Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman: The California Race for Governor Disconnect
Although California's Primary elections are still 3 months away, the race for Governor has been heated for months and has heated up more in just the last month. There are 7 or so Governor wannabees with 2 noticeable front runners. Jerry Brown on the Democrat side and Meg Whitman who looks to be miles ahead of her Republican counterparts.
Today's LA Times Poll shows that if the election were held today front runners Whitman and Brown would command 44% and 42%, respectively of the vote.
There is a huge DISCONNECT to all this. First, a brief look at California's financial mess.
Depending on what figures one accepts, California has a $22 to $25 billion deficit with a bleak outlook toward 'fixing' it in the foreseeable future. State workers are being furloughed 3 to 4 days a month without compensation, teachers are being laid off with classroom sizes growing and California's infrastructure has been deteriorating at a rapid rate for years with little money to correct it. At the same time, a steriodal-partisan legislature is paralyzed in partisan politics with seemingly no real interest in dealing with what the voters put them in office to do in the first place.
Today, the current Governor released a study commissioned to Stanford University that shows the State's public retirement systems are underfunded by $500. to $550. billion!
And these are just very 'big tips' to very big 'financial icebergs' in California's present and future.
So, we have a question: Who with any substance would want to be Governor of California?
Former toy marketeer and billionairess Meg Whitman wants to be Governor of California and so far has spent over $50 million of her personal fortune to do it. She says she is prepared to spend over $100 million in her quest. It doesn't seem to matter to the 44% of the recently polled electorate who say they would vote for Meg that she has absolutely no government experience, is a relatively recent resident of the State and has made virtually no public appearances or put forth a 'fiscal plan' in behalf of the State. She has not even voted in most elections herself.
Meg has gotten her 44% with blanket TV, radio and print media ads saying the inocuous non-substantive things most 'sound-bite' ads say. Meg has a good track record on selling toys. And now she's selling herself in the same way.
Jerry Brown, a former Governor of California and California's current Attorney General has his 42% from name ID alone. He has not spent a dime on his campaign yet. And, he only has $16 million in his war chest anyway. Brown has a track record of fiscal conservatism and it shows with how he's treated his campaign funds. Still, venerable Jerry has not presented one concrete statement of how he would 'fix' California's financial woes.
And these are California's top gubernatorial candidates!
We will comment more on these California politics in weeks to come. The essense of what we want to communicate here is simply that it seems the electorate can be and is swayed into voting for a candidate who presents herself only in cartoon-like and toy-like commercials or another candidate with name ID only with absolutely no substantive plans to ameliorate the incredible problems facing the most populous State in these United States and the worlds 8th largest economy.
Are voters just plain stupid or just gullible or do they care? Take your pick.
But right now we predict in California's November Governor election the choice will be between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman.