Whitman-brown Debate: A Debriefing
Earlier tonight, California gubernational candidates Jerry Brown (D) and Meg Whitman (R) squared off in an informative and widely-televised debate on diverse topics such as the state budget crisis, education, the death penalty, illegal immigration, and much more.
Brown: Currently, the governor approves the budget in January, but it is only revised in May. Will speed up the budget approval process.
Whitman: Cut wasteful spending in Sacramento by watching spending and budget more closely.
Brown: Will speed up appeals process through immediate approval of lawyers, investigators, and judges to oversee death row appeals. Overall, he is against the death penalty, but was referred to by Whitman as “too liberal on crime.”
Whitman: Supports death penalty. Appoint conservative judges to who will follow and interpret California justice laws.
Whitman: Create millions of new private-sector jobs by 2015. Eliminate company startup tax and factory tax. Economic development team focused on jobs. Make sure that California is a competitive state. Rebuttal to Brown: Green jobs is only 3% of total jobs in state and used Texas as example of a model job state, with no “red tape” and lower taxes with higher state revenues.
Brown: No billion-dollar tax breaks to rich. Instead, invest in clean-energy and technology jobs. Supports AB-32, a climate and jobs bill that Whitman wants to suspend. When he was Oakland mayor, supported tech and green jobs, cut “red tape”, no tax breaks to rich. Invest in prospective jobs for the future.
Brown: Raise requirements and stop excess waste of state funds for pensions. Rebuttal to Whitman: Deposes that Whitman has raised $5 billion for her campaign from union groups who will be reimbursed with benefits.
Whitman: Believes public employee pension system is underfunded. Take retirement ages up. Mentioned that retirement age for civil servants is currently 55, wants to raise it to 65. Explains that the new governor will need a “spine of steel.” Currently, over $3.9 billion in public pension benefits, wants to make system more efficient.
Whitman: Apologized for absence in voting in previous elections and for her horrible voting record. Challenge status quo in Sacramento. Wants independence to govern and overturn Jerry Brown’s previous mistakes.
Brown: “Age” a major factor in civil participation, promises to do job well and to the best of his ability if he is elected as governor.
Funding Cuts to CSU and UC Systems
Brown: Become tough on state budget and focus on building surplus. Reroute tax cuts to wealthy on replenishing California education system.
Whitman: “Higher education is one of the gems of our education system in California.” Reduce costs by streamlining government by running it more efficiently and pumping $1 billion into the education system from government policy reorganization.
“Misleading” Campaign Ads
Whitman: Was defensive and stood by her ads. Said that Brown despised her ads because she revealed his mistakes. Mentioned that taxes were higher during Brown’s administration than during Reagan’s administration. Rebuttal to Brown: Claims Brown opposed Proposition 13 and decided to “keep funds to himself.” She promised that she could be held totally accountable for everything that she would do as governor.
Brown: Believes Whitman was a “pinocchio” about ads. Explains that he raised taxes only because California was in a recession and had a $19 billion budget deficit. Rebuttal to Whitman: He made Proposition 13, but some of his staff criticized it.
Brown: Comprehensive reform: Secure borders, electronic ID system, compensation for illegal immigration (fines?), federal cooperation. Cannot round up and deport illegal immigrants; instead, will implement a path to citizenship for them. Amnesty in the future. Workplace inspections inefficient because too many employers to inspect.
Whitman: Secure borders, improve technology on border, hold employers accountable for hiring aliens, temporary agricultural guest program, no amnesty, eliminate sanctuary cities (”worst: San Francisco”). Cost of illegal immigration “is significant in our budget. Illegal immigration is simply illegal.” Strictly enforce immigration laws.
Issue: Whitman Trying to “Buy” Office of Governor
Whitman: Defends view that Californians are smart and that no one can “buy” an election position. Asserts that by investing her own money, she can focus on reforming and rebuilding California if she gets elected.
Brown: “I was legendary for my frugality.” Vetoed pay raises for state workers twice. Focused on providing more funding for educators and stopping surpluses when appropriate. “I can take the heat in the kitchen … I know what to do and what is right.”
Whitman: “Putting Jerry Brown on the job … is like putting Count Dracula on the blood bank.”
Brown: Support saving water and promoting efficiency in transporting water so that everyone could have adequate water supply during years of drought. Support charging for personal water consumption, but having taxpayers pay for the water used in public lands. Support purifying water to reduce adverse health benefits.
Whitman: “Turning our backs on water is like turning our backs on jobs.” Supports environmentalists and saving water to ensure that everyone would have adequate water supply.