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Do business executives make good governors or mayors?

Uploaded: Oct 11, 2010
Well, it depends. A business executive can have valuable organizational and managerial experience. Executives come from an environment where there is an emphasis on efficiency and that can carry over to their public sector duties.

But I see two big potential qualifications. One is about attitude and one is about the crucial difference between private and public sector organizations.

To be successful in public service a business executive needs to respect the a state's or city's public sector service obligations and public sector employees. So you have to want to make the public sector better, not different. Mayor Bloomberg is an example. He brought efficiencies to the delivery of services while respecting the role that public services play in New York.

If you want to run on a "businesses are great, governments are incompetent and spendthrifts" agenda that is about politics, not offering your business experience to the public sector. We want a business executive's skills and experience, not a government-bashing attitude. That just confuses a political position with business experience and, in addition, has little if any record of success anywhere, especially in California.

There, is, moreover, a crucial difference between private and public sector organizations. When private sector managers make layoffs, they are mainly driven by declines in customers/sales and profits or reorganizations as part of mergers and consolidations. These are completely appropriate responses to what the market is telling managers.

However, the number of public sector "customers" almost always increases. Population growth does not stop in recessions and some public programs see an increase in demand in bad economic times.

The state's budget challenge -- like that in Palo Alto -- results from a drop in revenues WITHOUT a drop in customers.

That is a dilemma with which business leaders have little or no experience. It doesn't mean they can't learn to deal with declining revenues and growing customer demands but their business experience will often give the wrong signals for this situation.

Public budgets, priorities and choices do not follow the rules of profit maximization.

And the "live within your means" rant is also a political statement. It is not "obvious" as a business principle that staff and service cuts are the only answer to short-term public-sector budget challenges. These are choices to be debated by residents who might prefer to pay more in taxes temporarily to maintain services.

To pass this off as a "business principle" is disingenuous. It is a legitimate political position, nothing more or less. The "means" we have to spend is our total income and if residents want to spend more on public services and less on private consumption, that is their right also.

Unfortunately both residents and elected officials usually maintain services without maintaining revenues and adopt pretend budgets. But that is another story in which many parties are complicit.

One challenge facing the new governor is that California's state and local governments have very low levels of staffing relative to the nation and most states.

www.ccsce.com/PDF

In 2009 California had the fourth lowest ratio of state government employees to population, the sixth lowest ratio of state and local employees to population and the third lowest ratio of K-12 education employees to population among all 50 states—in each case well below the national average.

There is no evidence that the state's public sector is overstaffed. Moreover, these data are for March 2009 and since then the state has seen the loss of 55,000 state and local government jobs while adding more than 600,000 residents. The next jobs report will likely add thousands to the job losses while we strive to maintain high quality education and public services.

So the experience of private-sector executives can be valuable. But if it is their experience that we want, not their politics, they need to come supporting the public sector they are running to lead.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

If Meg Whitman wins, the reforms California needs so desperately have a chance of occurring. CA would gain a leader with genuine, successful executive experience of the sort that is so obviously in short supply for so many years.
Massive restructuring has to occur, and quickly. Deep cuts in the size and scope of government have to take place in a rational, planned fashion, or default and haphazard slicing and dicing will follow.
The coalition in the UK has been going about the work there that is necessary on America's West Coast.
The new governor will also have to invoke emergency powers and will have to use them.

If Jerry Brown wins, the collapse of the Golden State's finances is only a matter of time, and the exodus of businesses and producers from the state will only accelerate.
What serious business leader with options will keep his or her operations in a state "run" in a three-way partnership by and between the grid-locked legislature, the unions and Jerry Brown?

Brown would also appoint a host of Rose Bird clones to the bench.
Browns spectacular failure as mayor of Oakland is reason enough to disqualify him.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sean, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

"To be successful in public service a business executive needs to respect the a state's or city's public sector service obligations and public sector employees. So you have to want to make the public sector better, not different."

That is a very odd statement, perhaps reflecting your own ideology. An elected executive needs to be dedicated to making the citzens lives better not, necessarily, the public sector employees. For example, many services that are currently monopolized by the public sector unions could be privatized. Public schools could be dissected according to market demands and corrections via vouchers. There are many other examples.

It is strange, to say the least, that you are so wedded to the public employee monopolies.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anon, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

"In 2009 California had the fourth lowest ratio of state government employees to population, the sixth lowest ratio of state and local employees to population and the third lowest ratio of K-12 education employees to population among all 50 states—in each case well below the national average."

"There is no evidence that the state's public sector is overstaffed. Moreover, these data are for March 2009 and since then the state has seen the loss of 55,000 state and local government jobs while adding more than 600,000 residents. The next jobs report will likely add thousands to the job losses while we strive to maintain high quality education and public services."

This may actually be a common challenge for the private and public sectors. Because the cost of living is higher here, especially housing, salaries tend to be higher. Because salaries are higher, you generally have to get by with fewer employees and be as efficient as possible with the employees that you have.



 +  Like this comment
Posted by economy of scale? IT?, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Steve -

By what basis do you conclude that a linear scaling of employees with population is necessary or appropriate?

Given that computers scale most modern bureaucratic activities, or could if such were implemented with cognizance of the potential of proven IT, I would think it is a closer estimate that we need almost the same number of state employees independent of our population.

Have you seen any research that incorporates economies of scale with requirements for the number of state employees?

This is one of the areas of focus and experience for those coming from a business background. Successful corporations like a model that allows growth in ability to provide value without a corresponding growth in costs. Would you consider this a positive influence on government?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Socialists and communists have never been persuaded by logic or reason, their arguments are based upon the drive for power.

It is a 60s and 70s phenomena -- there is no cure--we just need to vote them out of office and relegate them to minor opinions in the left wing press-- so far things are going well in that regard.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

How rational is Meg when she wants to give the wealthy a multi billion dollar tax cut in this fiscal disaster?

Meg wants to eliminate cap gains.

Ridiculous at this time. But she'll "clean up" personally.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anon., a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Half of business executives don't make good business executives, so the whole question should be thrown out.

This country has a crisis of judgement, ethics, responsibility. We seem to have put the most aggressive domineering irresponsible people in charge and just let them run with the ball. Virtually every national interest has been compromised.

Blaming or crediting Presidents or CEOs for good or bad times in America is a simplistic media game used to clamp a limit on the intelligence that can be shown in any national discussion. Did Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman actually do anything in their respective companies.

In most of the companies I have worked for the vision came from below or outside and was purchased and sold itself. The CEOs made speeches to rally the troops or distribute bad news or bonuses. Did Arnold Schwarzenegger ever write or direct any of his movies. This class of people are ill-serviing the country, and are costing us more than ever before while failing to do their jobs and paying themselves bonuses for it - and they have absolutely no vision except how to make themselves richer and more powerful they way they have before.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Most public employees are competent and hard working. My question has never been how hard they worked, it has been whether the task was appropriate for government at all.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

Walter:

Is tonight the night that Meg Whitman explains why she sold out on union pension reform just to get their endorsement?

Our great white hope in the public service pension reform wars sells out for a lousy endorsement.

Ugh.

"Whitman has proposed switching new state employees to a 401(k) plan. But as far back as March 24, when she addressed the Alliance of California Law Enforcement, Whitman has promised to carve out an exception for public safety employees..."

When billions can't buy a vote, selling out on your principles can.

Priceless.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Paul, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

"Do business executives make good governors or mayors?"

No. Executives are accustomed to a feudal environment where they are treated with royal deference and they get their way. They find the transition to democracy, where their powers are strictly limited and where nominally underling civil servants can resist and even talk back, somewhere on the scale between profoundly frustrating and impossible to cope with. They can snap their fingers all they want but those legislators don't jump. They got elected on their own, the gov can't fire them, and they know it. Execs aren't used to that.

Movie actors likewise, as Ronnie and Arnold have testified.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I started the blog because we have candidates here in CA and around the country running on the idea that as business executives they can bring a special expertise to being a government CEO.

I acknowledge that possiblity in theory but am skeptical because there are three major differences between running a busienss and being a state or local government executive.

One is that government provides public services and while efficiencies are always welcome, government does not operate to maximize profits. I suspect that CEOs have little experience with falling revenues combined with rising service demands.

Second is that corporate CEOs have much greater power than governors or mayors who have to deal with elected city councils or legislators. It is a different working environment.

The third difference is that the customer relationship is different. For government the CEO has customers who want more services without paying for them and who believe without much evidence that there is a mystical pot of waste that makes hard choices disappear.

If I heard a CEIO running for office with a platform of these are really difficult choices, we are all in this together, no one is to blame or we all are to blame, let's see how we can save money through more efficient service delivery and then see where we go from there, I would be impressed and interested.

I understand people who have different priorities for the role and size of government. But that is about values and priorities, not business experience.

I am still interested in comments about how or whether business experience could be helpful in addressing the challenges we face given the three differences between business and government cited above.

This is part of a longer op-ed by David Brooks in the New York Times today.

"The antigovernment-types perpetually cry less, less, less. The loudest liberals cry more, more, more. Someday there will be a political movement that is willing to make choices, that is willing to say "this but not that."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by pat, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm

> "Socialists and communists have never been persuaded by logic or reason, their arguments are based upon the drive for power."

Whereas Fox News, Glenn Beck, O'Reilly, tea partiers et all are all about logic and care nothing about power.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

"Works/Does Not Work well with other people."

In a business environment, this can be a major factor in how someone does in his/her career. Don't expect to get too far in most business situations if one lacks the qualities it takes to work on things together.

Of course, we do have examples of CEO's in these parts who don't work well with other people, Larry Ellison at Oracle, Carol Bartz at Yahoo, and Steve Jobs at Apple come to mind. Eric Schmidt at Google and John Chambers at Cisco seems to be a counterpoint. Adobe has had a series of CEO's in recent years who do seem to understand how to be civil when in charge. Except for Yahoo, all these companies cited are viewed as successful at present.

In our current public sector environment, working well with other people appears to have become secondary to the rhetoric that is viewed as needed to win elections and does not get taken into consideration before or after the election. Legislature, Governor, local gov't, it is a chronic problem.

Steve Levy has brought up some worthwhile questions around this topic. I will offer one more, which I think is very important. The President, governors, and mayors have to work well with their respective legislative bodies, be it Congress, the State Legislature, or City Councils. And the legislators need to work well with the "CEO."

There is too much of a zero sum game mentality in too many people who are seeking public office. No effort to "works well with people."

Much of the work elected officials must do is pretty banal, but part of the job. This is a job, not something to get your mug on TV.
The higher up the food chain you go (DC, Sacramento, local Gov't) the more darkness there is than light.

As for Steve's question, I will add Mitt Romney, and his father George Romney as two people who proved themselves capable of success in the both the private and public sectors. Meg Whitman is a protégé of Mitt Romney, both Bain Consulting Firm and Harvard Business School alumni. As is NYC Mayor Blomberg (HBS grad, and someone I view as an exception that proves the rule.)

So, a business background in Fortune 500 types of firms may or may not qualify for larger public office. There are plenty of people in this State and around the country who are elected legislators and mayors and governors with a small business background. Different set of experiences and personalities than running a multi-billion dollar profit making enterprise.

Businesses of any size have people with different points of view about issues the business faces. Government is not different, it just is on steroids, and has a check and balance system, not a hierarchical one.

I will be interested in hearing how Meg and Jerry "position" themselves in their final debate. Brown seems to think that being a "trench warrior" for 40 years in CA government is how he needs to come across. I am really tired of Meg's "plan" and would be interested if she can explain her "plan" to get her plan done.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sean, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I am old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan was advised, by his own inner court, to not mess with the Air Traffic contollers, as they went on strike (against the law). He ignored his own timid, politically expedient advisors, and fired them, period, end of story.

I also recall that Reagan held the line, fought back, and won the Cold War.

We need more like Reagan. There are none out there like him now, but we can probably look to his call for individual freedom. He was never a CEO, yet he was the head of a Hollywood union that was being taken over by the communists. He beat them. So maybe he was a lot tougher than a corporate CEO.

Bottom line: No need to be a CEO, but there is a need to oppose socialist thought.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Ronnie, a resident of ,
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Ronnie tripled the national debt.

Ronnie doubled payroll taxes on working folks, while giving breaks to the wealthy.

"We need more like Reagan"

Really?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Yes, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm

To answer the Thread's Title question: Yes, give me business execs any day over politicians.

In fact, give me any name out of the phone book over life-long politicians..the odds are greater that person picked randomly would have more common sense and more productive work background ( though it is true we are rapidly approaching the tipping point on that one)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

> Public budgets, priorities and choices do not follow the rules
> of profit maximization.

Who says? And if they currently don't, why can't they?
And the "live within your means" rant is also a political statement.
Huh? Not "living within your means" can only mean deficit spending, which means borrowing (or stealing) from the future via bond-financed spending. Sorry, but your claim doesn't hold much water.

> It is not "obvious" as a business principle that staff and
< service cuts are the only answer to short-term public-sector
> budget challenges. These are choices to be debated by residents
> who might prefer to pay more in taxes temporarily to
> maintain services.

What is missing from this guy's myopic view of the world is that automation of ordinary tasks does not seem to be a part of his world view, or his lexicon. For the past fifty years, industry has been automating, which has reduced costs, and increased quality. It also has put pressure on the lowly-skilled, who had previously believed that labor unions would be able to thrust them into the middle class. Rather than create a highly-skilled pool of labor, labor unions have created quite the opposite.

> There is no evidence that the state's public sector is overstaffed.

Again, who says? The US Census for 2007 shows about 1.6M state/county/municipal/various agency/education employees, and maybe 400,000 part-time employees. About 350,000 or so were state hires, about 1M employees were in the education sector, and the rest in municipal settings. 2M people out of maybe 15M private sector workers seems like a lot. (July 2010, BLS Press Releases Says: 13.6M workers, with maybe 10% unemployment). Any chance, Mr. Levy, that you can at least provide some rationale for your assertion? The current numbers seem like one public sector employee to ever ten private sector employees. How many would you like to see?

> But if it is their experience that we want, not their politics,
> they need to come supporting the public sector they are running
> to lead.

What is this, but a clearly "political" statement. Or maybe the question should be: "what does this mean"?

The public sector is clearly out-of-control in the US. "Leading" it can only mean "into a deeper hole" it would seem. What's needed is a clearly defined financial model that outlines the income, outlays, and assets that need to be managed, to make governments "sustainable". With the appropriate controls in the Charters, and competent City Managers, then the elected officials become less valuable.

Given that Palo Alto has a "Strong City Manager/Weak City Council" form of government, and the Mayor is not elected-—this topic seems rather moot.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

California Public Employment: Myths vs. Facts

Myth: State government costs have ballooned in recent years relative to the state's total economy.
Facts: In 1977 state government consumed 6.6% of the state's economy. In 2010 that figure is 5.6%.

Myth: The number of state employees has grown out of control over time and compared with other states.
Facts: 4o years ago, there were 9.1 state employees per 1000 state residents. 30 years ago, that figure was 9.5. In the coming year, there will be 8.9 state employees for every 1000 state residents. In 2008, California ranked fourth lowest among all states in the ratio of state employees to state population (28% below national average)

Myth: State spending is at an all-time high relative to residents' earnings.
Facts: For each $100 Californians earn, the state spends $7.44. That spending number has been this low only four times in the past three decades. The cost of general fund programs (e.g., public schools, health, social services) hasn't been as low as now ($5.19 for each $100 Californians earn) since 1973.

Myth: Public schools and higher education take an ever-growing share of state taxes.
Facts: Now public schools take only slightly more of the state budget (43.6%) as in 1998 (42.7%). Public universities' share of the state budget is slightly lower now (7.5%) than in 1998 (8.6%). Meanwhile, state prisons ' share of the state budget has grown from 7% in 1998 to 11% now.

Myth: Welfare is eating up more and more of the state budget.
Facts: Welfare consumed 3% of the state budget in 1998. That figure now is 2.4%.

Myth: The number of California public employees continues to grow at a faster rate than population growth.
Facts: Between March 2008 and October 2009, the number of local and state employees declined by 70,000 while population increased by approximately 600,000.

Myth: State employees are not sacrificing like private sector employees.
Facts: Take-home pay for the same job classifications has declined by 44% over the past 15 years for California state employees (adjusting for inflation) as a result of pay cuts, increased medical insurance costs for employees, and furloughs. Excluding furloughs, the decline has still been 30%.

Myth: State employees in California are no more educated than private sector employees and, hence, should be paid no more than private sector workers.
Facts: Public employees in California are more than twice as likely to hold a college degree or more compared with private sector employees (48% vs. 23%).

Myth: Public employees in California get way more total benefit packages, including pay, than private sector employees.
Facts: California state and local employees earn less than private sector counterparts even when including retirement, health care, and other benefits. Specifically, total compensation for public employees is 6.8% lower than for comparable private sector employees.

(Sources: Dan Morain, Sacramento Bee, 5/13/2010, p. A13. and Peter Brand, Sacramento Bee, 7/06/2010. P. A9))


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 3:03 pm

> Facts: California state and local employees earn less than
> private sector counterparts even when including retirement,
> health care, and other benefits. Specifically, total
> compensation for public employees is 6.8% lower than for
> comparable private sector employees.

> (Sources: Dan Morain, Sacramento Bee, 5/13/2010, p. A13.
> and Peter Brand, Sacramento Bee, 7/06/2010. P. A9))

With all due respect to Messrs. Morain and Brand:

Gov. vs Private Sector Salaries:
Web Link

This is a short list, but it's clear that the numbers are higher on the Gov't side of the ledger. The problem is that pensions are not accounted for in any of these calculations, it would seem. Most CA Gov't agencies have pension funds (most use CalPERS), which take care of all the details, such as payouts, and estimations of contributions needed for payouts. Most local agencies have no idea how much money a retiree will make, because it's not something that is "not in their job descriptions." It's only been lately that people around the country have been waking up to the tsunami of liability that exists in the various unfunded pension funds, and are beginning to access the damage. Sadly, most people reporting on this matter still don't understand that the payouts for Gov't pensions often are 2X what the employee made during his/her working life. This money is for all intents and purposes "invisible", except the the Gov't auditors.

What makes matters worse, is that most Gov't employees have come to believe that they have a right to an "automatic salary increase" every
year, without any requirements to increase their productivity. So, the costs of Gov't have grown faster than the private sector, which does not see this entitlement of an "automatic pay increase" as deeply ingrained, as in the public sector.

Here's a quick example: a person fired at $50K a year with a 4% yearly increase, will make about $2.8M over thirty years of work. His/her final salary will be about $250K a year. Using an 82% multiplier (as we see here in PA), the pension for this person over the next 30 years will payout about $5.8M. So, the total payout (without other considerations like post-retirement healthcare) is about $8.6M.

How many private sector jobs have pensions that payout like this?

Sadly, this $5.8M (of pension money) just "disappears" .. and we're left with the claims that government sector workers are "underpaid".

Recently, the City of San Jose audited its pension funding, and found that:

---
Web Link

The city audit, released late Wednesday, showed the value of the city's $3.8 billion pension system is about $2 billion short of covering estimated costs for retirement benefits promised to retirees and employees, which are driven up by early retirement age and annual pension raises. The city also faces a $1.4 billion shortfall for retiree medical and dental care.
----
These are all costs that the City/taxpayers must bear, and unless there is a standardized way of accounting for total costs, most journalists would simply miss these little "details", and make claims about Gov't employees being "underpaid" when reporting on these matters.

The Washington Post has just this week run an article about the national underfunding of pensions to be about $574B:

Web Link

This is money that will be paid to various Gov't sector workers for "not working".

People interested in following this more closely can sign up for a daily email alert at:

Pension Tsunami:
www.pensiontsunami.com

Finally, I don't believe that Gov't sector workers are, on the whole, underpaid. One of the real problems we have is to find out how much has been promised to all of these people, and begin to downsize these promises so that we don't end up bankrupting our Cities and States.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sources for facts?, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Anonymous -

Do you have any sources for these facts? Some appear misleading, I would like to see the extent to which they are meaningful by looking at their context. For example, state employee/resident seems irrelevant; we have an uncounted number of illegal residents. State employee/tax payer seems more relevant.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

The data about state employees and the budget come from the statistical appendices to the Governor's 2010-11 budget. You can check them out on the dof.ca.gov website.

The state employees per taxpayer statement above is bizarre. Are children taxpayers or prisoners?

Unauthorized immigrants are taxpayers just like the rest of us or do they show their "we don't have to pay property taxes" card to their landlord, their we don't have to pay gas taxes card when they buy gas, and their we don't have to pay taxes card when they shop? Take Whitman's housekeeper, for example. I bet Meg withheld all the appropriate taxes.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 7:19 pm

> Unauthorized immigrants are taxpayers just like the rest of us

Illegal Aliens may, or may not, be paying taxes. Claiming that all are involved in employment that taxes them like the rest of us is presumptuous, at the least. But more importantly, most illegal aliens are not in high income jobs, and may not actually pay much in income taxes (if they have enough dependents).

Most illegal aliens are probably not property owners, so they probably don't contribute much in the way of property taxes. Yes, gasoline tax, sales tax, and other use fees/taxes would be paid, but these taxes can not amount up to much.

The LAO (Legislative Analyst Office), and the US DoE, has reported at the average cost of educating someone in California is about $10.5K (all costs included), so if an illegal alien brings his/her family to California, the cost of educating one child more likely than not quickly outruns the dollar value of all taxes paid to the State. Virtually all income taxes go to the Federal Gov't.

So .. just using the word "taxpayer" can be very misleading, particularly for people who don't actually earn very much, but still draw out of the "common treasury" for social services.

> state employee/resident seems irrelevant
> State employee/tax payer seems more relevant.

Actually, both are necessary--the first to understand expenses, the second to understand revenues.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sources for facts?, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Thanks for the general reference to some of these "myth busters."

I suppose the statistic or ratio to look at will be bizarre or commonplace depending on what you are looking for.

For what perspective does it make sense to partition the population into taxpayers and prisoners? I can't make sense of your comment.

I had thought the common thread through the anonymous post of facts and myths was the question of whether or not the state government currently shows financial responsibility.

It's fair, even if not sound reasoning, to be informed by a look at a comparison of current numbers vs. previous numbers. The question is which numbers to look at when discussing financial responsibility.

Regarding those who have sneaked into the state, have they not shown their willingness to break laws in order to avoid their responsibility to the state? Our current situation w/r to unauthorized immigrants is different from our previous situation in a big way.

Surely it is financially irresponsible to allow, protect, and encourage illegal immigration, given the distorted, new, systemic loads they place on our government services.

The relevance of this, in a discussion about qualifications of business leaders for government leadership, is that the attorney general doesn't seem to see this as a responsibility. Rather, it's best to ignore the problem, claim kindness or whatever, have the taxpayers pay the price while creating an abused underclass.

My own opinion is that we should legally allow unlimited immigrants from all countries subject to variable parameters such as proof of income, criminality, health, etc. But we should make them residents or citizens and hold them accountable for their actions. Perhaps we should attach a specific load on them such as domestic or military service, while teaching them English and allowing them to absorb some of our values.



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Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I haven't been a renter in a long time but I think landlords include the property taxes they pay when determining the rent. So anyone rents most certainly pays property taxes. And employment taxes are paid by the employer as Meg did.

Yes many unauthorized immigrants (the term put in place by Homeland Security in the Bush administration have below average incomes. But so do lots of legal residents. And educating their children is the best way to reduce poverty for everyone just like educating all children in low income communities. It is absolutely correct in my opinion to hold people accountable, which means bringing them out of the shadows.

As Brown said in the debate, unless Meg is proposing to deport 12 million residents and break up families, we share the challenge of moving forward with these 12 million while we redesign immigration policy. I suspect Meg outside of campaigning would agree.

My point in the blog is that most of the important issues facing California have nothing to do with being a business CEO.

We have these hot button issues like Prop 8 or immigration o public employee unions or Texas oil companies that lead candidates to pander to voters while avoiding engaging voters in constructive conversation about realities.

Sources, you actually propose something close to what Jerry Brown and I and lots of other folks think is the best solution going forward--a path to citizenship with lots of requirements that encourage assimilation.


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Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

> I haven't been a renter in a long time but I think landlords
> include the property taxes they pay when determining the rent.

This is more likely true than not. However, the question is: "how much does a renter pay/contribute to the tax collections that fuel the Gov't(s)? Certainly locally, everyone can be expected to pay the same amount to fund local Gov't., but given the high dependence on property taxes to fund so many things, this hand waving that "renters pay property taxes" is simply misleading. It's even worse in a Basic Aid District (as is the PAUSD) where the cost-to-educate is in the $14K-$16K per student (and surely much higher if the "true costs" of the full educational costs were included in this calculation).

People renting in new developments probably are paying about the same amount that they would if they lived in a home of about the same size. But people living in older properties (which have not changed hands recently), are most likely paying about 10% of the "property taxes" that someone is paying who moved into a Palo Alto home after 1990 (or so). It would be a good idea if State Law required landlords to identify the cost of property taxes in the rent.

This becomes a real issue in California, because about 50% of the population is living in real properties--and so are not likely paying about half of the money needed to provide Gov't. services.

Paying a couple hundred dollars in taxes, and demanding tens of thousands of dollars in services may be great for those who are in that situation, but it's toxic to the long term stability of Gov't. financing.

A CEO would probably recognize this, and press his finance people to put the appropriate studies in place to fully understand the sources of revenue, and the destinations of expenditures--pressing for whatever taxation policies that distribute the cost of government across the population as equally as possible. A "politician" would be more likely, than not, be trying to target "the rich", while pandering to the poor to demand both even lower taxes and ever-higher levels of "service".


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 11:09 am

"A CEO would probably recognize this"

Meg could care less, and she admits she is no longer a CEO, but took the next step up and is an "investor." She just wants to eliminate the capital gains tax, as a tax break for the ultra wealthy.

She claimed in the debate she is an "investor."

Why wouldn't she answer the question: "as an investor, how much would you benefit from that tax break?"

Why do we want an investor as governor? A CEO maybe, but she says she is an investor.

As evidenced from her work on Goldman Saks compensation committee, another group that wants capital gains eliminated.


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Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 11:21 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

It sounds like Govt too Big is saying we should not provide education and other services to low income families unless they pay an equal amount in taxes. That truly is a bizarre position for someone running for Governor.

I do not attribute that position to Meg and don't see why anyone thinks a CEO would adhere to that view.


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Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 11:52 am

> Meg could care less, and she admits she is no longer a CEO,
> but took the next step up and is an "investor." She just wants
> to eliminate the capital gains tax, as a tax break for the ultra
> wealthy.

Be that as it may, no one walks into the State House as a newly-minted Governor, and exits the State House at the end of his/her term the same person. At least MW has the credentials to understand how to create jobs in the private sector, and to deliver value-of-price, which is something "politicians" have little/no experience/understanding--no matter how long they have "toiled as public servants".


> Why wouldn't she answer the question: "as an investor,
> how much would you benefit from that tax break?"

Why would you ask this question in an anonymous blog? Certainly MW is the only person who can answer this question. However, it's quite possible that only her accountant could answer the question, and she has little/no interest to know the answer until some future time when the answer matters to her.

However, since we are asking questions--what does the "ultra wealthy" do with its money? Do these folks "invest" in new business--like those here in the Silicon Valley? Or do they put their money in their mattresses, and count it every night?


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

"Why would you ask this question in an anonymous blog? "

Jerry Brown asked her directly, face to face, at the debate. She pivoted and ran away from the question.

If tax cuts created jobs, why didn't Bush have record job creation? His record was ANEMIC compared to Clinton's ~25 million new jobs.

Investing in new companies creates jobs. Buying Exxon, Microsoft or IBM stock does not.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

> It sounds like Govt too Big is saying we should not
> provide education and other services to low income families
> unless they pay an equal amount in taxes.

Earlier I asked Steve Levy to clarify his position on why Gov't was not too large, and he responds by twisting my words into MW's mouth.

Well, here is what I would say if I were a CEO running for Gov. --

A CEO would recognize that equalizing tax assessments is necessary for long term stability of Gov't finances (and if he were a Philosopher-CEO, he might even recognize that the long term survival of democracy depends on this equalization). So, a CEO would begin to look at balancing costs and revenues. In the case of "education", the current service delivery model is people-centric. This means a more-or-less doubling of costs every so often. Looking at automation, and rethinking the service delivery model, would seek to lower the costs, raising the quality, so that the tax expenditures/tax generation could become more balanced. (This is not to say that he/she will succeed in a 4-year term, but it is to say that a CEO would start down this path.)

Education has become a "sacred cow" to the "political class", but it is becoming painfully clear that the cost of higher education has spiraled out of control, and the returns (income wise) are not justified for many. A CEO would begin to evaluate the cost of education in the CA, and make recommendations that would lead to more effective delivery of educational services. Graduation rates are now only a little over 50% for 6-year programs. Replacing high-cost educational services for low-achievers via technology would be one of the ways that a CEO would seek to insure that low-income people have access to "education", without bankrupting the State.

A CEO would recognize that the "top tier" of tax payers are not legally required to live in California, so as the marginal tax rates increase on this class, the CEO recognizes that they may move elsewhere, or reconfigure their financial profiles so that they become less of a target for higher taxation. There are only so many "rich people", taxing them into extinction is a possibility that "politicians" are more likely to be responsible for than CEOs.


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Posted by Sources for facts?, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm

W/r to which ratios matter and illegally present immigrants, here is my thinking.

(There may well be a moral imperative to do something to help people who live in a society ruled by violent criminals. And how smart or hardworking or sexy or innocent these people are may matter in that discussion. But that is part of what we used to call, "playing God." Not the best thing to do. We at some point need to look at our own state and meet our obligations to it. We are not doing that, as demonstrated by our systemic inability to balance our budget. )

Am I simply imagining that on average those residing here illegally spend less rent per unit, and have a far higher density per unit, than legal residents and citizens?

My guess is on average, 1/3 the rent and triple the density. Which means they are paying about 1/10 the property taxes. Hence looking at a lower revenue/resident ratio now vs. then is a misleading measure of current financial responsibility, and the fact that there is a relationship between rent paid and property taxes collected by the state does not change this.

Sales taxes are, I think, a better argument, but what percentage of the state's income comes from sales taxes?


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Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

This is what you wrote:

> Why wouldn't she answer the question: "as an investor,
> how much would you benefit from that tax break?"

I guess this is what you meant:

> Jerry Brown asked her directly, face to face, at the debate.
> She pivoted and ran away from the question

> If tax cuts created jobs, why didn't Bush have record
> job creation? His record was ANEMIC compared to Clinton's
> ~25 million new jobs.

Clinton didn't create one job. The private sector did .. minus any growth in the public sector. (By the way, what is your source?)

> Investing in new companies creates jobs. Buying Exxon,
> Microsoft or IBM stock does not.

Actually, the price of a companies stock is used to determine the credit worthiness of corporations--like Exxon, IBM and Microsoft. Large corporations often float bonds, which ultimately need "investors". The "investors" look at stock prices, which are set, in part, by corporate investors. Interest rates for Bonds, and loans, are linked to the credit worthiness of the issuer. And, once the bonds are sold, and loans awarded--corporations like Exxon, Microsoft and IBM often use these funds to increase their operational capacity, or buy other companies, whose business they intend to integrate/expand.

The world of finance/institutional investing has traditionally been at the core of American prosperity. There is not much to be happy with in its behavior in the last decade, but the world's economy can not operate without investors.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Keep going, even if no one is buying that "bonds create jobs at Microsoft" notion. You forgot to spin this one too:

"If tax cuts created jobs, why didn't Bush have record job creation? His record was ANEMIC compared to Clinton's ~25 million new jobs."


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Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

The following article in today's Washington Post reinforces the CEO as Governor Choice:

---
Web Link

To save $1 trillion, Uncle Sam should take cues from CEOs, group says

By Jia Lynn Yang

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 12, 2010; 8:01 PM

Washington could run a little more like Silicon Valley, say several tech chief executives who have compiled a report on how the federal government can save $1 trillion.
---

Seems there are some SV people who think SV CEOs have something to offer Gov't.

> Keep going, even if no one is buying that
> "bonds create jobs at Microsoft" notion

Maybe it's time you sit in on a basic finance course. Or maybe read a SEC Form 10K from Microsoft, to see what they might be doing with their money.

But if you are convinced that "investors don't create jobs at large, Fortune 500 corporations--maybe you can provide some of your unique insight as to how these corporations increase their size, capacity, and employee headcount.

> His record was ANEMIC compared to Clinton's ~25 million new jobs."

I asked in the previous posting to cite your sources. I ask again: please cite your sources.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm

"By WSJ Staff
The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton's administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office."

Wall Street Journal, a reknowned leftest source of propaganda
Web Link

Clinton almost 8-1 job growth. Remind me again how Bush's tax cuts spurred job growth, please. 8 jobs for every 1. Wow. So close.

For backup, some bozo who won some sort of commie economic award:
Web Link

And:
"Seems there are some SV people who think SV CEOs have something to offer Gov't."

Source: "several tech chief executives"

Wow, who would have thought?!? Silicon Valley CEO's that think Silicon Valley CEO's can succeed at anything.


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Posted by Not better suited, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I agree with Paul. Small taste of a business man's behavior on our own city council. The mayor is a business man and he tends to be impatient with those he doesn't favor, and cut them off. Or he is rude to them. He makes sure they know who's the boss.


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Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for the link to the data.

---
Web Link

President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That's almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.
---

At least one person (commenting on the link's web site) questions the jobs created number:

"I'm not sure where the 22 million jobs created under Clinton comes from. According to the BLS, the employed number was 119,543,000 in 1993, and peaked at 135,999,000 in January 2001. The gain was 16.4 million, not 22 million."
---

Am going to offer this Foxnews analysis of the job creation difference between Clinton, and Reagan/Bush:
---
Job Growth Under Bush Much Slower Than Under Clinton and Reagan:

Web Link

Bush, too, has had his economic challenges. He had the 2001 recession and that year's terror attack. And, Gutierrez noted, Bush faced lingering fallout from the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000. He also was confronted with a wave of corporate accounting scandals that rocked Wall Street — and with Iraq war beginning in 2003.

The economy lost jobs in 2001 and 2002. Since then jobs have been growing each year — including 2006, when the economy was hit by the real-estate bust.

Those jolts did affect jobs on Bush's watch, economists say. Yet they see deeper reasons for slower job growth, too.

"The principal reason is that the labor force has grown much more slowly during the president's term than under the presidencies of Clinton and Reagan and that has nothing to do with anything but demographics," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.

Baby boomers — a huge block of workers — poured into the work force in the 1980s and were rising through the ranks in the 1990s. That's not the case now as boomers face retirement, and there are fewer young people to take their places.

Women, meanwhile, who helped to bulk up the labor force over the past few decades, aren't streaming into jobs as they once did.

---

Taxation levels are one driver of an economy, as is the size of the labor force (from snippet above):

"The principal reason is that the labor force has grown much more slowly during the president's term than under the presidencies of Clinton and Reagan and that has nothing to do with anything but demographics," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.
---

It makes no sense to claim that a President created xxM jobs, who never owned a company, or made an honest dollar working at a job.

> Democrats, who took control of Congress last Thursday for the first
> time in a dozen years, say Bush's trade and other economic policies
> have contributed to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs and to the
> slower job creation.

The rise of the Chinese economy has to be considered in any discussion of job creation/loss. With Chinese labor working for 10 cents on the dollar (at the present time), it's very easy to see companies going to China for labor, or going out-of-business because they don't see any way to compete. (Research "Rustbelt" for further discussion.)

> Silicon Valley CEO's that think Silicon Valley CEO's can
> succeed at anything.

Well .. they have done a pretty good job, on the most part. Failure is a part of the SV culture, make no mistake. Lots of small companies are launched, but few succeed. Every one knows that. VCs often say: "We make our money on one out of ten companies we back". This also means that nine out of ten companies backed by VCs will fail.

> Clinton, 23M jobs, tax cuts ..

Well .. not certain what your point is.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

The point about comparing job growth under Clinton and Bush is not that presidents create jobs but that job growth occurred between 1992 and 2000 (23 million is the right number) while tax rates went up a bit and job growth was much, much slower between 2000 and 2008 (5 million) when tax rates were cut.

Since tax cuts are Meg Whitman's major economic plank and that of Republicans generally, the comparison is reasonable. 23 million compared to 5 million even if there was a small national recession is a major difference.

Moreover, Whitman has featured an ad claiming that unemployment was higher at the end of Brown's term than when it began. This is completely disingenuous as there was the largest recession before this one in 1982 complete with 15% interest rates as Brown's term ended.

Governors don't create jobs so both candidates are exaggerating by promising job creation. If politicians exaggerate this point, certainly a CEO should know better.

I have written that Pete Wilson did not create the aerospace recession and Arnold did not create the housing bust that led to this recession.

With all the trouble that Congress and the Fed are having getting the national economy going, a little modesty would seem in order for both CEO and elected official candidates relative to their power to promote growth in California.

If I were to be impressed by a CEO candidate he or she would be saying this is a really tough situation, I think I have some experience that can help, but this is going to be a tough slog. There would be no finger pointing, no playing to public fears and misconceptions--things the CEO would never do in their company.


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Posted by Linda, a resident of ,
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

The proper measure of government's burden on the economy - and therefore on job creation - is not the amount labeled formally as "taxes", but rather the total amount of government spending. Spending today must be paid for with taxes today and borrowing today. But borrowing today must be paid back with taxes tomorrow.

The real issue is that resources taken out of the private sector by government spending are not available for private sector job creation.

Left wingers like Mr. Levy like to cite the job growth during the Clinton era as proof that high nominal taxes aren't inconsistent with robust job growth. But the real reason that the economy bloomed during the Clinton era was that government spending relative to the total economy declined (largely because of defense cuts a the end of the cold war, but also because after the Republicans took over Congress in 1994, there was a policy stalemate which inhibited spending growth.)

When Bush ramped up spending after the dotcom crash and to fund the Iraq war after 911, job growth slackened despite the fall in nominal taxes. Spending, no taxes, again dictated the course of the economy.

Now we see Obama's reckless ramping up of government spending, and so should not be surprised by the resultant job creation cessation.

The same is true if you compare state-by-state spending over the past few decades with state job creation. High spending states like California have much lower job growth than low spending states like Texas. The data are very robust on this point.

Levy's diatribe on taxes is nothing more than misdirection. No matter how you split up the burden of government spending among $250,000 millionaires and the rest of us, we won't have a job recovery until the government - at all levels - stops grabbing resources from the private sector to fund its inefficiencies.


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Posted by Govt-Is-Too-Big, a resident of ,
on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm

> Since tax cuts are Meg Whitman's major economic plank and that of
> Republicans generally, the comparison is reasonable. 23 million
> compared to 5 million even if there was a small national recession
> is a major difference.

Are there any legitimate inquiries into the relationship between tax rates and job creation? Clearly there are multiple inputs and outputs (like low-paying service jobs vs high-paying technology jobs), labor pool size/growth, influx of illegal-aliens, infusion of money from foreign sources (like the emergence of "Sovereign Funds"), foreign policy decisions by countries (like China) to target the US by manipulating currency to keep exports into the US high, and imports from the US low--reducing the number of job creation opportunities in the US.

It would also be interesting to look at the relationship between raising taxes (corporate and individual) on job creation. Suppose the Corporate tax (about 40% now) were raised to 50%, or 60%, and the tax rates on "the wealthy" were returned to the Roosevelt-era levels of 75%-85%. What would be the impact of these higher taxes on job creation? It seems counter-intuitive that higher taxes would be a motivation for entrepreneurs and large corporations to invest in new business opportunities here in the US, but it would be nice to see some economic modeling that would help predict the effect of higher taxes on job creation, rather than listen to political rhetoric.

It would seem that the economy is so complex that it might even be impossible to model with much accuracy. Remember, there were only a handful of economists that predicted the 2008 meltdown, and they were ridiculed up to the point when Paulson was shouting: "without Taxpayer intervention--it's the end of the world" (or words to that effect).


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

A better question might be do politicians make good business executives. Offhand I can recall no politician who had a successful career in business after leaving politics. Did I sleep through that class?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sources for facts?, a resident of ,
on Oct 16, 2010 at 5:53 am

It sounds plausible that "the proper measure of government's burden on the economy - and therefore on job creation" is the total amount of government spending relative to the total economy.

What about the claim that our current spending/economy imbalance is a myth? Does "consumption" in the excerpt below not include the cost of money spent?

From "anonymous:"

"Myth: State government costs have ballooned in recent years relative to the state's total economy.

Facts: In 1977 state government consumed 6.6% of the state's economy. In 2010 that figure is 5.6%."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

Walter:
"A better question might be do politicians make good business executives"

What does that have to do with anything, other than admitting the point thread?

And it's good that we put to rest the old canard: "tax cuts create jobs"

Bush proved that false. He doubled the national debt and couldn't create jobs.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 17, 2010 at 5:27 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Come on, nony, you can not be that naive. The topic was chosen to denigrate business folk going into politics against reliable party hacks.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Oct 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I find the notion that any elected official from either party can "create jobs." Federal, State or other office.

As an MBA from a well-regarded business school, my impression of the likes of Meg and Carly is that they seem to have parked their MBA educations and track records in order to win elections.

Both outsourced California jobs when they were CEO's.

I have heard nothing from Meg, Carly, Jerry, or Barbara about what sorts of jobs can be created to restore structurally secure jobs that will remain in California.

Blather by all!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sean, a resident of ,
on Oct 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

"I have heard nothing from Meg, Carly, Jerry, or Barbara about what sorts of jobs can be created to restore structurally secure jobs that will remain in California."

Paul, what do you suggest? Do you, as a businessman, create structurally secure jobs in California, or do you offshore your manufactruing?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 7:51 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

As for outsourcing, remember Boxer celebrated her election by making good her promise to demilitarize California. She sent Mare Island up to Washington State with the nuclear sub basing, and would have closed Travis if military aircraft had just a little more range.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jake, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:16 am

Meg wants to be run the State, she has no elected office in her resume. The woman could not even be bothered enough to even vote herself through the years.
I find it interesting that she was the CEO of eBay but apparently did not have the resources at her disposal to check the background and resident status of her own domestic help? sounds like Meg really did not want to know.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:57 am

"She sent Mare Island up to Washington State "

What a crock. That was a base-closing commission.

Show me proof she closed those bases, without "proof" being a right wing blog posting.

Links?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

It was a democrat base closing commission, and anyone who understands Senate privilege knows she had to sign off on the closing before they would consider it. The same nuclear facilities had to be recreated at Widbey.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm

The more that I learn about Jerry Brown, the more I realize that this state needs Meg Whitman!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Walter:

I requested proof for your ridiculous claim, you couldn't do it, so here goes:

"The 2005 BRAC Commission is authorized by Congress through the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-510), as amended. (Click here for the statute).
There are nine commissioners who have been appointed to serve on the BRAC Commission by President Bush. "

Web Link



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Posted by Did Boxer approve it?, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 3:18 am

Anonymous from another community -

Do you dispute Boxer's role in this? What is your point?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:12 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The Base Closing Commission is the bag-man for the biggest party in Washington, the SOP [same Old Politics].

Anonymous from another community - Go look up plausible deniability and Senatorial Privilege. Contrary to your pedantry, I did prove my claim, and you proved your ignorance of life inside the Beltway.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

Walter:

You blame Boxer for supporting the base closing commission. Nine commissioners appointed by a republican and you're angry at Boxer?(actually hard to figure out what you support, because you steadfastly refuse to back up your statements, with anything other than bombastic pedantry)

Back in the nineties, base closings and other actions slashing government costs were part of balancing the budget, and in fact, creating a SURPLUS. You still may not recognize those kind of things, after all, balancing a budget is not something with which republicans are familiar.

Because you lost the nukes over in Vallejo, while eliminating deficits, you're against Boxer?

And Carly the Great Outsourcer/Creator of Chinese Jobs will do better how, exactly?

That's the best ya got? Boomers at Mare?


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Posted by Walter walter walter, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:01 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:19 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Base Realignment and Closure Commissions (BRACs) were created in 1988 as way to achieve cost savings and efficiencies by constrining the infusion of politics into decisions.

It is widely considered as an example of positive government reform that should be replicated in other decisions where the interests of indiviudal legislators conflict with the general interests.

There have been five BRAC cylces--1988,1991, 1993, 1995 and 2005. An indepemdemt commission was formed in each round (made up primarily of corporate executives and retired military officers) to identify bases to be closed or realigned.

The list was presented to Congress and had to voted on up or down. This eliminated bargaining over individual bases and also allowed legislators to avoid having to take a position on bases in their district becasue they had to approve all or none of the recommendations.


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Posted by Walter walter walter, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:21 am

So, Stephen, are you saying that Walter's claims are an example of distorted facts and partisan whining--i.e. trying to blame everything on the democrats (even though Walter claims no party affiliation)?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:31 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

I am still interested in comments about the three differences I mentioned between the public and private sector and the comment added by Paul Losch. Althougth psoters seen to like to argue about the size of governnment and aout Meg and Jerry, I was interested in whether and how business experience could translate to making government run more efficiently.

From my earlier post

I started the blog because we have candidates here in CA and around the country running on the idea that as business executives they can bring a special expertise to being a government CEO.

I acknowledge that possiblity in theory but am skeptical because there are three major differences between running a busienss and being a state or local government executive.

One is that government provides public services and while efficiencies are always welcome, government does not operate to maximize profits. I suspect that CEOs have little experience with falling revenues combined with rising service demands.

Second is that corporate CEOs have much greater power than governors or mayors who have to deal with elected city councils or legislators. It is a different working environment.

The third difference is that the customer relationship is different. For government the CEO has customers who want more services without paying for them and who believe without much evidence that there is a mystical pot of waste that makes hard choices disappear.

If I heard a CEO running for office with a platform of these are really difficult choices, we are all in this together, no one is to blame or we all are to blame, let's see how we can save money through more efficient service delivery and then see where we go from there, I would be impressed and interested.

And from Paul Losch

Steve Levy has brought up some worthwhile questions around this topic. I will offer one more, which I think is very important. The President, governors, and mayors have to work well with their respective legislative bodies, be it Congress, the State Legislature, or City Councils. And the legislators need to work well with the "CEO."

There is too much of a zero sum game mentality in too many people who are seeking public office. No effort to "works well with people."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

"Objection, your honor, leading the witness."

In the direction of reality.

Mr Levy, thanks for the detail. Well done.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Nony, I guess looking up Senatorial Privilege was too much trouble. I know exactly what the base closing commission is and, unlike you, I know that it was not independent as you seem to believe. I also know that the Clinton surplus came almost solely out of the military, just as the Army I went to war with had been impoverished with an earlier "Peace Dividend." Our troops paid for those savings in blood, just as they are now paying for the new ROEs.
Closing Mare just to rebuild at Widbey is hardly a saving. Boxer's anti-military attitude is well known enough, like most of what I mention, not to need references. I never claim to have no party affiliation, I have been registered as Libertarian since the time I registered for one primary to vote for Shirley Temple Black against apostate Pete McCloskey. Anyone wanting to go for big bucks that I lie about my own life put up or shut up. Accusing me of a lie or series of lies from the shield of anonymity is the mark of a coward and, I would hope, slightly déclasse for the publisher to allow to stand.
I have not, to my recollection, ever mentioned Soros, but I wonder how the money he has spent to buy the American Left compares with the money Meg is sending to get elected?
As for the one big difference between an executive in private business and one in politics is that the business exec sticks to business while the pol is reaching out for more power.
And this topic was brought up as a partisan tactic.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 19, 2010 at 5:08 pm

"I know that it was not independent as you seem to believe."

I never said it was independent - in fact I believe it was formed as a vendetta against California's senators.

"There are nine commissioners who have been appointed to serve on the BRAC Commission by President Bush." from the BRAC site

Jump up and down and hold your breath if you like. You may have your opinion but you can't make up your own facts.

Also: Clinton cut almost every department of the government, even the EPA. Again, show me the links (not some rightie site) if you wish to prove otherwise.

re: politico vs business person:
Web Link


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Posted by Role of Efficienty, a resident of ,
on Oct 20, 2010 at 6:49 am

The key difference between career government leaders and career CEOs is the culture of growth.

The effective government leader wants to make his organization bigger, with more budget and more employees. He structures solutions so that in the long run, they grow in people, and grow in cost.

The business leader wants to provide more services with a lower budget, and fewer employees. He structures solutions so that in the long run, there is greater efficiency providing services.

These leaders learn the cultures of their environment; there are many effective and ineffective leaders in both spheres.

If the government service does not satisfy its recipients, the organization itself can still thrive and claim to be a success. It normally will claim and lobby for more money on the grounds that it isn't meeting the needs of its customers.

If a business does not provide sufficient service to its customers, it dies and its competitors grow.

I agree that the California government's service recipients have needs that cannot be met; they will not be satisfied. This is because its government (including the judiciary) has bitten off more than it can chew. More than can be chewed by any government. Even if all the residents of California worked for the government, it couldn't satisfy the expectations it has set for its residents.

That's why we need effective business leaders in California government now.


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Posted by Sarah, a resident of ,
on Oct 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

We need someone to reform or modify union policy, don't think J Brown can or will do it. California will continue falling apart under his hands..................


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Jerry has fought the unions.

Here's the sum total of Meg's experience with politics:
Web Link

(does not count her experience in voting, oh, wait a minute...)


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Jerry Brown gave us Rose Bird and Adriena Gianturko.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm

A lifetime of public service to our state, constantly chosen again and again by the people, and the best you have is an appointment from 42 years ago?

Let's see, bad appointments, how do others do in guessing? Bush and Souter come to mind.

Rose Bird was removed primarily because she opposed the death penalty in 64 cases. In 61 of those 64 she was joined by other justices. Big whup. If state sanctioned murder is your benchmark test, ask yourself this:

What would Jesus do?

Anyway, Jerry vs Meg, I imagine neither of us are satisfied with the choice, but to me it's clear: better the politician we know than the billionaire we don't, especially since she just wants to cut her capital gains tax bill.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm

@ "anonymous"

You wrote: "What would Jesus do?"

I don't think that he would elect "Governor Moonbeam." After all, every time that Jerry Brown has been blindly elected, he made quite a mess of things.

Jerry Brown is a disaster in the making. He is a spend thrift career politician still riding his dad's political coattails. His political ads are extremely misleading. The guy opposed Prop 13 -- and then claims that HE was responsible for "lowering" taxes in California. He is a dishonest career politician who will say anything to get elected.

I would rather elect Meg Whitman. Why?

1. She doesn't have Jerry Brown's lousy track record.
2. Brown is definitely a dirty politician. We don't know that much about Meg yet.
3. Brown's philosophy doesn't match up with his poor record -- even though he keeps talking about who he is "at this stage of my life."
4. We are the most taxed state in the union. We can't afford a spending spree.
5. Brown has done nothing in 42 years that makes me think that he would be an effective governor...again.

If Brown wins, I foresee another expensive recall looming on the horizon.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm

It is funny that those who want Jerry Brown have a difficult time thinking of reasons for electing him. They keep using the "evil that we know" argument and admit that they don't really know much about Whitman.

One thing that I know about Whitman: She is NOT Jerry Brown.

That alone is worth my vote.

:-)


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 5:05 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Brown had only one good idea while in office, Calsat, and he did nothing effective to make it happen.
Based on his record, Jesus would follow the Tea Bag group. He forgave the criminals being crucified beside him, but he did not save their lives.
The term state sanctioned murder is an oxymoron. I was raised on the purity of Sacco and Vanzetti but in maturity determined them to be small time Che Gueveras. Since 45% of the Death Row inmates are there on their second conviction for murder, I am sure they appreciate the second chance Rose Bird and other justices following Pat Brown's folly gave them. If you really don't believe the state should kill then disarm all the police.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

Your comments:

"1. She doesn't have Jerry Brown's lousy track record."
In fact she has ZERO track record even at the most basic function of citizenry - voting. She does not have the skill set to work with the senate or assembly - just like Arnold. She DOES have a track record though, of "dirty", see below.

Jerry has a great track record compared to Meg. And Californians have overwhelmingly chosen him time after time.

"2. Brown is definitely a dirty politician. We don't know that much about Meg yet."
Proof about Jerry being "dirty"?
Meg has had insider trader settlements with the SEC, while on Goldman Saks' compensation committee - dirty enough for you?
Meg has had assault charges settled with her hush money.
Meg bribed her son's school with a $30M dorm just to keep him from being kicked out.
Meg has a track record of dirty.

"3. Brown's philosophy doesn't match up with his poor record -- even though he keeps talking about who he is "at this stage of my life." "
I'll take a Jesuit trained public servant over a proven dirty capitalist always chasing a buck (tax cut)- why won't she open up her settlements?

"4. We are the most taxed state in the union. We can't afford a spending spree."
And we can't afford Meg's cap gains cuts as giveaways to herself and other billionaires. Tax cuts do NOT create jobs - look at George Bush.

"5. Brown has done nothing in 42 years that makes me think that he would be an effective governor...again."
I agree with your statement about yourself. Your statement reeks of blind hatred. So I agree with you, nothing that "...that makes me think..."

You are not thinking clearly, you admit it, and your posts show it. Jerry could cure cancer and you would fret about unemployed oncologists.

"If Brown wins, I foresee another expensive recall looming on the horizon. "
Because Californians want another Arnold? Californians learned about that last time. Gray Davis polls better than Arnold now.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

For an apparently literate man, you certainly are disingenuous.

"If you really don't believe the state should kill then disarm all the police. "

Look at the countries that ban state sanctioned murder, they have police with arms, no?

And lower murder rates.

By the way, calling Tea Baggers "criminals" is even below my threshold. ;-)


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

@ "anonymous"

Unfortunately, there haven't been too many candidates worth voting for in California over the past few years. Grey Davis? Arnie? Jerry Brown? Other spendthrift career politicians? Talk about choosing between the lesser of various evils!

Joseph Marie de Maistre said, "Every nation has the government that it deserves." The same can be said of states. Given the economic and moral state of the California, I just have to believe that we deserve better than Jerry Brown. In a year of anti-incumbency, I think that voters are looking somewhere other than the career politicians who created the mess that this nation is in.

Now, it is true that all "change" politicians can't be trusted. Look at all of the broken promises of Mr. Obama. All of these broken promises will come back and haunt him. However, we have a clear choice in this election.

On the one hand, we have Jerry Brown -- an old, career politician with a terrible track record that even he is running away from with his "not at this stage of my life" campaign rhetoric. On the other hand, we have Meg Whitman -- a successful executive for a Silicon Valley giant. Yes, the Brown campaign seems to desperately (and naturally) raise issues about Whitman. Yet, even with all of the misleading mud being thrown at Whitman, I still think that she is a much better option.

The status quo has just not worked for California. We pay more taxes (and fees, tolls, tuition, etc...) than any other state. Our politicians are spending our money on all sorts of pet projects at a time that we just can't afford them. They throw money at schools...yet our schools are still lagging behind. They throw support to unions with a never ending appetite...yet we are losing more and more businesses and jobs to less-taxed states.

The status quo has got to go.
Jerry Brown is the poster child of the status quo.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

In fact, I don't want Jerry Brown to have a second chance at being governor any more than I want Jimmy Carter to have a second term in the White House.

:-\


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Posted by Huh?, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

Armed police kill based on instant decisions with incomplete information and without trials. You want to allow this without allowing capital punishment based on years of consideration and as complete analysis as is possible?

Logical consistency would tend to support Walter's conclusion. Who is more disingenuous here?



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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

@ "anonymous"

You wrote: ---> "Look at the countries that ban state sanctioned murder, they have police with arms, no? And lower murder rates."

That is highly subjective too. There are areas of this nation that have very low violent crime rates. They just don't happen to be in the inner cities...or in areas where their local politicians and even preachers tell them that those who work hard for success are doing so on the backs of those who do not.

After all, a partial welfare society just doesn't take care of the "want" within people for more. Instead of causing those who "want" more to work harder for it, it teaches them to take the easy way out and simply take things (money, possessions, sex, justice, etc...) that doesn't belong to them.

BTW, if you are so brave with your declarations against police arms, then I challenge you to dress in your nicest clothes and walk down the streets of East Palo Alto, Richmond or Jerry Brown's Oakland while carrying a purse, a laptop bag, talking on a fancy iPhone, carrying an iPod and have a noticeable bulge in your wallet. Something tells me that you might pull a Juan Williams and become a bit more nervous and cautious than if you were walking though Palo Alto. I also think that you might hope that a few of those armed police officers are around to offer protection.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

Nayeli

You hate Brown, that's obvious, but why can't you come up with anything positive for Meg other than she was at ebay?

btw: mud? Facts are not mud. You can throw out all Meg's platitudes about California and Brown, but what lies are being said about Meg?

She employed an illegal IN HER HOME for nine years.

She hasn't voted.

She has ZERO experience in running government at ANY level.

She settled lawsuits against her while at Goldman Saks, where she approved multi-million dollar compensation packages for Wall Street fat cats. And for payback, got cut in on highly questionable deals that got the attention of the SEC. Such an honest gal to lead our state.

She physically bullied a smaller woman employee and settled out of court for a quarter million bucks.

Every major paper in the state says she is unqualified.

All her bumpersticker talking points are shallow, no depth and sound EXACTLY like Arnold. Watch the video. It's HILARIOUS!

If she's do good, why didn't she ever show up at the Atherton Town Council and start with trying to fix their mess.

Why do we want ANOTHER rookie like Arnold. At least Arnold had the legislature wanting to meet with him the first year.

Jerry. Californian bred, raised, tested and voter approved in a lifetime of public service to our great state. He looks better to me all the time.

Californians, too.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:43 am

"Look at the countries that ban state sanctioned murder, they have police with arms, no? And lower murder rates."

That was a response to Walter's "cops don't need guns" rant. Re-read the thread. I never suggested unarmed cops, that was Walter. Talk about disingenuous.

Rant about European welfare states all you want. They don't murder convicted criminals doing life sentences. It's a morals thing.

You and I have different values. If Wally thinks Jesus would kill prisoners, maybe we have more than values dividing us.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

@ "anonymous"

I never said that I "hate" Jerry Brown. I just realize that he is the wrong person for the job of Governor of the State of California. His record speaks for itself...and that is why he is doing whatever he can to run from that record with his "this stage of my life" rhetoric.

It is funny that you complain that Meg Whitman unwittingly employed an illegal immigrant in her home (when that illegal immigrant was the one who falsified her documents to both the employment agency AND to the family). Some wackos seem to be unwilling to do anything about illegal immigration on "compassion" (*cough cough) grounds -- yet they point the finger of judgment at her for paying one some extremely good wages for working in her home. This is HYPOCRISY and a low blow -- even by Jerry Brown standards.

So what if she hasn't voted. There are some elections where candidates on both sides aren't worthy of my vote!

So what if she doesn't have government experience. It has been those with government experience -- like Jerry Brown -- that caused the mess that this state is in! Maybe it is time to look outside of spendthrift career politicians and Hollywood celebrities for leadership.

She "settled" lawsuits that were levied against her. So what? Has Jerry Brown EVER been sued? Well, he is the Attorney General. The state has been sued while he was in this position. Any reasonable person with a normal intellect realizes that a lawsuit is not any sort of determination of guilt.

Is this class warfare? So what if Meg Whitman earned lots of money. When times were tough in college and grad school, my husband and I sold things on eBay. Meg Whitman came through for us during those times -- and should have been compensated accordingly for her success. By the way, are you going to point the same "big wig" finger at Hollywood celebrities, rich and elite trial lawyers or Google execs hosting $30K per head meetings with the President?

So what if every major newspaper endorsed Governor Moonbeam? This just proves that the high powered, rich editorial boards are -- as usual -- in the pockets of the CA DNC. It also gives some credibility to the "liberal media" argument.

Are you seriously comparing Meg Whitman -- a successful tech businesswoman who graduated with honors from Princeton in Economics and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School -- with Arnold Schwarzenegger? Why don't you compare Jerry Brown circa 2010 with Jerry Brown circa 1982?

After Jerry Brown was defeated during his Senate run in 1982, he left the country to go "find himself" while he continued his study and practice of third camp Trotskyism-inspired "Buddhist economics" in Japan. I think that he should have spent a bit more time studying REAL economics here in the United States.

Jerry Brown is the poster (flower) child of the status quo and all that is wrong with California "tax, fee and spend" politics. He has done NOTHING that would prompt us to reelect him. His entire campaign is based upon "forget my past" and slinging mud at Meg Whitman (much of the talking point mud that you continuously repeat). This is not reflective of a man who wants to talk about what he will do for California. This is the "fuzzy" and ambiguous rhetoric in which he hopes that unsuspecting CA residents will vote for.

Enough is enough. Jerry Brown has done nothing to warrant re-electing him to a position that he made a mess of a couple of decades ago. The downward spiral in California from extreme "tax and spend" politics began when Brown was in office. Brown is just a nice old man who needs to retire and go "find himself" again -- but by looking in a mirror or the newspaper headlines from the past 40+ years.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 11:41 am

"This is the "fuzzy" and ambiguous rhetoric..."

Wow. Rhetoric, something dear Meg would never do:

Web Link

Stunning. The gyrations you go through to defend her are amazing. If Jerry employed an illegal for nine years, I'm sure your mental gymnastics would be the same in defending him, right?

"She "settled" lawsuits that were levied against her. So what?"

So what? Wow. Are ya kidding? The rare double backflip!

"So what if she hasn't voted." Ended that one in the pike position. Well done!!

"So what if she doesn't have government experience." Why would a state of 35 million people need experience? Again, well done. Keep those blinders on, while jumping through hoops. One more trick and you're in the finals.

"So what if every major newspaper endorsed..." Yeah, clearly a conspiracy by those rich editorial boards. Uh-oh. Did you just bring class and money into it after defending her class and money? A double backflip flip flop!!

And she finishes with Trotsky! Incredible - we have a winner!!!!

A new mental gymnastics champion for the ages!

Thank you. So rarely do we get treated to such a performance.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

@ "anonymous"

You wrote: --> "Rant about European welfare states all you want. They don't murder convicted criminals doing life sentences. It's a morals thing. You and I have different values. If Wally thinks Jesus would kill prisoners, maybe we have more than values dividing us."

Are you a Christian? Have you studied Christian teaching? It is worth noting in order to have some sort of framework about how much you understand the religion within the context of your rebuttal.

First of all, the government is NOT Jesus. Neither is Walt (and I think that Walt would probably admit as much).

Secondly, Jesus didn't execute anyone. However, he didn't rally against the death penalty for secular law either. As Walter pointed out, the two criminals on either side of him weren't rescued. One of them was repentant of his crimes and simply forgiven.

Third, the early Apostles wrote many times that governments and laws are established (by God, no less) to punish evil doers. When Paul the Apostle was arrested and forced to testify before a king, he said that he had done nothing spiritually, morally or legally wrong. However, he also said that he would not refuse to die if he had broken a law that warranted death (Acts 25:11).

Anyway, I am not a theologian or a seminary student. I just listened in Sunday School and read the Bible a few times. The Judaic law teaches the principle of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life" in dispensing justice. The New Testament teaches the principle of secular laws and governments dispensing justice.

Of course, this is a religious discussion. But, of course, YOU were the one who asked, "What would Jesus do?"


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

@ "anonymous"

Is this the best that you can do in defending Jerry Brown? You throw mud at Meg Whitman and spew ridicule at those who don't support Brown?

Thanks! That is a compliment -- considering the source.

After all, cada uno habla de la feria segun le va en ella. De cuerdo y loco todos tenemos un poco.

:-P

Still, I am voting for Whitman! I do not believe that Jerry Brown has done anything worthwhile to merit another term of office in Sacramento. In fact, his record indicates that he could make it worse.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

"You throw mud at Meg Whitman "

I haven't. They are facts. Unlike Meg's commercials that have been roundly criticized as lies.

Not a POV or ...segun le va en ella...

She DID employ an illegal in her home for NINE years. Deny it all you want. We appreciate the mental gymnastics, but if Jerry did that, you'd be all over it.

You may reread the other facts posted above.

re: state sanctioned murder, are you saying with all that, that Jesus would approve of killing life sentenced prisoners? Sure looks like what you are trying to rationalize.

Bringing it back to the thread, I'll go with the Jesuit trained Jerry, over the money changer from Goldman Saks with the court record.

Who wants to slash her own tax bill.

Quite a gal.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

@ "anonymous"

If you can't tell that what you have done is sling selective mud (devoid of ALL of the facts) and incorrectly call an opinion "fact" -- well, then there is nothing that anyone can do for you.

You wrote: --> "She DID employ an illegal in her home for NINE years. Deny it all you want. We appreciate the mental gymnastics, but if Jerry did that, you'd be all over it."

You are crafting it as if she KNEW that this woman was illegal. That is flat-out wrong. The woman went through a HIRING AGENCY when she looked for an employee...and THEY produced this woman who, by the way, had falsified documents.

BTW: Do you think that illegal immigrants should be allowed to work in the United States? Most of the loudest critics of this are the same people who claim that they should be allowed to work here anyway. Hypocrisy? It is almost like a group of cynical old pot smokers complaining that Obama smoked pot while they are passing a joint to one another WHILE actively campaigning for the legalization of pot.

As for Governor Moonbeam: Mr. Brown must not have been a very faithful Jesuit to have become a practicing Buddhist with Marxist leaning views while simultaneously supporting plenty of practices that Jesus certainly didn't approve of.

You can sling mud all that you want and incorrectly call it "fact" (*rolls eyes). Of course, most of us have the logical minds to understand that Jerry Brown's ENTIRE campaign is to take selective sound bites and "mud" and throw it at the opponent while calling it "fact." I suppose that he hopes that lesser minds in California will believe such tripe.

Of course, Jerry Brown can't discuss the issues by presenting his record -- because he is running from it faster than Usain Bolt at the Olympics! Jerry Brown is keenly aware of how much of a mess that he made in California and how he likes to take credit for legislation that he opposed! All of his "at this stage in my life" rhetoric is meant to gloss over the fact that his record is pretty bad.

Of course, all of the money that he received from corrupt union leaders, media execs, Hollywood celebrities, rich trial lawyers, and high powered executives from those "big businesses" that he selectively points out is enough to purchase him plenty of ridiculous advertisements that don't cover the issues. Yes -- they think that Jerry is quite a guy for supporting their efforts!

Of course, I assume that you "can't see the forest for the trees" because your lens might be slightly (or permanently) skewed. Rewriting Jerry Brown's long history as a career "tax and spend" politician in a favorable light must be easy if you share the same skewed perspective due to the a highly biased lens.

Personally, I would have no problem voting for Jerry Brown IF he were the right person for the job. I have voted for plenty of Democrats in the past simply because I thought that they were the best person for the job. Jerry Brown? No way. He is a part of the problem here. His philosophy of government as proven by his poor record is the reason why California is in the condition that it is in. Arnie just couldn't say ENOUGH to the spendthrift politicians who constantly need creative new means for obtaining revenue (via taxes, fees, toll, rising tuition, etc...) to pay for their pet projects.

Meg Whitman has promised that she will stop reckless spending. That is problem #1 in California right now. Our legislature keeps spending money that we don't have on programs that aren't proven. Their solution to pretty much everything else is to throw money at problems without clearly defined objectives.

Our choice is clear:
Jerry Brown's same ol' same old.
Meg Whitman's promise to freeze state spending and refrain from raising taxes, fees and tolls even more from the unbelievably high rates that they are now.

We are California.
As California, we cannot afford another reckless term from Jerry Brown.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I said:
"She employed an illegal IN HER HOME for nine years."

Meg said:
"After 9 years of faithful service, Nicky came to us in June 2009 and confessed that she was an illegal worker."

Meg admits she employed an illegal IN HER HOME for nine years.

Please read it again. And again. And again.

She also said she loved her like family, lied about the letter, then accused Nicky of mail theft, then said "uh-oh" when the letter showed up with their writing on it.

If she loved her like family, why wouldn't a billionaire spend four grand and get her a lawyer? Better to spend $163 million to lose a race?

The smart move, as recommended by her advisers, was to release this stuff a year ago and not keep hiding it. Her campaign knew she employed an illegal for nine years, but she doesn't take advice on how to handle it from professionals very well.

What a qualification for governor.


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm

@ "anonymous"

SO WHAT???

She had an illegal immigrant who worked in her home. Did she know she was illegal? NO. Meg Whitman went to an employment agency and requested a worker. This illegal immigrant had falsified documents and was hired through the employment agency. When Meg Whitman found out, she let her go.

Why is that so "diabolical" about this?
Why is this so difficult for you to understand?

Do you REALLY think that Meg Whitman purposely hired an illegal immigrant? Do you think that she would risk when she could have easily found a LEGAL citizen to hire for the same job and the same good wages? Obviously, Meg Whitman inadvertently hired an illegal immigrant because: A.) The employment agency found her; and, B.) The illegal woman produced falsified documents. Once it became clear that the woman was illegal, she was dismissed. The illegal immigrant probably got upset that she was let go...and wouldn't find such a great job anytime soon since she was illegal.

That is what happened in this case -- no matter what Brown supporter and friend Gloria Allred asserts. I don't feel sorry for the illegal immigrant who falsified her documents. I don't feel sorry for Jerry Brown. Governor Moonbeam has done far worse than this in his bumbling of the state budget.

I can't believe that the few pieces of mud that the Brown campaign has slung at an outstanding and successful businesswoman like Meg Whitman is ALL that they have to run on. Poor old Jerry Brown just can't campaign on his own record -- because he has a BAD RECORD. His entire campaign is based on trying to nitpick at the apparent "flaws" of Ms. Whitman -- and then laugh when his wife calls her a "whore" behind her back.

Jerry Brown is the same bad news that he was during his Moonbeam years. It is funny that this is the best reasons that you can give for supporting a guy who can't run on his own record.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Meg runs ads that are full of lies about Jerry, and all the fact check sites prove it. Every newspaper identified her lies about Jerry.

What mud has Jerry slung? You have made that claim over and over, yet you can't identify any.

Meg DID employ an illegal, it only took you three posts to admit it. Now it's no big deal, but if it was Jerry, you'd have a heart attack about it. But it's not mud, it's reality.

Meg's answer about Pete (187) Wilson calling women and men whores for the same thing (politicians buying an endorsement of the unions)was so priceless everyone in the audience laughed. Watch the tape.

Jerry is a smart centrist, willing to fight the unions (he has, look it up) and he has the experience our great state needs.

Californians prefer his experience over Meg's promises that just parrot Arnold's promises.
Web Link


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

other folks opinions of the wh*** word in Sacto:

"…I'm offended by Meg's vapors over the "can we call her a whore?" remark.

She can't have it both ways. If she's going to pass out every time somebody utters a bad word – or god forbid a sexist one – she'd spend all her time in Sacramento on the fainting couch.

Yes, selling out to the police officers union in a back room deal could well be referred to as "being in bed with" or even "whoring yourself out to" the union in trade for an endorsement.

If Meg really wants to be governor she'd be better off growing a pair and throwing away the smelling salts. Those boys in Sacto play rough."


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

@ "anonymous"

You wrote: ---> "Meg DID employ an illegal, it only took you three posts to admit it. Now it's no big deal, but if it was Jerry, you'd have a heart attack about it. But it's not mud, it's reality."

THIS HAS NEVER BEEN IN QUESTION!!! Meg hired a woman that SHE DIDN'T KNOW was illegal. The woman in question had falsified a bunch of documents that even fooled the employment agency that vetted her for the Whitman household! You keep stating the obvious as if Whitman did something wrong. She DID NOT KNOW that the woman was illegal. Is that too difficult for you to understand?

The funniest thing is that most of Brown's supporters support hiring illegal immigrants. Brown supported the "sanctuary city" concept that would provide harbor for illegal immigrants and allow them to work. Those same HYPOCRITES are the same people who are pointing the finger at Meg Whitman and demonizing her for hiring a woman that she didn't know was illegal.

You keep stating generalities about Meg Whitman. This is your reason for supporting Jerry Brown? In your defense of Jerry Brown, you can't seem to state a single reason why he deserves to be elected! You don't provide any evidence from his past (that he seems to run away from). You don't provide any specific promises that he is (or is not) making.

Why?

In 2010, Jerry Brown is as bad a choice as, well, Jerry Brown. He represents that same, tired "tax and spend spend spend and then tax some more" status quo that made a mess out of California to begin with.

Go ahead and vote for Jerry Brown. If he wins (and he might), I wouldn't mind seeing what you have to say about him in a few years when California taxes and fees are even HIGHER than they are now (and we are the highest taxed state in the nation).

Me? I am holding out for Meg Whitman. She is a polar opposite from Jerry Brown's lack of discretion when it comes to spending. He can call Meg Whitman a "whore" all he wants -- but we know who is really wearing the tie that binds with corrupt unions, big media corporations, Hollywood celebrities and execs, trial lawyers and big corporations like Google (who can't seem to pay their own fair share of taxes either).

I am confident in my choice. Good luck with your confidence in yours!


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

"THIS HAS NEVER BEEN IN QUESTION!!! "

Then why do you fight it so much? Meg employed an illegal in her home for nine years. Her advisers told her to come clean about it and she ignored the good advice and hid it. And it will cost her $163 million.

A lot of that money could have gone to buy closer races, so - thanks, Meg!

"He can call Meg Whitman a "whore" all he wants -- but we know who is really wearing the tie that binds with corrupt unions..."

Meg SOLD OUT her "principles" in order to get a UNION endorsement. What do you call someone who sells out her principles? Did you not understand what that was all about? Are your blinders on again?

Jerry will be as tough or tougher. I outlined why Californians like Jerry.

"She is a polar opposite from Jerry Brown's lack of discretion when it comes to spending. "

How do you know that? Because she said so 163 million times? She's the one who overspent for Skype - 2 Billion Bucks. In the...

WORST. ACQUISITION. EVER.

She's saying the same thing Arnold said. Only with 163 million dollar megaphone.

Just another Arnold. Only she wants the cap gains break for her own pocket book.

How sad.


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Here ya go, Nay, what it's like to support Democrats:

"There is a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy. Of course the Democrats are disappointing. That's what makes them Democrats. If they were any more frustrating they'd be your relatives. But in this country they are all that stands between you and darkest night. You know why their symbol is the letter 'D'? Because it's a grade that means good enough, but just barely. You know why the Republican symbol is 'R'? Because it's the noise a pirate makes when he robs you and feeds you to a shark."

from Bill Maher (a guy who was dumped like Juan Williams, but you never complained about that one, either....)

"...pirate makes when he robs you..."

Or when a billionaire eliminates her cap gains tax bill, and makes the rest of California's workers pay for it....


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Posted by Nayeli, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

@ "anonymous"

Do you know how much $$$ that Jerry Brown has spent on advertisements that are predominantly ATTACK ads? He is OUTSPENDING Meg Whitman -- but Brown's money is DIRTY. It has come from corrupt unions, casinos, media execs, Hollywood big wigs, rich trial lawyers, and rich corporate execs who want to continue their Google-like tax code (of 2.4%).

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

You can generalize about Meg Whitman -- but you can't name a single credible reason to vote for tax and spendthrift Jerry Brown. You obviously won't deny that Jerry Brown is running from his terrible record (as demonstrated by his "at this stage in my life" rhetoric).

Since Brown has BIG MEDIA in his pocket, he continues to get a free pass on specific plans that he has for California. His plan is...WHO KNOWS? He just attacks Whitman. Jerry Brown's plan is very unspecific. Why? He simply plans on continuing the same old same old status quo tax-and-spend attitude that caused California's mess in the first place.

As for the difference between Juan Williams and Bill Maher. Juan Williams is a moderate who holds political views that are slightly left of center. He defends President Obama -- almost to a fault. On Monday, Williams argued with Bill O'Reilly about generalizing and stereotyping an entire religion based on the views of a few...and then shared a personal anecdote that is echoed by millions of people. He was fired by a woman who publicly questioned his need for a psychiatrist when defending her ridiculous act.

Bill Maher, on the other hand, is just a radical propagandist and cynic who made ANTI-AMERICAN "Reverend Wright-like" statements less than a week after 9/11. Bill Maher echoed Dinesh D'Souza's notion that the terrorists were "warriors" and said, "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

I don't have ANY respect for Bill Maher.

Look -- I don't hate Jerry Brown. I think that his political advertisements are highly deceptive. In fact, I want to vote AGAINST him nearly every time I watch them because of the incredible amount of deceptive spin contained within each ad. I also dislike the fact that Jerry Brown is so incredibly light on details. He doesn't make many plans...pledges...or promises. He just continues to attack Meg Whitman and tries to separate himself from his sordid past "at this stage of my life."

All that you have said has cemented the idea that we have made the right decision in supporting Meg Whitman. I just don't think that Jerry Brown can be trusted given his horrible track record as a career politician, questionable support from corrupt union big wigs and the immense amount of deceptive spin in his advertisements.

The funny thing? A friend called me tonight after reading my comments here. They said that they have decided to vote for Whitman too! I asked her what caused her to make up her mind. She said that it was a comment of what I said and someone else said in this thread, and what YOU said in your posts. Your words have actually caused someone to vote for Meg Whitman! Keep it up!


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Whitman has pulled in more special interest money than Brown. Nice try.

Part of her $163 million. Not only has she set records for buying an election, she still owes special interests favors, just like Arnold, when he promised he was not going to raise special interest money, and then set records in doing just that.

And she sold out to that union for an endorsement, so she owes them, too. You never answered me: what do YOU call someone who sells out their principles for a union endorsement?

From the Times:

"Whitman, the billionaire former chief executive of online auction house EBay, raised more money from outside donors than her Democratic rival, Jerry Brown, whom she has criticized heavily for his dependence on support from the state's public employee unions. Whitman pulled in more than $10.7 million from individuals, businesses and other groups to Brown's $9.5 million."

Web Link


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Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 23, 2010 at 6:24 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

There is an article in today's LA Times directly on the topic of executive experience in this race.

Web Link


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Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Oct 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

"Brad Handler, the first corporate lawyer employed by EBay, put it this way: "Meg doesn't believe in compromise; she believes it shows weakness. She thinks you need to wear people down. That is hard to do in a Legislature controlled by Democrats.""

Impossible. Just ask Arnold.

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned with a similar outsider's bravado. He promised to "blow up the boxes" of government, pointing out, as Whitman does, that he was beholden to nobody."

Just another Arnold. She has taken more special interest money than Jerry.

Only instead of a two BILLION dollar Skype fiasco, she wants to cheat California's working families out of billions with a cap gains tax cut for herself and other billionaires.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Oct 24, 2010 at 5:03 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Many of Whitman's ideas coincide with Arnold - so what? The wisdom of Arnold's ideas was amply demonstrated with the hog wild increase in democrat accession to union greed that followed defeat of his proposals, key ingredient to our current financial disaster.
We all know Arnold was first defeated, then "whipped". I only hope Meg can carry the torch ahead.



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