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Brown, Whitman show differences on how they would govern in Tuesday's debate

Still, next governor will face difficulty because of 2/3rd majority rule, Santa Clara professor says

State Attorney General Jerry Brown and Republican candidate Meg Whitman clashed in their first gubernatorial debate Tuesday night over who voters can trust to get a difficult job done.

The candidates adhered to their respective narratives: Whitman as the outsider who would bring private-sector sensibilities to Sacramento and Brown as the 40-year civil servant who knows how to navigate state politics.

Each argued his or her individual style was necessary to break through a political stalemate that seems to have become endemic to California -- an issue experts say could resonate most with voters.

Brown, who previously served as governor of California from 1975 to 1983, argued that state government is more complicated, more frustrating, and more of a team effort than business is. He said the governor's office would be his last position as an elected official, making him beholden not to special interests but to what's best for the state.

Whitman, a billionaire who formerly headed eBay, said her approach to governing would be to focus on doing three things well: create jobs, improve government efficiency and get the state's school systems back in order. Whitman has poured a record $119 million of her own money into her campaign.

The debate was held at the Mondavi Center at the University of California, Davis and touched on jobs, water, the death penalty, climate change policy, education funding and state employee pension plans.

The next governor, however, faces significant limits to what he or she can accomplish, Santa Clara University political science professor James Cottrill said. The difficulty arises in part because two-thirds majorities are needed to pass the state budget or raise taxes, and thousands of pages of legislation have been passed by ballot initiatives.

"I think the voters are a little bit worn out," Cottrill said. "Most Californians view government as ineffective, and they want a sign that somebody is going to be able to go there and get something done."

Comments

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Posted by Concerned Californian
a resident of Valley Trails
on Sep 29, 2010 at 9:51 am

No matter if Meg Whitman wins or loses the gubernatorial election, she sure has framed the debate.

Job creation is the number one priority of most Americans these days. As a private sector executive, Meg oversaw the expansion of eBay; a platform that has allowed entrepenuers the opportunity to expand their home-based business on levels no one had ever seen. The company itself employed thousands just by creating and administering the platform and charging modest fees to users.

Jerry Brown has never created one private sector job; in fact, for most of his career, he's never even worked in the private sector. He clearly stated his plan for jobs - is the liberal mantra to focus on "green jobs" or, 3% of California's economy. There's no way that alone will help the state overcome 12% unemployment and rising. But Brown knows what way the wind blows and now has addeds touting job creating as his #1 priority. Leader: Meg.

Jerry Brown, heavily financed by public employee unions; is now jumping on the state employee pension reform bandwagon. As governor, he's the one who signed the bill into law allowing state workers to organize and demand egregious pensions in the first place. He's now positioning his cozy relationship with state unions as giving him a better platform for negotiation. That's like saying Dick Cheney is in the best position to investigate Haliburton for fraud because he used to work there. Leader: Meg.

Jerry Brown stated he wouldn't rollback college fees. One of Calfiornia's biggest problems is the influence of the Prison Guards Union - the reason California spends more on prisons than education because we sentence so many non-violent drug offenders so that prisons and prison-guarding continues to be a growth industry. The Prison Guards union has endorsed Jerry Brown. Additionally, Jerry Brown admitted his "education reform" in Oakland was the creating of 21 charter schools, not the reform of its public schools. I thought Democrats were supposed to be pro-education, for fixing public schools for everyone, and against the growth of the prison industry. Based on what he says he'll do, and those who endorse him, Brown is none of these things. Leader: Meg.

In one instance, Brown didn't follow Meg, and that's the right-sizing of state government. But that makes sense. One who is a friend of state employee unions and dependent on their vote needs the government to grow, not recede. This is one area where Brown can't make an honest argument, so he's chosen to downplay the issue.

Even at the local level, I have a hard time trusting Brown based on his past actions. He's stated that low-income housing requirements are "a tax on development" - yet as Attorney General, he's the one who sued Pleasanton for not having enough low-income housing.

It's time for Jerry Brown to leave politics and let real reformers fix the state. He needs to collect his pension and not join the ranks of ex politicos who make six-figures in do-nothing honary jobs on the water resources board. Meg Whitman is going to cut those anyway.


Like this comment
Posted by Salty Sally
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

If you were old enough to remember Jerry Brown's first terms as Governor you seriously can't consider voting for him - those terms were disastrous, and he was the laughing stock of the nation. He then made two runs for President and he got trounced in the primaries. His tenure as Mayor of Oakland was horrible. Now is throwing his wacko, bullying, weight around as California Attorney General and doing crazy things like suing Pleasanton. Serously folks, how do you like your city being bullied by this guy? Come on, folks, get out and vote against Jerry Brown - its time for him to enjoy his hefty pension.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Sure, I didn't like it, but I also didn't like Pleasanton breaking State law.


Like this comment
Posted by susan
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm

WHItman may have used her own money but JERRY BROWN IS BEING FINANCED BY THE UNIONS. HOW CAN HE POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO CUT THEIR SALARIES AND PENSIONS WHICH WE CANNOT AFFORD, AND TAKE THEIR MONEY. VOTE FOR WHITMAN, WE NEED CHANGE FOR CALIFORNIA


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Californian
a resident of Valley Trails
on Sep 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm

In essence, we the people are helping finance Jerry Brown's campaign - though not by choice. State public employee unions derive their income through our state taxes. They give contributions to politicos like Brown who in turn enact and enforce legislation that leads to more raises, more headcount, and higher pensions. It's a vicious circle that hurts taxpayors.

On the other hand, Meg Whitman's personal fortune was made because she had a service that people chose to utilize. Even if she did outsource some jobs as CEO, so what? eBay still employed thousands of Californians, and is a platform that enabled millions of folks to start their own small business.

The only jobs ever created by Brown were by forcing Californians to pay more taxes for bigger government. This election is about jobs; and Brown simply cannot deliver.


Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I lived through Brown's previous terms as Governor, and do not want to do it again.


Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Jerry Brown = financial nightmare,statewide economic meltdown, welfare state policies and oh, the architect of the Urban Habitat, $1.8 Million legal decision against our voter approved housing cap.

Stacy, while I value & often admire your opinions I beg to differ with your comment. If that were the case then Danville, Alamo, Palo Alto, Atherton, Hillsborough, Burlingame, Sausalito, Tiburon...(have I mentioned enough now?) would all be on the U.H. hitlist. It's called urban planning & all of those cities have housing and development caps in place and it's the developers, their financial backers, building contractors and various city planning commissions that have managed to keep their respective towns residential construction held to their standards.

Not trying to sound elitist but that's just the way it is and just the way their voting citizenry (as well as ours) have voiced it to be.

Enough said.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 29, 2010 at 9:46 pm

No matter which one is elected, they will be powerless to effect the change that is needed.

Change the gerrymandered districting that allows for entrenched party representation, whether fair or unfair.

Undo the damage that years of special interest gaming of the initiative process (direct democracy) has done to create bad law put upon the electorate by using well-funded propaganda to induce the same electorate to vote favorably, because the electorate, being an uncoordinated mass of individuals, is not capable as a group to engage in the appropriate due diligent examination of the propositions.

Make some yet to be discovered change to our constitution that prevents our elected representatives from being simply "bought" by special interests.

California has become the poster child of a state that needs to "start everything over again". Ditch the current constitution.

A revolution is needed....





Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Nosy Neighbor,

We don't have to agree on everything. It makes life more interesting. :)

Those other cities you name, I believe, don't put hard caps on housing unit numbers. It isn't the presence of the growth control measures that are the issue, but the design of the measures. Pleasanton has a legal growth control measure that limits the number of housing unit permits annually. That is completely legal. It's trying to limit the total number, for all time, that is not.


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Posted by Salty Sally
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2010 at 8:50 am

Well,old sleazy Jerry Brown is at it again. He is engaging in the worst of gutter politics. This trumped up charge about Meg Whitman knowingly hiring an illegal alien is vintage Jerry Brown. Whitman hired the woman through an employment agency and has already provided the paperwork the woman supplied proving she had legal status. It is not Whitman's fault that the woman forged the documents. Isn't the timing of this whole thing amazing? And it is announced in a press conference by the sleaziest of the sleazy lawyers, Gloria Allred!!! And then Moonbeam Brown said he has known about it for 50 days!!!! Anyone want to guess how much this poor illegal was paid to give her sob story? Vote wisely in November - send Jerry Brown to the rest home.


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Posted by Barry
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

How 'bout that Meg!

Spending $ 119,000,000. of her own money for a $ 200,000. a year job??

What is up with that??

Maybe she is trying to make it back by giving herself and the rest of the selfish uber rich people a big tax break??

And we get the very typical Republican Hypocritical actions...

Hammer illegal aliens then we find out she "may" have had an illegal working for her?? VERY TYPICAL!!

God, please forgive those who do not know or care what they do...

Jerry is right for California now...

Just think if we get Meg and Ship the jobs to China Carly... What a bigger disaster for the working people in our state.

I remember our school system was one of the best under Jerry..

But, if Republicans get in power they can work on their dreams of abolishing public schools, getting slave wages back, and getting personally rich by gaming the system even more...

Why does the GOP hat American workers??? All they do is trash our workers and they dare to call themselves patriots??? What a Frikkin FARCE!!

Let's think this through...

Barry


Like this comment
Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Sally -- I believe you got that backward. If Brown knew for 50 days and did not ambush Meg with disclosure of her illegal maid, that shows restraint and gentlemanly behavior, not sleaziness.

I do not care who exposed her because, if the allegations are true (and I suspect they are), Meg is a liar and a hypocrite. Period.

What concerns me more about Meg is her willingness to spend that kind of money on a vanity play to be governor. Her ego driven candidacy is a waste of funds that could have gone a very long way to improve society had they been given to community groups, nonprofits and educational institutions in CA. Bill Gates is doing it right. Meg is not.


Like this comment
Posted by Barry
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Wow! What could $ 119,000,000. have done to help our schools...
What a waste!

She could have a legal immigrant...

Something is VERY wrong with this picture...


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Californian
a resident of Valley Trails
on Oct 1, 2010 at 7:50 am

The message Gloria Allred is pronouncing is to never trust nor hire a person of Hispanic decent who has an accent - only hire a White native speaker of English. Because we can't trust Hispanics to be honest - it's a given that if they speak English with a thick accent, they're most likely here illegally. And even if they have the proper documents, we should automatically suspect that they are forged, because after all, Hispanics are untrustworthy.

And if you do hire a Hispanic person, once you receive a letter from the government questioning their legal status; as an employer you should fire them immediately without question - even though the government has been routinely wrong on such mattes and you could open yourself to a wrongful termination lawsuit. If you give them the benefit of the doubt, shame on you.

It's not surprising to see that Gloria Allred is promoting discrimination, profiling and racism against Hispanics. It basically epitomizes the mantra of the Democrat party--which is that ethnic minorities are political pawns to be used and manipulated. They are not the same as us white folks - espeically us rich white liberals that live in segregated communities who know what's best for everyone else!


Like this comment
Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2010 at 8:20 am

There is no doubt that Allred is a major bottom-feeding publicity whore, always in search of more air time on the news channels, but that doesn't get Meg off the hook in this case.


Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

"Ship the jobs to China Car"

Inside HP she was know as the outsourceress.


Like this comment
Posted by Barry
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Lie Meg Lie!

I can't believe all you neo-cons accept all the BS lying and non-factual info FOX News and their ilk throw at you...

I bet you believe Meg...

Check yourselves PLEASE!


Like this comment
Posted by Gary Schwaegerle
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Gary Schwaegerle is a registered user.

We must be Grateful to Meg; many are saying she will not Win. So let us say "Thank You very much for providing her portion $162 million dollar "Stimulus Package" contribution to "The Kalifornia Economy" For those that work in Political campaigning, Media, printing, air time, photographers, News People, Fuel, tires, Restaurants, Motels & more. "THANK YOU! Meg Whitman for Giving Back to California where Dreams can Come True!" Sincerely, Gary Schwaegerle


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form