Posts Tagged ‘Good Day LA’

Brown Proposes Baseball Arbitration Budget Plan

Monday, September 20th, 2010

On a recent appearance on “Good Day L.A.,” the popular morning show on KTTV Fox 11, Jerry Brown endorsed the framework of the “Baseball Arbitration Budget Plan,” first proposed by political consultant Richie Ross on Calbuzz.

The proposal is designed to short circuit the annual bitter and sustained gridlock over California’s finances, if no compromise budget agreement can   be reached in a specified time; at that point, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature would each put forth their own version of a spending plan and both plans would be presented to voters, who would select one or the other as the state’s fiscal blueprint for the next budget cycle.

This either-or process is similar to that used by Major League Baseball to resolve contract disputes between players and teams.

In the version presented by Brown, responding to questions posed by Good Day L.A.’s Jillian Reynolds and Dorothy Lucey (pictured below), the governor could also prepare a third budget document, which he said should be on a special election ballot.

The interview took place last Wednesday,  with Brown motor-mouthing as if someone had spiked his green tea. The interview began with a discussion of the TV ads being aired by him and Republican rival Meg Whitman; the hosts did not appear to be aware of  Ross’s Calbuzz proposal.

Reynolds: …but when do you get to the (crosstalk), I hear you, but I’d like to hear the issues.

Brown: Okay, the issue, the issue is, that the state, the Republicans and the Democrats can’t work together, they’re just in polar opposite positions. One says ‘don’t cut,’ one says, ‘don’t tax.’

Lucey: But how are you going to pull them together? I asked Meg this, Schwarzenegger obviously couldn’t do it.

Brown: I’ll tell you how. The governor usually waits and releases their budget in January. Then they come back in June and start talking to the leadership. I’m going to start in November – the week after the election I’m going to call all 120 (legislators) together and I’m going to work them, every day if I have to, until we get the budget solution .

If they can’t agree on a solution, I’m going to ask the Republicans, ‘give me your best offer,’ and I’m going to ask the Democrats, ‘give me yours,’ and I’m going to put mine in – we’ll go to the people and get a vote at a special election. (cross talk) That’s how we’ll resolve it.

Majority rules: Brown also confirmed that he supports Proposition 25 on the November ballot. The initiative calls for the current requirement that a budget must receive a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, a state constitutional provision dating to the FDR era, be reduced to a majority vote.

Following up Brown’s special election remarks, Steve Edwards, the program’s host, noted that Whitman opposes Prop. 25, which Brown answered by saying:

Well, she doesn’t believe in the majority. I’m going to vote for it. It’s not a cure-all, but I say, ‘yes, the majority rules in this country’ – that’s the budget, not taxes – and when the people of Oakland voted for more money by 70 percent, Meg said the people of Oakland were wrong, they don’t have a right to vote because Meg says, ‘I know best,’ and I don’t think that’s the right answer.

Taken together, Brown’s statements on Prop. 25, and on the statewide vote process for resolving budget deadlock, represent the most substantive commentary by either candidate about their ideas for resolving the now-routine delays in passing a budget; in the current impasse, the longest in history, Schwarzenegger and the Legislature do not seem close to a solution nearly three months past the July 1 start of the fiscal year.

The Ross Reform Plan: Ross, a longtime Sacramento-based consultant, first raised the innovative idea of using a baseball arbitration-style popular vote to settle partisan differences over the budget in a Calbuzz guest commentary on May 18, 2009.  In his piece, he noted that Governor Schwarzenegger had used the process in helping to resolve disputes over Indian gaming casinos between tribes and local governments.

Unlike most arbitrations, in which a neutral finder of fact weighs the two sides, looks for middle ground, then crafts a solution to impose on the parties, baseball’s version is an all-or-nothing proposition. The arbitrator looks at the final position of each side and chooses one. Each side only knows its own final position, not the other. One side’s position is chosen in its entirety. The other is rejected…

Saying he believed the idea would work best after adoption of a two-year budget cycle, Ross proposed three steps that would follow:

2. Start the fiscal year on December 1. There’s nothing magical about the current July 1 start. The Feds start in October. A lot of businesses start in January. So let’s move the state’s to December 1 of the even-numbered years.

3. Make Republicans and Democrats write a complete budget. Right now, Republicans hang on to the 2/3rds majority requirement because they say it’s the only way they can be relevant. But they never have to write a complete budget plan, they just potshot the Democrats’ plan. That’s an accountability-free zone. And Democrats tell their groups how they wish they could raise the taxes to save programs but the Republicans won’t let them.

4. Put both budgets on the general election ballot — baseball arbitration style. Neither needs a majority. The one with the most votes wins.

Voters and the “winners” will live with the outcome for two years. If we like the budget we had, we’ll reward them with re-election and another budget. If they sold us on a turkey, we’ll punish them at the polls and probably give the other side’s budget a chance.

Noting that nothing changed in Sacramento in the nearly year-and-a-half since his piece first ran, Calbuzz re-published it on August 31, under a headline that said: “Ross Baseball Budget Plan: Now More Than Ever.”

What would eMeg do: David Siders’ strong piece in Sunday’s SacBee examined the crucial question about Whitman’s candidacy: whether the command-and-control management skills of CEO are useful, or even suitable, for an executive position in government, which requires more persuasion, tact and consensus-building.

It’s instructive that during the campaign, Whitman has done plenty of bashing of the governor and legislators for being late with the budget, but offered no solutions much beyond threats to crack heads. Siders reports:

When asked in Folsom how she would address the state budget impasse, one of the most persistent problems in Sacramento, Whitman said, “I would have chained them (legislative leaders) to the desk to get this done.”

“This is about leadership,” she said.

Corzine never knew what hit him: The killer quote in the Siders piece came from recently ousted New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, who was first elected to office on bold promises that he would bring his private business skills to bear on government, after a successful career at Goldman-Sachs:

Jon Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs executive, senator and one-term governor of New Jersey told Newsweek this year that he, like Whitman, thought “the managerial skill set would be helpful.”

It wasn’t, he said.

“The idea that you’re accountable to a bottom line and to a payroll in managing a business – it gives voters the confidence that you have the right skills (to govern),” Corzine told Newsweek. “But it’s 20,000 people vs. 9 million. I don’t think candidates get the scale and scope of what governing is. You don’t have the flexibility you imagined. There’s no exact translation.”

Are you listening, Meg?

Fishwrap: Jerry as Mel Brooks; eMeg’s Nose Grows

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Not since the supermarket scanner flummoxed George Bush I in 1992 has a politician worked as hard as Jerry Brown to make sense of the here and now.

Given his ’90s retro web site and his campaign’s Geezer Speed attack response team, of course, it’s not surprising that the 2000-year old man is just now hearing that in the 21st century, political rivals send operatives out to record campaign events of their foes – and then put them on the internets! Can you say “macaca”?

Krusty got sandbagged this week, when Team eMeg sent a spy to one of his speeches. The plant captured him foolishly saying he doesn’t want to “rock the boat” as governor and then promptly posted to it to You Tube, a Whitman tactic about which he complained in his weekly on-air interview with KGO-radio:

She’s very good at recording. Everywhere I go, she has one of her little kind of unidentifiable gnomes that have their iPhone and they pop it up and they put it up on their Internet. Everywhere I go, it goes directly into her campaign. It’s kind of an eerie feeling, but I’m getting used to it.

Hold the phone, ma! What’s next – electric movin’ pitchurs that come right into the house?

P.S. Props to Seema Mehta of the By God LA Times for catching Krusty’s comments on KTTV’s “Good Day LA,” including this gem about why he opposes the legalization of marijuana:  “We got to compete with China, and if everybody’s stoned, how the hell are we going to make it?”

eMeg’s latest lies: Fortunately for Brown, at least some of the mysteries of the world of online digital content are working in his favor. On Friday, Fact Check.org, the web’s premier political verisimilitude verification outfit, gave a big thumbs down to “Legacy of Failure,” Whitman’s latest 60-second attack ad on him.

Financed by the Annenberg Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania, and honchoed by the terrific investigative reporter Brooks Jackson, the site flatly declares that “Meg Whitman’s attack ad fails to tell the truth.”

Citing 29 independent sources, Fact Check reports that a number of the claims made in the Whitman are simply untrue, while others are taken way out of context, a practice we call “lying with the facts.”

Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr., the Democratic candidate for governor of California, has been involved in politics for more than four decades. And it’s all been a “failure,” according to an ad from Meg Whitman, his GOP opponent. But it’s Whitman who fails when it comes to the facts.

Jeez, paired with Meg’s previous Pinocchio performance, this latest is almost enough to make you think there is something to that eMeg-Goebbels comparison that Brown rather unfortunately raised a few weeks back, a notion not lost on the ever-resourceful comedy writer Chris Kelly.

But what analogy should Brown have used? On the one hand, comparing people to Nazis is kind of ignorant and shrill (see Beck, Glenn) on the other hand, when you’re looking for an example of someone putting a lot of time, money and effort into repeating a set of lies for political gain, J. Goebbels is your almost-too-obvious go-to.

Kelly’s intriguing answer to the essay question – Whitman and Goebbels – compare and contrast – may be found here.

We’re sorry we brought the whole thing up: Calbuzz didn’t really mean to stir up a tea time tempest when we reported – and then retracted – Brown’s false claim that he had “sold” the state plane during his first stint as governor (h/t Dan Walters).

But after the Stone Agers’ favorite blog belatedly picked up on our correction, and the Minions of Meg started bashing Krusty for claiming credit for a budget-saving measure actually taken by then Gov. Ronald Reagan, the reliable Anthony York was forced to come in and clean up the whole mess on the L.A. Times site.

York got it almost right. He correctly reported that while Reagan sold the plane, Brown ended the state’s lease for it, giving Krusty leave to parse the matter by saying he “got rid of the jet,” but incorrectly identified the broadcaster who voiced the incorrect factoid in a long-ago TV story about Brown; it’s Morley Safer, not Walter Cronkite whose stentorian tones may be heard on the disputed tape at the center of the kerfuffle.

Quick hits:

It’s an undeniable fact that Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga have never been spotted in the same room.

Our hero Dale Peterson suddenly finds himself with some high firepower competition for best ad of the year.

Life in imitation of art: John Boehner fights the tyranny of the tanning tax.