By Jon Fleischman
Special to Calbuzz
You kids get off my lawn! As a daily reader of Calbuzz, it’s easy to start calling Jerry Brown “Krusty.” But lately he really has been living up to the name.
Between the Goebbels-Whitman comparison, and telling reporters that he’ll talk about his economic plans after he’s elected, you get the impression of a codger who should be retiring and taking it easy. Certainly not someone running for the state’s top elective office.
Portsiders dominate the B minus: I was on a panel last Wednesday with Stuart Leavenworth, the opinion page editor of the Sacramento Bee, talking to a room full of Republican candidates.
It was rather amusing to hear him acknowledge to all assembled that the total number of Republicans on the Sacramento Bee editorial board is… zero. But then again, if you keep an eye on their editorials, that isn’t too surprising.
The doctor is in: If the California Medical Association backs a Democrat pickup of Assembly District 5, where Republican Roger Niello is termed out, that means only one thing: the CMA is pushing for a two-thirds Democratic majority in the legislature.
The fact that a doctor is the Democratic candidate really is irrelevant. The fact that Doctor Richard Pan is a hardcore liberal does matter.
Family feud: Either former Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines will be the GOP nominee for Insurance Commissioner, or he won’t. But if he is, he will have a big challenge ahead of him.
Most Republicans supported Brian FitzGerald because of his superior ballot title (“Department’s Enforcement Attorney” to Villines’ “Businessman/State Assemblyman”). But many Republicans voted against Villines because of his unrepentant role as an architect of the largest tax increase in California history.
Time for retirement: If we are going to solve our state’s public pension tsunami problem, two bold ideas are going to have to be on the table.
First, we need to move public employees to a 401(k)-style retirement plan in which the government, as an employer, pays out each year but is then done with its obligation; responsibility for the management of that employee’s fund, and for the decision of when it is valued high enough to retire, should be on the individual employee.
The other point: you can’t solve the problem by simply changing the rules for new hires. Current employees will need to have a new, less generous benefit for their remaining years of service, such as the 401(k)-style account.
Insiders and outsiders: The apparent victory of Minuteman founder Tim Donnelly in Assembly District 59 is heartening to conservatives.
Not only because it is cool to know that you can win the GOP nomination in a Republican seat with just $22,000 and a lot of volunteers – but because the voters will be sending a strong voice to Sacramento to oppose the kind of insider, tax hiking deal that led to incumbent Anthony Adams’ retirement in that very seat.
Coastal views: This Tuesday’s special election to fill the vacancy in Senate District 15 presents a stark contrast to voters.
Democrat John Laird is so liberal that he makes his moderate Republican opponent, Sam Blakeslee, look like a right-winger. What is the differentiating issue that matters? Laird wants to raise taxes so the government sector can grow (or shrink less), Blakeslee wants to keep taxes low, so that the private sector can recover and produce more jobs.
Memo to Frisco: A note to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who are implementing a new regulation out of concerns of radioactivity coming from cell phones: It’s not the phones, it’s the drugs and your status as an international magnet for freaky people that are the causes of strangeness in your city.
Kudos to a pal: Congratulations are really in order to my longtime friend Jeff Randle. Jeff and I came up in politics at the same time, though on different paths within the Republican Party.
All of these years later, I’m happily publishing a website. Jeff, on the other hand, is playing a lead role in the election of the next Governor of California. Very impressive, Jeff. You deserve much credit – the next round of beers are on you (what you do pays better than what I do).
Jon Fleischman is editor and publisher of FlashReport and Vice Chairman, South of the California Republican Party. His views are his own.