeist of the moment: a call for sweeping reform.
With Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown the lone (if still formally undeclared) Democratic candidate, and a Republican field of former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman, ex-Rep. Tom Campbell and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, the race now presents two fundamental, thematic choices:
Brown and Campbell argue, in slightly different ways, that fixing California is a matter of making government work better; Whitman and Poizner essentially contend that fixing California means getting government out of the way.
At a time when Californians have record-low regard for state government, none of the four has mounted a challenge to the status quo as strongly as did Newsom. A flawed messenger lacking focus and the discipline to raise the vast sums needed, he nonetheless came closest to seizing the mantle of change.
When CCWC states,
“We need competence to fix Sacramento. We would like a candidate with a background and experience that meets the moment. We need an inspiring voice, a compelling message that reengages the people with their state government. Our candidate will draw on the people to change California together.”
we are not limiting our search to the political class. There are business and community leaders in our party, like Tom Steyer, that CCWC is interested in hearing from, in addition to the professional politicians making the rounds.
Tom’s pragmatic point of view is substantive and resonates nationally regarding the banking crisis. His bona fides as a democratic fundraiser and supporter are unrivaled in California. His mastery of the crisis and finance are especially compelling given the current state of California’s economy.
As far as CCWC knows, Mr. Steyer has not indicated he is interested in changing his day job; should we consider a petition to persuade him to run for California’s highest office? To work together to change Sacramento once and for all?
Rumor mill: Rep. Jane Harman as a 2010 Dem gov candidate?
Harman, who represents the 36th Congressional district — which includes the beach cities of Venice, Torrance, and Manhattan Beach — has been out front on issues like terrorism as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Terrorism Risk Assessment.
So moderates argue she could have a strong shot in a general election — especially because she enjoys backing from key Democratic grassroots groups that include Jewish voters.
Downside: progressives say she’s too conservative for a primary win and political insiders correctly note that in California, even high profile Congressional types are rarely known outside their own districts.
Bottom line: we called Harman today to ask her directly about the rumors. She didn’t rule it out exactly — but she did address the buzz.
“My plan is to run for re-election to Congress…and I’m in the process of doing that. I don’t know where these rumors get started,” she said. “But it’s always flattering to be talked about in a good way.”
la times blog, “he’s hosting a “twitter talk” on tuesday at 12:45 p.m. pacific to discuss his ideas for california.”
Jerry Brown says being mayor doesn’t provide good governor credentials
Does being mayor of San Francisco qualify Gavin Newsom to serve as governor of California? Attorney General Jerry Brown, expected to challenge Newsom for the Democratic nomination next year, doesn’t seem to think so.
Hopefully, the campaign for the democratic nomination for governor is going to be about the future. While CCWC would like more choices, our point of view is that both the mayor and AG are capable and qualified to be governor. Our support will go to the candidate with the best plans to fix Sacramento. We want to be engaged in a debate, not petty political antics.
Join us on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 from 12:45 to 1:30 and meet San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, candidate for governor of California. We will meet up in twitter @ #ttnewsom. The mayor has agreed to chat for forty five minutes, however we encourage CCWC members and Newsom supporters to come early and stay late.
Thanks for taking the time mayor, we look forward to getting to know more about your vision for the future of California.
CCWC welcomes all candidates to meet our members and to share ideas on how best to fix Sacramento. If you would like to schedule a twitter talk, then let us know and we set a date.