Morain auditions to be Skelton successor, part 2

Last week, I wrote about Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain’s bizarre decision to focus on an alleged tactical error by a California House Republican in his efforts to fight the state’s bullet-train project instead of the infinitely bigger story that a Sacramento Superior Court judge had concluded the bullet train broke state law on two fronts.

This showed yet again Morain’s eagerness to replace the L.A. Times’ George Skelton, who is likely to retire in coming years, as the mouthpiece/stenographer for the Sacramento media/political establishment. This establishment’s goal: to advance the narrative that the biggest problems with state government have to do with the minority party in Sacramento, which has no power but which nonetheless must be blamed for everything, or at least trashed periodically as hypocritical/unconstructive so as to keep attention away from bigger stories.

Now comes along another egregious example that precisely parallels last week’s. Its implicit premise is that if an individual Republican lawmaker makes a mistake or at least a dubious decision, that somehow undermines his and other conservatives’ critique of generous public employee pensions.

“If McClintock were to quit Congress today – trust me; he won’t – his annual state pension would be $77,472, eight times more than what he implied it would be. He also would receive yearly cost-of-living increases, plus an additional pension from Congress, where his pay now is $174,000 a year.”

Why does Morain think McClintock’s alleged hypocrisy is a bigger story than, say, the insane lies told by CalPERS to prop up the pension status quo?

Because he covets George Skelton’s seat so badly. Because he likes the attaboys he gets from the Sacramento establishment when he targets establishment critics.

And, really, what is his point?

If McClintock is shown to be a hypocrite, does that hurt in any way the broad conservative critique of pensions that are dictated  by political influence and not employee retention needs or anything else?

Of course not. But Morain isn’t interested in that big picture. Just in pleasing his political and media pals.

He might as well be Steve Maviglio. Talking points! Three for a dollar! Get ’em here!



Tags assigned to this article:
Chris ReedDan MorainGeorge SkeltonTom McClintock

Related Articles

Best put-down by LAO

I always enjoy Legislative Analyst’s Office reports, which tend to be well-researched, well-written, fair and professional. But now I give

7 ways James Fallows is wrong about the CA bullet train

Writing on The Atlantic’s website, the much-respected journalist/intellectual James Fallows — a Redlands native who knows California better than nearly

Calif. just for rich folks now

April 28, 2012 By John Seiler California is just for rich folks now. If you’re middle class, I suggest getting