California governor’s race endorsment: Jerry Brown (D)

If you have been following my Twitter feed or Facebook wall for the past couple months you have undoubtedly seen the links I have passed along for the Jerry Brown campaign in California and the Lincoln Chafee campaign in Rhode Island.  As November 2 draws nearer, I thought it was important for me to share why I have chosen to support these candidates so vocally.  This is the first entry in a two-part multi-state governor’s endorsement series.


California faces crises on virtually all fronts.  The nation’s most populous state has highly unbalanced tax policies, increasing unemployment and a state budget slinking ever closer to bankruptcy.  Both major party candidates for governor have made some variation of the phrase “getting California working” a campaign slogan, and have stumped on the issue.

Current California Attorney General, Democrat Jerry Brown will bring 40 years of statewide political experience to the governor’s office.  As the first governor to succeed Ronald Reagan, Brown was considered, even by many on the right, to be more fiscally conservative than Reagan.  Although he is currently endorsed by the Democratic Party, he is fiercely independent.  During his campaign as an independent for the mayor’s office in Oakland, he called the two-party political system “deeply corrupted.”  In a state where a two-thirds majority vote required to pass a budget in the State Assembly (the issue of votes needed for budget passage is before voters in November as Proposition 25), his independence, experience and political savvy could help advance the stalemate that has brought legislative progress in California to a near-standstill under Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Brown’s endorsements run the gamut from woman’s rights groups to environmental groups to county sheriffs to nurses and teachers.  Even the hometown newspaper of the Republican challenger Meg Whitman has endorsed Jerry Brown’s candidacy.  Whitman, the former eBay C.E.O., argues that her business sense, rather than government experience, will help her lead more effectively.  But Whitman has so little government experience that she did not even register to vote until eight years ago at the age of 46.  By that age Bill Clinton was already President of the United States.  Whitman’s claim that her business experience, and nothing more will turn California around is simply wishful thinking.  California isn’t a business. It is so big it barely qualifies as a state.  The Golden State is more like a mini … make that a medium-sized nation.  A nation that Jerry Brown’s experience, tempered yet liberal ideals and outspoken character is better fit to lead.