Publisher, The FlashReport
What They Are Saying
"My mornings begin with two indispensible starters: a cup of coffee and the Flash Report."
- Ken Khachigian, Senior Advisor and Chief Speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan
Send FlashReport to a Friend
Featured Column Library
« Return to Special Reports
IT'S THE VISION THING, JERRY BROWN
Tom Del Beccaro, Chairman, California Republican Party
November 3, 2011
[Publisher's Note: We are pleased to offer this original commentary from Tom Del Beccaro, Chairman of the California Republican Party, for FlashReport readers. Del Beccaro was elected to the office of CRP Chairman in mid-March - Flash]
If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.
Nearly a year after his election, Jerry Brown’s second try at Governor is just about as inspiring as a 2 AM rerun. Simply stated, his governorship lacks a vision. Brown has not challenged Californians to achieve anything nor has he empowered them to succeed on their own. Brown's sole purpose appears to be nothing more than to demand that Californians bail out Sacramento. The years to come are likely to be no different.
There are political leaders that set a clear agenda, challenge their constituents to reach new heights and then empower them to succeed. On the other hand, there are managers of government that lack a vision and seek only minor adjustments to the status quo. Surely, Jerry Brown is among the latter.
At the time he took office, California suffered among the nation's worst unemployment and Californians had lost over 1/4th of the nation’s home equity. Central Valley farming remains in a depression and inter-city schools are among the nation's worst.
In response, Brown has declared no over-arching goals let alone help Californians to take command of their future. Brown remains Sacramento-centric. His only focus appears to be the state budget and his only response is more laws.
There is no grand plan, urgent or otherwise, to restore jobs in this state. For instance, despite a full legislative session, Brown offers no vision, let alone a detailed recovery plan, for Central Valley farmers – even though 17% of California’s economy is agricultural. Has Brown held a Central Valley Summit? Has he offered regulatory breaks to farmers? Why hasn’t Brown lobbied Senator Feinstein or Boxer or Washington in general in a high-profile fashion? Turning to education, Brown hasn’t set new goals – nor has he offered educators nor families relief from state restrictions to let them devise their own means of reform.
His budget focus is necessary but Brown has offered few bold ideas. To be sure, for most of the last year Brown offered only spending increases and tax increases. He didn’t cut the size of government nor reshape its mission. To the contrary he has protected government from the governed while leaving the problems unsolved. For instance, despite a pension crisis, for most of the year, Brown refused to back pension reform despite specific proposals from the Little Hoover Commission and Republicans. Instead, now he belatedly offers savings of $1 billion per year to combat a $500 billion problem.
By contrast, New York Governor and Democrat Andrew Governor cut back government, without demanding let alone raising taxes. Instead, Cuomo declared that "The old way of solving the problem was continuing to raise taxes on people, and we just can't do that anymore.” Going further, Democrats in New Jersey back budget reform this year and Democrats in Massachusetts back public union reforms.
Like Obama, Brown blames others for his struggles. Republican legislators are to blame he says because of their stance on taxes – as if pension reform is only needed if we raise taxes. Turning down Brown’s demand for $55 billion in new tax bills, however, California Republicans took Cuomo’s advice, all the while recognizing that Californians don’t have the money to bail out Sacramento anymore. Years of double-digit unemployment and the loss of $1.7 trillion in home equity (an mount nearly equal to the state’s yearly economy) will do that to you.
None of this should be a surprise. When he campaigned, Brown said he would rely on voters to make big decisions. Without a vision or a plan, however, Brown has no ability to inspire voters let alone positively effect our economy.
You should check out Del Beccaro's great website, Political Vanguard, here. You can visit the California Republican Party's website here.