“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"The Process IS The Plan"

I saw a priceless clip of Gerry Brown being interviewed on CNBC the other day. It was one of the more hilarious Q&As I've seen lately.

Brown, the Democratic candidate for Governor of California, was asked how he would close the expected $19B or so budget gap, were he to be elected in November. His reply was that he would 'go to the people' with the budget areas, 'line by line,' and ask them to prioritize where to cut spending.

When pressed by the reporter for where, specifically, he would cut government spending, Brown repeated his description of the process he intends to employ.

The CNBC reporter, growing impatient, said,

'But that's not a plan, that's a process.'

To which Brown retorted,

"The process IS the plan!"

Of course, it's no plan whatsoever. You don't need to elect a full-time governor to do what Brown suggests- hiring a polling organization and a professional mediator should do the trick.

If this is what Gerry Brown intends to use as his plan for budgetary action while campaigning this summer, Meg Whitman, his Republican opponent, has a lot for which to be thankful.

As the former CEO of eBay, I would bet Whitman has a lot more specific and cogently-themed plan for balancing California's budget, should she become governor.

Just thinking about this issue, it's so obvious that the least Brown, or any candidate, could do would be to conduct some focus group research, in order to illustrate what actual voting Californians think about budget priorities. This would provide some foundation for whatever priorities a candidate put forward.

It's hard to believe, especially as a former governor of the state, that Brown actually thinks he can be elected again without espousing any principles or priorities, and, instead, asking the voters to do their own budget-cutting.

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