I served as Mayor of a small California City during Most of Jerry Brown’s first foray as Governor of California. As such, I had a front row seat to Brown’s administrations and what his failed policies meant to local governments and local school boards. I saw what the ineptitude of Jerry Brown as a leader did to individuals and the State as a whole. Later, as a resident of Contra Costa County, a neighboring county to Alameda County, where Jerry Brown served as Mayor of Oakland, I had another front row seat where I could watch Brown dismantle the City of Oakland, its businesses and its school system. Brown’s political philosophy can be summed up as follows:
- Political Philosophy: A progressive to the Left of Barak Obama
- Unemployment: Brown is incapable of managing the State in good economic times; he will be a disaster in our current economic crisis. When he started is second term as governor in 1979, unemployment in California was 6.6% which was high. By the time he left office, it had almost doubled to 11%. He drove up unemployment in California during a period of intense growth of the State as a whole. Ask him how he plans to reduce California’s 12%+ unemployment. He will increase the State’s public sector hiring as he did in the 70’s and just like Obama is doing in Washington. Who pays for this?
- Inept Fiscal Manager: He started his tenure with a $6 billion budget surplus and drove the State into a $1 Billion plus deficit. He spent all of the State’s $2 Billion cash reserve. (This was at a time when a billion dollars was real money) Brown fought hard to overturn the 2/3 vote requirement for raising taxes in California. Brown will expand the size of the bloated California bureaucracy and work hand and glove with the liberal legislature to increase taxes and spending. Public sector unions will have carte blanche to expand their power base.
- Judicial Activist: Brown supported the only California Chief Justice that was removed from office by the California voters, Rose Byrd. She overturned death penalty convictions 58 out of 58 times (some sources claim 64 cases) in spite of the fact that California voters overwhelmingly supported the death penalty. Brown supported her anti death penalty stance and still does to this day. Bird/Brown also overturned other criminal statutes such as the mandatory jail time for felons convicted of crimes involving firearms. Bird/Brown worked in tandem to create a tort law environment that was anti-business and created a secondary liability environment for manufactures that stands today as a serious detriment to enticing companies and jobs back to California.
- Environmentalist: An Environmentalist who put his environment bias in front of the interests of the State and it citizens. Cap and Trade and other forms of Global Waming taxation will become the norm and drive out even more business from California.
- Union Sponsor: A staunch supporter of Public Sector Unions he supported and signed into law a bill that allowing collective bargaining (unionization) of public employees. Brown will continue to expand the role of public sector unions in California and leave the current $100 Billion unfunded state pension plan deficit unanswered and unsolved. The taxpayers will have to fund this commitment unless these issues are resolved with the unions. Brown will support the unions to the detriment of the taxpayers.
- Poor Leadership in Tax Relief: Brown’s failure to provide leadership in Property Tax relief led to the Proposition 13 Tax revolt that was really designed to help commercial real estate interests and not homeowners. His failure led to a budget crisis for most California Cities and Counties including mine. There are only 155,000 California taxpayers today who have to pay 50% of the taxes. If Brown is elected, more businesses and upper bracket taxpayers will simply leave the state where State taxes are more reasonable or nonexistent. Over 50% of Californians either work for the government or are on government assistance. This will expand under Brown until it bankrupts the State.
- Phony Facade: Brown is a populist who uses phony props and tactics like not living in the governor’s mansion or selling the State’s airplane as a sign that he is fiscally conservative. The state would the 6th largest nation in the world; the governor’s mansion was already built and had to be cared for whether he lived in it or is apartment; the State airplane is a necessity given the length of the state and our remoteness from Washington DC and the East Coast. As AG, Brown used the state plane to go to campaign rallies and other non State AG business events.
- Illegal Immigration: Illegal immigration and its fiscal impacts skyrocketed during Browns tenure. He supported sanctuary cities and counties and virtually created a sanctuary state by his inaction as governor to deal with the problem. California’s economy is about 10% of the US economy but we pay out 33% of the nation’s welfare benefits. Illegal immigration is at least partially to blame for this inequity. Today, it is estimated that illegal immigration is costing California $21 Billion. That $21 billion would almost balance the State’s budget.
- California Agriculture: Brown’s environmental policies will put the final nail into the State’s agricultural industry and literally “dry up” all of our remaining farmland. He started this in the 70’s and will support all of Ken Salazar’s anti agriculture environmental policies out of the Interior Department and Lisa Jacksons efforts at EPA. When California’s agriculture goes under, so does this nation’s ability to feed itself. Chile and Mexico will replace California as the primary supplier of many of our food products.
California has a lot of tough choices facing it if it wants to climb out of its current fiscal calamity. If Brown is elected, I firmly believe that the state will be driven to a state of total fiscal default. If Obama is in office and has the votes in Congress, Obama may bail out California as too big to fail but what will be the consequences to the sovereignty of this once great state? Will we simply become a “District of California” like Washington DC whose budgets and day to day business is conducted by the US Congress? The unions will become the de facto employer for the state and drive unfunded pension plan liabilities to new unsupportable highs. They will also widen the gap between private sector pay and public employee pay. Today, State employees earn 20-30% more than their private sector counterparts with much more robust benefits. Anti business, pro environmental laws such as AB 32 will be more prevalent and drive more business out of California and increase energy costs in California which are already disproportionally higher than the rest of the nation. California Air Resources Board and the California Water Quality Control Board will choke off any remaining hope business has to survive in this state.
It is one thing for Obama to “own” General Motors, Chrysler and take over the banks and other financial institutions, but the size, complexity and the problems facing the State of California could be the final straw into turning the US into Greece. The Federal Government could end up with another 1-3 Trillion dollars in liabilities that they have to fund if California goes into default. Add that to our already growing federal deficits and the Federal Government becomes even less solvent.
If you like what Obama has done for this country, by all means vote for Brown on November 2nd.
Brown is even more of a socialist progressive than Obama.
I don’t care who you vote for governor as long as it is NOT Brown.