Looking forward to the Governor’s OC visit – What brave Republican will take him on?


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I was pleased to read over the weekend that Governor Brown, exasperated with the intransigence of Sacramento’s useless Republicans (who have strung him along with faux-negotiations just like Washington GOPers do to Obama) has decided to “take his message on the road” to California voters.  Yes, he’ll be crisscrossing the whole state talking to We The People about his budget, tax, and reform plans, and that means he’ll certainly come to the OC, greatest county in the state!

So,bright and early Monday morning, wanting Orange Juice readers to be the first to know, I called his office to find out when he’ll be here, and in what venue.  That’s not settled yet, but they have my number and you’ll know as soon as I do.

I also let them know that our bloggers and readers can help shame convince one or more of our local OC Republican “lawmakers” to join him in a debate here, something I know Jerry’s been trying to make happen for months.  (As you may recall, the California GOP – painfully aware of the intellectual and rhetorical poverty that characterizes its ranks – offered up Grover Norquist instead;  and the Governor, reacting appropriately to the prospect of a DC lobbyist coming to the Golden State to tell us how to live, instead dispatched his dog Sutter to debate Grover.  That charming plan, sadly, fizzled.)

I’d really like to see any of our worthy OC Republican legislators – that’s seven Assemblymen and four Senators – explain to Jerry in front of the rest of us why they don’t trust us taxpayers enough to let us decide whether or not we want to extend our current taxes for another five years to avoid cataclysmic cuts to education, public safety, and more.

Maybe Don “Spanky” Wagner (R-Irvine) – I prefer him as he took the lead in the so-called “Taxpayers Caucus” which aims to prevent taxpayers from voting – maybe Spanky can be the one to tell ALL of us why the wasteful, corrupt Redevelopment Agencies are something ALL the Republican politicians (with the noble exception of Chris Norby) are going to the mat for.  I know a LOT of Republican voters who’d love to hear a clear explanation of that.  Something’s wrong with the old picture of the GOP being the fiscally responsible Party, it seems.

Feisty, mentally limited Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) is somewhat of a loose cannon, and isn’t afraid to yell out nonsense at the Governor, which I saw her do recently on TV, loudly demanding to know why we couldn’t just have a simple 10% across-the-board cut (not the GOP position.)  Jerry patiently, patiently explained to her all the ways that wasn’t possible;  what finally convinced her was the image of prisons and law enforcement suffering such big cuts, and drug-addled dark people running rampant across the South County beaches.  But now that an official GOP position (or “ransom note”) has been issued – and if she’ll agree to stick to this list of 53 demands – maybe she can explain to Jerry and the audience how items like restoring the $23 million of subsidies to rural state fairs, preserving tax breaks for big agribusiness, and changing the date of the presidential election will help in the goal of balancing our budget.

If Costa Mesa’s golden boy Allan Mansoor is prepped enough (are Sarah Palin’s handlers available?) maybe he can take on the Governor in defense of a few other of the 53 demands:  say, gutting environmental laws like the popular AB 32 regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and gutting CEQA (environmental impact studies for new developments.)  The first challenge for whoever prepares Allan’s answers would be this:  How does any of this relate to the budget at all?  They’ll probably settle on: “complying with these regulations is a drain on polluting companies, and freed from those regulations their profits will rise, they will add jobs, state coffers will fill and ponies will fly.” But problem is, we voters didn’t fall for those arguments last November when we soundly rejected Prop 23, and our environmental regulations are very popular.  And Jerry is certainly bound to point out that Republicans are trying to sneak in behind the scenes what their corporate backers couldn’t pull off at the ballot box.  THWARTING the will of the people!  And then Allan should respond… well, he’ll be on his own there.  Good luck Allan.

Then there’s poor Jim Silva (R-Huntington Beach) whom I have a soft spot for since he was the only guy with the common sense to oppose the Fairgrounds Sale from the start, but we all know he can’t speak without note cards (unless it’s to the squirrels.)  But assuming he’s allowed note cards, and remembering that he is one of the more Labor-friendly Reeps, Jim could be the one to explain to Jerry that his pension reform plan just isn’t harsh enough on California’s teachers, nurses, and other public workers, even though it entails nearly all the ideas Republicans have been crying out for for years.  Oh, right, that’s the problem actually.  As Gus wrote over at Calitics, “Anger about overly generous public employee pensions is the only single issue where the Republicans’ messaging polls well,” and now Jerry has stolen THEIR ONE ISSUE – Bill Clinton-style!  Anyway, seeing as how the Republicans want to be even more draconian to public employees, perhaps the pill will go down easier if delivered by great friend-of-labor Jim Silva.  From note cards.

So, your humble OJ editor will let you know as soon as possible when Jerry’s visit will be, and let’s get to work on these Republicans!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.