Gov. Brown’s Prop. 30 ego trip: How … Schwarzeneggerian!

Nov. 19, 2012

By Chris Reed

There was a triumphal quality to Jerry Brown’s speech Friday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco that went beyond the governor doing some chest-thumping over the success of Proposition 30. In repeatedly mocking the unspecified “declinists” who fight him on many issues in Sacramento, Brown was strutting for the cameras and casting Prop. 30’s failure as a voter ratification of the brilliance of his governance.

This is mind-boggling. Prop. 30 wasn’t sold to voters as a chance to give a boost to our genius geriatric governor and send a signal to Sacramento to treat him as a living deity. Instead, Prop.30 passed because it was successfully marketed as a grim threat to students:

Voters, you must approve a small general sales tax hike and a tax hike on the wealthy, or we will have a lost generation of young Californians!

Brown’s blackmail worked. For the governor to suggest that the success of his craven tactic is tantamount to voters saying, “Hey, Jerry, great job” — well, that’s amazing.

Brown has had some success governing, and I think he deserves more credit for the pension reform that he got through the Legislature in September than some pundits give him. But he hasn’t changed the arc of state government. He’s preserved the broken status quo, which is devoted above all else to preserving state and local government jobs with automatic step raises for time on the job — most especially for teachers. Hip hip hooray.

Nevertheless, the governor obviously thinks he deserves a pat on the back. So Jerry went ahead and administered it himself.

How … Schwarzeneggerian!


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