Tag Archives: California Attorney General Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown for California’s next guv

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom formally announces his candidacy ...

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom formally announces his candidacy ...

Associated Press photos

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, pictured above announcing his gubernatorial candidacy today at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., apparently thinks that associating himself with the latest social networking technology will win him California’s governorship. Although Newsom admittedly is slicker than a used car salesman, he’s dead wrong. Substance matters, and therefore I’m supporting Jerry Brown, pictured below with his parents when he was just re-elected as California governor in 1978 and pictured earlier this month in Oakland. Brown now is California’s attorney general.

FILE - In this Nov. 1978 black-and-white file photo,  Jerry ...

California Attorney General Jerry Brown poses for a portrait ...

Associated Press photos

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom formally has announced his bid for the 2010 Democratic nomination for California governor.

Newsom, who in 2004 infamously allowed same-sex couples to marry in San Francisco (only to have those marriages later invalidated by the state Supreme Court…), is fairly popular among the non-heterosexual and the younger crowds, but my choice for California’s next governor is current state Attorney General Jerry Brown, who was California’s governor from 1975 to 1983.

I usually would support the candidate in my age cohort (Newsom and I both are 41), but Brown (who is 71) is the candidate I’d much rather have in the top state office.

Brown has done the job before, whereas voters, I think, will regard Newsom (correctly) as way too wet behind the ears.

Newsom also is pretty fucking scandalous; he had an affair with his secretary, who was the wife of his campaign manager and his good friend, which indicates that he has serious character issues, to put it mildly, and many regard his 2004 decision to order the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as a poorly conceived political stunt that harmed John Kerry and the gay-rights movement at the presidential polls later in the year. (Some even blame Newsom in part for the narrow passage of Proposition 8 in November.)

Whether Newsom in 2004 was pandering to the gay and lesbian and the liberal votes or not, the fact that those same-sex marriages in San Francisco later were annulled by the state Supreme Court because they violated state law as it existed at that time didn’t serve well those same-sex couples who got married under Newsom’s short-lived decree.

Hopefully Newsom since has gotten his apparent impulse-control problem under control.

Jerry Brown, I think, would be a steadier hand at the helm. His decision as the state’s attorney general to recommend to the state Supreme Court that the court strike down Proposition Hate — er, Proposition 8 — was pro-gay-and-lesbian but was more sensible than was Newsom’s 2004 action, and Brown’s Prop 8 action most likely will have a much more positive impact for California’s same-sex couples than did Newsom’s impulsive 2004 action.    

Newsom is the slicker candidate of the two, to be sure. He will employ the latest technology and appeal to younger voters in his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. (Indeed, he already has; according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, Newsom employed Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to make his official gubernatorial campaign announcement. Ooooo! Ahhhhhhh!)

I’m going to go for substance over sheen, and that’s why Jerry Brown is my pick over Gavin Newsom, hands down, for the 2010 Democratic nomination for governor of California.

P.S. I just watched Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign announcement on YouTube. The video reminded me of why I gave money to his Green Party opponent Matt Gonzalez when Gonzalez ran against Newsom for San Francisco mayor in 2003.

Newsom comes off as nauseatingly fake and phony in the video. Is there a genuine bone in his body? (Speaking of which, can those be his real teeth?)

The metrosexual Newsom reminds me way too much of a spoiled rich frat boy for me to be able to support him for governor.

No, California, the most populous state of the nation, needs an experienced leader, not a guy who comes off as a pretty-boy punk pandering to techies. 

Jerry Brown has my full support.

P.P.S. All of that said, Brown hasn’t formally announced his candidacy yet, but he is expected to run. If Brown doesn’t run and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa runs (as there has been talk about), then my support will go to the 56-year-old Villaraigosa.

Anyone but Newsom…

P.P.P.S. OK, so a Field Poll released last month concluded:

In the Democratic [California gubernatorial] primary U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is way out in front of her Democratic challengers should she decide to seek her party’s nomination. She currently is the choice of 38 percent of Democratic primary voters. Following her are state Attorney General Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who both have 16 percent support. [In this scenario, Newsom garners only 10 percent, the Field Poll reports.]

Should Feinstein decide against running, the race becomes a much closer contest. In this setting Brown is preferred by 26 percent and Villaraigosa is backed by 22 percent. [In this scenario] Newsom is running third at 16 percent, followed by Lt. Governor John Garamendi at 8 percent.

Garamendi shouldn’t even think about running for the governorship under any circumstances; he cannot win. If Feinstein runs, Newsom wouldn’t have a chance.

If Feinstein doesn’t run, Brown would be in the lead, with Villaraigosa at his heels, the poll indicates.

Thankfully, Feinstein — whom I lovingly think of as Mrs. Joseph Lieberman — is not expected to run for governor. While I wrote “Anyone but Newsom,” I actually would prefer Newsom to the crusty, fossilized DINO (Democrat in name only) Feinstein, and I can’t stand Newsom.

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Sacramento Bee gets it right

The Sacramento Bee on Saturday ran this editorial, titled “Brown’s Choice: Constitution First,” which defends California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s decision to ask the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, which California voters narrowly passed on Nov. 4 and which bars same-sex marriage in the state, as unconstitutional.

The money shot is dead Repugnican icon Ronald Reagan’s remark that housing discrimination should be allowed.

California’s attorney general, the state’s chief law officer, has the duty to uphold the California Constitution.

So what is the duty of Attorney General Jerry Brown on Proposition 8, the voter-approved ballot initiative that changed the state constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage?

There’s no hiding from the issue, which is before the California Supreme Court. A March hearing and a ruling within three months are coming.

At first, Brown’s stance was technical: The amendment was properly passed by voters and he would defend it in court.

Now, however, he has reversed himself, saying it is his job to defend the whole California Constitution – not just the power of voters to amend the Constitution.

This is the right course.

Brown rightly notes that the Proposition 8 case poses a conflict between the constitution’s Declaration of Rights (Article I, Section 1) and the power of the voters to amend the constitution (Article XVIII, Section 3). He concludes that the state Supreme Court should “harmonize the two constitutional provisions” to safeguard “both the legal rights of minorities and the people’s right to direct democracy.”

How to do this? Article I, Section 1 states that all people have “inalienable rights,” including life and liberty, property, safety, happiness, and privacy.

Brown argues that any measure that would abolish these fundamental rights must have a “compelling reason” for doing so – it must be necessary to provide for public health, safety or welfare.

So he puts it before the court: Do the proponents of Proposition 8 have a compelling justification to deprive individuals of the fundamental right to marry? Brown’s own answer is that they do not – and we agree.

Now it’s up to the court to do its own evaluation.

Brown’s action is not unprecedented. It follows in the footsteps of Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch in another controversial discrimination case.

In December 1963, California legislators passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act to end housing discrimination by property owners who refused to rent or sell their property to “colored” people.

Voters then repealed the fair housing law and amended the California Constitution with Proposition 14, giving property owners “absolute discretion” in renting or selling.

The court could have let that vote by the people stand but instead did the right thing and ruled it unconstitutional in spring 1966. The matter became an election issue and Ronald Reagan, then running against incumbent Gov. Pat Brown, said, “If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, he has a right to do so.” Reagan won the 1966 election.

The case went on to the U.S. Supreme Court. Lynch later recalled: “Reagan wanted me to go in and try to overturn the California Supreme Court. I said, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ “

Lynch filed a compelling brief urging the high court to rule Proposition 14 unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state court’s action in June 1967.

More than 40 years later, here we are with voters approving another constitutional amendment that would involve the state in discrimination against a disfavored group. Brown is right to urge the court to uphold the whole of the California Constitution, not just the people’s initiative power.

The prevention of the tyranny of the majority over the minority is a long-standing American principle. Of course, the wingnut haters aren’t remotely familiar with American principles — they are familiar only with ignorance, fear and hatred (which, I suppose one might argue, also are American principles, at least in the red states…).

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