Is California Governable?
It seems California has been in a constant state of administrative turmoil ever since Enron and their ilk conned and cajoled our legislature during Pete Wilson's term to reform and deregulate the energy laws that for over a century had protected California and guaranteed her thirst for power would be met. We have always suspected a dastardly engineered conspiracy conceived in the still-classified FERC meetings where both Rove and Enron exec Ken Lay plotted the path to throw California in to chaos, wherein Enron would profit and Gray Davis would be ousted mid-term in a recall election. There is no solid proof to verify this theory, but we do know now that Enron ordered plants shut down during California's power shortage forcing her to buy more power from other states (Texas) at highly inflated prices.
With all of this in mind, Zocalo invited former California Governors number 35 through 37 to have a no holds barred to the death grudge match in Dorothy Chandler Pavillion's Music Hall in Downtown LA. Possibly due to the talking head television news personality moderator Colleen Williams, the Governors all ended up being civil and very little blood was shed on the stage of the Music Hall.
The moderator started the night by posing a question to each of the former Govs asking, "Is there something wrong with California" to which Jerry Brown, the only former Gov running for a state office and who is currently the Mayor of Oakland as well as the only speaker featured in a Dead Kennedys song replied, "There is something wrong with all of us!" The truth in the matter is that the people of California, although mostly Democrats seem to be confused / controlled / connived easily into thinking what is best for the state is a Republican Governor, preferably one who is a movie star.
When asked what to do to help California, unsurprisingly the Repubs said lower takes and the Dems said increase spending for education and the Environment. At one point the Duke said there are more ways for the state to raise money other than taxes, like gambling for example and suggested California set up a gaming commission to increase their take in non-tax revenue. Brown stressed that California was founded on free education, noting when his grandmother went to a state college it cost $60 a year, when he went it cost $200 a year and not it costs $5,000 a year and if it ends up costing $20,000 a year we have made a huge mistake and California will have taken the wrong path in her financial future as a good society depends on an educated public.
When the subject of whether the Lieutenant Governor should be of the same party as the Governor, the 4 govs made it clear that would not be beneficial to the state. Wilson made a funny when he pointed out how nice it was of then Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis to enquire about his health every morning of Wilson's term as Governor. One point that was especially popular with the crowd was from Wilson when he opined that the Mayor of each city should be in control of the school district. The Governors all agreed with Brown when he said that California should be run by a committee of 4 former Governors, two Democrats and two Republicans.
Throughout the talk we couldn't help but to feel sorry for Davis, a man robbed of his elected status by a combination of a legal loophole allowing a relatively small amount of signatures to force a recall election and a downpour of bad press related to an energy policy that was put in place before his tenure. Once the recall election was initiated it was easy to see that Hollywood obsessed Californians would fall for the same old lies backed by the smile of the beloved Terminator / Kindergarten Cop, and with Rove consulting on the soon to be Governator's campaign, how could Davis win back what was rightfully his?
At the reception we had a chance to see the former Govs, except Brown who had to leave right after the discussion, mix it up with the people, well those people who were on the Zocalo VIP list. Davis seemed to be the friendliest of the bunch and his strong charisma was evident as he posed with folks for photos, smiled and chit-chatted about various topics.
Photos from the event can be found here.