Sunday, February 22, 2009

Governator 2: Judgment Day

I'm planning to do a CA governor's race preview sometime in the next few months, but as there are some GOP hopefuls who are already making their pitches to GOP insiders, I thought I'd to a little preliminary commentary.
Meg Whitman told a packed lunchtime gathering that it is "time to run California like a business" and called for slashing the state's workforce in an effort to ease the state's financial crunch.
"Run California like a business." That's a hardy perennial among Chamber of Commerce types who look at the waste and inefficiencies of government and wonder why it can't run like Microsoft. Well, if you really are going to slash the workforce and reduce the size of CA government, you need to make sure you do it within 2 weeks of your swearing in ceremony or it will never happen. That should really be the lesson of the Schwarzenegger Years. He had a popular mandate to "blow up the boxes," but frittered it away over 3+ years of fruitless negotiations and "go nowhere" propositions. Meanwhile:
Steve Poizner took a hard line on immigration, telling a breakfast session that as governor he would send the National Guard to the Mexican border to shut down the flow of illegal immigration, which he called a threat to national security and California's economy.

"We absolutely need to secure our borders," he said, complaining that schools can't afford the financial burden of educating the children of undocumented workers.

Jesus, Steve, is it still 2006? Running against immigrants will do nothing for you or the GOP, except give Dems an excuse to run "GOP = racist" ads for another 10 years. People don't object to illegal immigration per se. They object to the EXPENSE of providing services to illegals. How about a proposal to turn over every illegal immigrant in a CA prison to the feds for immediate deportation? How about cracking down on "sanctuary cities?" How about finding common ground with poor blacks, who are beginning to compete for scarce resources with poor Hispanics? How about using the bully pulpit to encourage assimilation and English education? Really, GOP candidates should be banned from talking about illegal immigration unless they are prepared to detail what they intend to do with the millions who are here and not going away. Let's try to be constructive, here. 

I did like this from Poizner:

Poizner called the state's new budget "one of the worst public policy decisions in 50 years or more" and said he would not have signed it if he were governor.

He also argued that AB32, Schwarzenegger's landmark bill to limit greenhouse gases in California, is killing jobs in the state and is "misguided in many ways."

And I liked the cut of this guy's jib:
One man in the audience suggested that California should emulate controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and house low-risk inmates in tent cities to save money, 
And, Carly Fiorina is thinking of running against Barbara Boxer. I don't have a very high opinion of "Carly" as she spent too much of her time at H-P trying to show that she was a "tuff gal" who could make it in a macho world. Still, her wealth and gender would make her a strong candidate against Boxer, who has managed to stay in the Senate as much due to the poor quality of her opposition as anything else. The SF Chronicle must be worried too, because they include this priceless bit of editorializing in this "news" story:

But Fiorina opened herself up for criticism when she complained about CEOs taking huge golden parachutes.

"I believe as a Republican Party we can never defend greed and excess," Fiorina said. "And some of those executives have been greedy to a fault. Our economy is about accountability. So when somebody takes $40 million a year for failure, we cannot defend that," she said.

But she failed to mention she was herself criticized for leaving Hewlett-Packard in 2005 with a golden parachute that included $21 million in salary and an additional $21 million in stock options and pension.

Why the hell would she mention that? Was she under oath?

And, no SF Chronicle story about the state GOP is complete without a word from the Democrats' 200 year old state party chair Bob Mulholland, who is the Greg Packer of Chronicle GOP stories, and who is always willing to display the "sophistication" that Dems love to believe is the hallmark of their Party. 

"I love it when a billionaire talks about being with the people," said Bob Mulholland, campaign chair for the state Democratic Party. "Republicans don't fit the California voter. ... Poizner is out of touch with California, and Whitman is saying, 'I'm rich, vote for me.'

"They keep trying to buy an image like they're Mother Teresa," he said. "But they'll leave here more dysfunctional than they came."

Hey, Bob, bite me. 

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