Monday, October 18, 2010

Beyond Brown vs Whitman


""""During the last debate Meg Whitman showed how "populist" she was by bragging she'd campaigned "out there" three or four times a week and had spoken to a truck driver. Presumably this was more often than Jerry Brown. Jerry did nothing for months --relying on name recognition and old standby contributors--teachers and public employee unions. Meg relied on the vast pile of money she'd siphoned off her E-bay fencing operation and fat cat peers who expect to benefit with tax breaks. The moment the debate ended TV viewers were assaulted by strident ads making precisely these points--Meg portrayed with piles of cash and laid off employees, Jerry the professional politician beholden to public worker unions. Not the slightest indication of any "real" support for either: no student groups, no community organizations, no grass roots whatsoever. How different this election would have been if Jerry Brown had built his campaign around a voter registration drive.

"Remaking California" wants to ask "cui bono"---who benefits from the present stalemate? One way to answer this question is to ask who spent most of the $1 billion dollars lobbied into Sacramento in the past decade? 50 per centof this money came from teachers and public employee unions, pharmaceutical industries, and Indian casinos--and these are all booming businesses. For Jeff Lustig , the answer is corporate interests, the wealthy, the exploiters of the public realm. At book meetings discussing Lustig’s collection people want to add "public employees" and their unions --an answer that Jeff is reluctant to hear. (He says he objected to panelists blaming public employee unions alone, exclusively, as the beneficiaries of the deadlock; as if public employee unions were the authors of this long-running disaster, without any thought to the benefits reaped by, say, oil interests contesting a royalty tax, development interests, commercial property (contesting market-based valuations for property tax evaluations) etc.""""

Jodl or Zhukov: whose side you on, ese


CharleyCarp said...

I'd go further. Prison guards may be part of a booming business, but California teachers aren't. Their political participation is more of a rearguard action that any kind of offense.

J said...

Hello Sir Carp.

You're probably correct that the teachers' unions are quite some ways down the pecking order--with cops, nurses, prison guards, and trade unions quite above 'em. Jerry Brown's people. Teacher unions still wield power, though--at least the ones not laid-off by Ahhnuld do. They usually seem like cowards, IMHE--the admins hold all the power. An educator who pisses off some locals (of all....ethnicities), starts barking about the union, or gets in the paper, usually disappears pronto.

Yet...if you think Brown sucks, try e-Meg-onomics, which would be just more Ahhnuld-style yacht-club politics. It looks like JB will probably win, as will Boxer (tho' Fiorina even a scarier creature than e-Meg). Will be interesting--after the Clintons and Obama, I'm not sure we should trust Demos much more than GOPers.

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