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Does Meg have anything to offer besides attacks on Jerry Brown?

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POSTED July 18, 2010 2:17 a.m.
Meg Whitman is definitely getting the best produced political hit commercials money can buy.

I actually look forward to the one that’s been playing non-stop since the start of June that starts out with a phonograph to play Jerry Brown’s political record that dates back to the 1970s.

The message is that Brown’s record is one of failure.

Let’s back up a second.

If Jerry Brown – first elected governor in 1974 – was such a dismal failure then why did he win re-election by an even bigger margin four years later? Based on one of Whitman’s assertions, Brown is a failure because he appointed “unqualified” judges who opposed the death penalty. For the record - pun intended – I voted for Houston Flournoy in 1974 and Evellle Younger in 1978 and am pro death penalty and was never a big fan of the late Rose Bird. However, it is clear based on his 1978 re-election California voters did not view Brown’s position on the death penalty as a “failure.”

Whitman on her jerryfails.com site that is the Internet companion to her TV commercial onslaught slams Brown for signing the Dills Act that put into law collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Back when Whitman was being raised on Long Island and attending classes at Princeton and Harvard, state workers in California really didn’t have it all that good. The problem with collective bargaining can be traced primarily to the California Legislature and subsequent governors who lacked the backbone to bring balance to the equation especially when state employee unions started playing the same game that big businesses such as firms like e-Bay play to court favorable laws and legislation by greasing the palms of politicians to fed their insatiable hunger for campaign dollars.

Is that a Jerry Brown failure or did he simply agree with legislation that gave state employees equal footing that was then warped by what Sacramento has turned into during the past 30 plus years?

Whitman has got Brown on the fact he’s tried to raise taxes 15 different times. But then again how does Whitman expect government to pay for things like prisons, freeways, fire protection, CHP protection, water projects, the safety net, schools, and those universities that generate skilled workers needed so people that own large chunks of stock in firms like e-Bay can make a killing?

Whitman’s crooning about being against taxes doesn’t bother me one bit especially at the state and federal level where the gap between realty – the need to repair pothole, and flush toilets – and fantasy where government programs are “cutback” by reducing the rate of their increases is as wide as the Grand Canyon. Whitman talks about slashing taxes which is fine except for one thing. It’s only about slashing taxes on big business with the carrot that it will create jobs. While it is true government doesn’t create jobs, you have to ask yourself if California’s business climate is so bad due to taxes then how on earth did Whitman squeeze enough profit from e-Bay which is definitely a California company to feel comfortable blowing $180 million of her own cash to run for governor?

Maybe Whitman’s inferred claim that Jerry Brown is responsible for all original sins on taxes isn’t as bad as it sounds if she can prosper that well under those taxes.

The most laughable claim is that Brown destroyed Oakland schools. Get a grip. While Brown policies influenced the school board election, schools are not a function of city government. Brown – like him or not – was trying to fix Oakland’s atrocious school system.

In fact, he was the guy behind the military academy style of school concept that actually worked in Oakland with attendance soaring, grades on the rise and violence and discipline issues tanking. Liberal coalitions tried to kill off the Brown experiment, as it were.

Of course, all of this is just a smoke screen. What really matters to voters is the same thing that matters to consumers – who has the better product.

It is a standard advertising tactic of those who have an inferior product in terms of market share or actual quality to ridicule the top dog’s product.

Of course, if you have a superior product that is a winner all you have to do is focus on that product.

So it is not as much about jerryfails.com or “Jerry Brown’s Record of Failure” as it is about whatdoesmegreallyhaveto offer.com or “Does Meg Whitman Actually Have Something to Offer Besides Attacking Her Opponents and Speaking in Platitudes” that counts.
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