Environmental Views: Gray Davis vs. Pete Wilson

Gray Davis Pete WIlsonTown Hall Los Angeles hosted a discussion between former California governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis yesterday with the two disagreeing over environmental law regulations and touching on other policy issues and state politics.

Wilson argued that the reason California had both the highest taxes and the highest poverty rates in the country is because decisions by the Legislature made it difficult to create jobs. The former Republican governor said that excessive regulation was driving jobs away from California, particularly the application of CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, when used to thwart projects that would create jobs.

He also criticized AB32, the Global Warming Solution Act, saying California employers have to meet standards no employers in other states have to meet. He predicted that the state would fall from its ranking as the eighth largest economy in the world because of the energy cost increases that will result from AB32. In answer to a question by panel moderator Jim Newton, former Los Angeles Times editor and columnist, Wilson said he would roll back the provisions of AB32.

Governor Davis, a Democrat, said excessive regulation was a problem but that there was nothing wrong with laws like AB32 or CEQA, which he supported. He reminded the Town Hall Los Angeles audience that Gov. Ronald Reagan had signed CEQA into law. On the other hand, he acknowledged some problems with the law relaying a story about a project that would create 70,000 jobs but was tied up in litigation for five years because of a CEQA inspired lawsuit. He said this type of CEQA use would scare off investors.

Saying “life is a balance,” Davis argued that California was not standing alone in battling climate change, pointing to other states and Canadian provinces that had taken steps in that direction. He suggested the CEQA law be tweaked and refined.

To which Wilson countered, he sees no tweaks coming out of the Legislature.

Both Wilson and Davis defended Governor Jerry Brown’s position on water cutbacks, which generally left farmers untouched by the new mandated cuts. Both former governors said the farmers have suffered much already with the ongoing drought. Davis argued for more use of recycled water; Wilson better water storage facilities.

Wilson was challenged by a question from the audience if he reconsidered his position on Proposition 187 to deny services to illegal immigrants.

Wilson responded that Proposition 187 of 1994 was a cry from taxpayers who felt overwhelmed by cost and safety issues tied to the immigrants in the country illegally. He said 20 percent of the state’s prisoners at the time were illegal immigrants and a 18-fold increase in health care costs and education cost increases were the result of the immigration. That’s what inspired Prop. 187, he said. He blamed “two capitols”: Washington D.C. and Mexico City for ignoring responsibility for the border.

He did not blame the immigrants, however. Wilson said, “People below the border did what I would have done in their shoes.”


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  1. Howard Epstein
    Howard Epstein 17 April, 2015, 10:43

    You failed to mention that Davis was recalled. He doesn’t have much credibility.

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 17 April, 2015, 13:05

      Davis was recalled over one issue–vindictiveness, because he raised the DMV fees back to the former amount. At the time the fees were lowered, it was agreed that, if necessary, the higher fees would be brought back. It was necessary–and look what we got in his place! Davis is head and shoulders above Wilson. CA is not any other state–it is CA! The air quality measures are necessary for a a state with as many people as it has. Now we can see the mountains. Before, some didn’t even know the mountains were there!

      Viva, Governor Davis! Your recall was a travesty!!!

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 20 April, 2015, 09:01

        SeeSaw, lay off your RAGWUS provided crack pipe and pay attention while you get schooled by a more erudite citizen.
        Gray Davis screwed up the electricity with his incompetent handling of the three quasi-government run utilities he oversees. Davis tripled the car tax, Davis lied about the deficit, while revenue had increased 25% he spent 40% above the increase. Davis passed SB400 which increased existing and future pension costs for private sector citizens. Davis wanted drivers licenses of illegal aliens. Davis gave instate tuition to illegal aliens. Davis killed Prop 187 which 60% of the state votes passed. Davis appointed Calpers members invested $100,000,000 in pension money into a donors winery, it was the first time Calpers had ever invested in Agra-business.
        There are many other reasons why the hack Davis was recalled Seesaw, but your stated reason is false indeed. Have a great day my RAGWUS feeding friend!! 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • SeeSaw
          SeeSaw 20 April, 2015, 12:38

          So we had a normal guy trying to do an honest job and in his place we got you-know-who. Nice going, pubs!

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 20 April, 2015, 19:33

            He was abnormal Seesaw. Are you related to him? 🙂

  2. mteresa
    mteresa 18 April, 2015, 18:51

    I am in heaven so I can say what I want. I was talking to the big guy, GOD, notObama(a thin skinned pretentious moron) the other day. GOD said there is a smoking hot place in hell for Davis. He is going to share it with Brown, the ass that keeps saying he worked with me. I woke daily, and asked GOD, when the f he would send the rich hypocrite away. Davis, Brown, just two pieces of $’+).
    Oh God, it feels so good to say that. Amen.

    Reply this comment

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