Brown-GOP Negotiations Revealed

Satire alert

MARCH 14, 2011

By DAVE ROBERTS

Five Republican Senate mavericks have been negotiating with Gov. Jerry Brown in an attempt to get him to agree to proposals that would create jobs, rein in spending and eliminate pension abuses in exchange for their support for a five-year tax hike extension on the ballot. A secret tape recording of one of the sessions has been released to Cal Watchdog.

Sen. Tom Berryhill: Governor, when we willingly took to heart your admonition “to get out of our comfort zone,” we didn’t realize we’d be sitting on the floor of your office while you sit cross-legged on your desk.

Brown: We have to deal with where we are. We have to create cooperatives, we have to create intentional communities, we have to work for local cooperation where we are.

Sen. Sam Blakeslee: Yes, but governor, can’t we at least sit on pillows?

Brown: When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can’t say now is the time to sit on pillows. But look, let’s get down to brass tacks: What do you people want?

Sen. Anthony Canella: We want the sugar of reforms to help us ingest the bitter pill of more taxes. During your successful gubernatorial campaign you argued for reforms similar to those we are presenting. What’s changed?

Brown: Lao Tzu said, ‘Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish – too much handling will spoil it.’

Sen. Bill Emerson: What are you saying?

Brown: I’m not sure, my wife does the cooking. But look, here’s what I’m willing to offer in exchange for your support on this tax: two tickets for each of you to a Linda Ronstadt concert, an autographed photo of me and the Dalai Lama backstage with the Grateful Dead in ’72, and a box of Cuban Punch Punch cigars that Schwarzenegger left in a bottom drawer.

Sen. Tom Harman: Governor, we appreciate that you’re engaging in our conversations seriously, but we’re going to need a lot more than that if we’re going to put our political careers on the line.

Brown: OK, OK, I understand. I’m willing to throw in free copies of Abel Maldonado’s new book “How to Cut Deals with Democrats.” Speaking of which, Maldonado should be here any minute with our pizza order. Negotiating sure works up an appetite. I hope you guys are vegans because I ordered it with no cheese and topped with tofu, hummus and fava beans.

Berryhill: Thank you, Governor. But we weren’t speaking of pizza when we presented our menu of reform options knowing that, although we probably could not expect to achieve all exactly as presented, each of these issues represent the tough medicine you’ve said our state needs.

Brown: Inaction may be the biggest form of action.

Blakeslee: What does that mean?

Brown: I don’t know, but it sounds good. As I have said before, I have not come here to embrace delay or denial, but to get the job done. If you have solutions that are truly viable, by all means present them. We need everyone’s best thinking.

Canella: That’s what we’ve been doing. We are therefore disappointed to find that our reforms are either rejected or so watered down as to have no real effect on future spending or the economy.

Brown: Speaking of watered down, Lao Tzu said, “In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” Do you catch my drift?

Emerson: Not exactly, Governor. We’re concluding that you are unable to compel other stakeholders to accept real reform. It remains unclear why the defenders of the status quo will not support these common sense solutions.

Brown: Look, I’d like to continue our discussion, but here comes Maldonado with the pizza. Abel, how are things down at the restaurant?

Harman: I’ll pass on the pizza, Governor. But we remain committed to engaging with you and hope to continue an open dialogue in our effort to balance California’s budget and get Californians back to work.

Brown: (sounds of chewing) Mmmff, uhmm, love hummus on a pizza. Yeah, sure, let’s keep the dialogue open. As Lao Tzu said, …. Hey, where are you guys going? Oh, well, more pizza for me.

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