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Lets find out if Sacramento leaders have real courage, brains & hearts
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Get ready for Abbott & Costello and The Three Stooges Destroy California Tour.

Jerry Brown and the Democrats as well as the Republicans are taking the Greek Tragedy known as California budget negotiations on the road to a public venue near you.

In other words, instead of striking a compromise at some mid-point it’s back to campaign mode.

The object of this is to win the hearts of California who, one must surmise, will storm the Capitol and demand that the other side cry uncle and give in. Actually what they hope is to whip up enough hysteria for their side that public opinion polls - the one thing that apparently strikes fear into the hearts of spineless politicians - will force them to retreat.

In reality, this little exercise in finger pointing won’t change a thing. Both parties have managed to hold the majority of California hostage for years nominating candidates in their primaries that appeal to the liberal base of the Democrats and the conservative base of the Republicans. The end result makes it virtually impossible for moderate candidates from either party to appear on the general election ballot.

Contrary to what Republican leaders may think there are people out there who don’t view taxes as the original sin as they understand you must have a certain level of government service even though they aren’t thrilled about paying for it. At the same time, the Democrats need to get a grip and understand that those same people don’t want to see taxes squandered by a government that not only can’t live within its means but believes that its purpose is to find new ways and causes to spend taxes on.

So who do you think will respond to the public chest pounding on the budget? All of the people who perceived they are being gored and all the people who are fed up with paying for it.

Brown and the Republicans will be playing to the choir.

That said, what about everyone else in California? You know, the folks who are concerned about essential services and who grumble about taxes but understand they are a necessary evil but expect their money to be spent with some wisdom and restraint?

Instead of doing a traveling dog and pony show why don’t Brown, the Democratic leadership in Sacramento and their Republican counterparts do something bold and novel - conduct their budget negotiations out in the open on closed circuit TV so there is no editing, no commentary, and full audio.

We’ve been told budget negotiations have to be done behind closed doors as it is the best way to get something done. So far it seems to be working with the same effectiveness as one termite trying to bring down the Empire State Building.

Why let the fate of nearly 30 million Californians rest in the hands of not 120 duly elected representatives but five people?

The closed door meetings of the so -called Big Five has a history of producing smoke and mirrors to keep pushing any real lasting budget remedy down the road. By doing so, the day of reckoning will become even more severe when it arrives.

Perhaps we are at that point already and just don’t admit it.

Conducting their discussions out in the open certainly can’t do more harm than closed door sessions already have inflicted on the California economy.

There is more to California than just state employees that obviously don’t want to lose their jobs or have reductions in pay and benefits, big business that wants sweetheart tax deals, and special interest groups that politicians pander to on a routine basis.

We don’t need any more predictable pronouncements from the governor, the Democrats or the Republicans. We need a workable compromise.

And the only way to do that is to pull the curtain away from the inner workings of the self-proclaimed Great Wizards of Sacramento.

It’s time to see if they really have courage, brains, and hearts.