Brown increases power over UC

Brown increases power over UC

Gareth ElliottWith NFL playoffs and BCS championship here, on whom would you bet? The four-term governor of California, who learned politics at his father’s knee 70 years ago? Or the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security?

So the odds are Gov. Jerry Brown, in the end, will best University of California President Janet Napolitano in their tiff over tuition at the school. She is pushing for a 28 percent increase in undergraduate tuition over five years, but Brown wants to keep tuition flat. She has been in that office less than two years. Before going to Washington, she was a politician in Arizona, including governor.

The school actually is not run by Napolitano, but by the Board of Regents. The governor’s office announced:

Gareth Elliott, 44, of West Sacramento, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Elliott has served as legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2011. He was policy director in the Office of California State Senator Alex Padilla from 2008 to 2011 and policy director and deputy chief of staff in the Office of California State Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata from 2004 to 2008. Elliott was a legislative aide and then legislative director in the Office of California State Senator Don Perata from 1996 to 2004. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Elliott is a Democrat.

And according to a story in the Spring 2013 issue of “Humboldt,” the magazine of Humboldt State University:

Behind every politician, there’s a team of trusted advisors. For California Gov. Jerry Brown, HSU alum Gareth Elliott (’92, Political Science) is a big part of that team.

Elliott is the governor’s secretary of legislative affairs, serving as his top emissary to the California State Legislature. It’s an important responsibility that requires thick skin, discretion and sound judgment. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is that I get to learn from someone who has so many years of experience,” he says. …

In addition to serving as the governor’s advisor, Elliott manages a staff of 10 deputies who specialize in issues like education, transportation, public safety and the environment. The governor calls on them to clarify bills, draft veto messages and determine how to respond in congressional hearings.

Some of the most frenetic times are when the governor has hundreds of bills to veto or sign into law, Elliott says. “We just went through a very intense period where we had 30 days to get through hundreds and hundreds of bills. It’s hectic, but I have to pinch myself sometimes that I am the one sitting across the table discussing these issues with the governor.”

Politics aside, Elliott looks like an impressive guy. (He’s in the above picture handing Brown a paper.) Think he will side with Brown or Napolitano on the board?


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  1. maximilian
    maximilian 7 January, 2015, 09:12

    Let’s start at the beginning and correct the name of the UC President…pretty sure it’s Napolitano and not Reno.

    Now let’s move along…Elliott is a top-notch choice to sit on the Board. He has insider knowledge of the issue that will ultimately crush the finances of the University…unfunded liabilities and Brown’s recent efforts to reform UC’s pension program. I think you’re going to see some fresh input regarding pension reform and Elliott can take a leadership position.

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 7 January, 2015, 14:53

      Maximilian: Thank you for tipping us off. It has been corrected in the text, Napolitano instead of Reno.

      And I appreciate your observations on Elliott and pensions. That confirms my perception that he’s “an impressive guy.”

      Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 January, 2015, 09:31

    Pensions… mas-

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 7 January, 2015, 14:24

    Lol!!! We have already had pension reform! Can we move on to some more DOOMER articles that matter like we used to? You know the ones,California is Detroit,California is Greece,the sky is falling, the apocalypse is near,California is BK, No NFL team for LA,(let’s go Rams)!! The terrorist are getting driver licenses, teachers,cops and FireFighters are horrible people, etc,etc. Freshen up the DOOMER mantra CWD!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 January, 2015, 15:35

    We will get pension reform when the next bear roars, which will be in the next 2-3 years, maybe sooner. At the end of a bull market pension funds should be funded at 125% so then the bear does roar back and the markets tank/correct, the fund is at or still over 100%. CalTURDS is at 80% right now in one of the strongest bull markets on record. But CalTURDS was well over 100%, about 135%, when SB400 was passed, the day SB400 passed CalTURDS went from 135% funded to 80% funded, and far less at the end of 2008.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 January, 2015, 15:58

    Poodle….no one has a pension in 100 miles of Adelanto. Stop worrying about stuff. You can fire up the RAM truck and haul your Terry single wide to New Mexico and become a Vortex Debunker!

    Reply this comment
  6. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 8 January, 2015, 14:43

    It’s easy to get confused between Reno and Napolitano. Both Sistahs, you know…

    Good thing Brown is exerting control over the UC system. My impression is that powerz at the national level handed this sinecure to Reno (oops, I mean Napolitano) as a reward for a job well done in beefing up the blackshirted USSA police state. Brown actually is an actual californian……looking out for the actual california students..

    Reply this comment
  7. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 9 January, 2015, 11:03

    I saw Napolitano interviewed on NBC News Conference a past Sunday morning. In the discussion about tuition at the CA campuses, Napolitano voiced, in so many words, that any CA resident who resides with parents who earn less than $80,000/yr may receive free tuition at any CA U to which they are accepted. There is sometimes an upside to every downside–the pundits who like to pummel Napolitano usually conveniently leave out any upside information.

    Reply this comment
  8. maximilian
    maximilian 9 January, 2015, 11:20

    See, you are correct about the plan to provide free tuition to those where parents make less than $80K. “UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will ensure that you will not have to pay UC’s systemwide tuition and fees out of your own pocket if you are a California resident whose total family income is less than $80,000 a year and you qualify for financial aid — and that’s just for starters.” This is not something Napolitano initiated, she arrived on the scene to implement its benefits. A better question: Should publicly-financed colleges/universities provide a free ride for everyone in this tuition category? My parents, with five children, worked in blue-collar jobs with minimal incomes. I had a full load at UC Berkeley and never received a dime in financial aid from the university…I got a job near campus and worked jobs at summer to make it work. Is this merely another entitlement the entire state must finance?

    Reply this comment

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