Jerry Brown's office calls Republicans 'basically moronic'
With California's new fiscal year starting Friday and no compromise with the GOP on a budget in sight, Gov. Jerry Brown's chief spokesman called Sacramento Republicans "basically moronic" for failing to strike an agreement.
Brown wants a fall election on taxes and to extend vehicle and sales tax hikes that will otherwise expire by Friday. Republicans are demanding pension, regulatory and spending policy concessions in exchange for such an election. They have balked at extending taxes.
"The Republicans in Sacramento are basically moronic. But we’re hopeful that they can realize we’re on an unsustainable trajectory here, one that is not fiscally responsible and one for which they are at least partially responsible," Gil Duran, Brown's press secretary, said in an interview with KPCC.
Duran also questioned Republicans' competence in drafting the policy changes they are seeking.
"Those aren’t their reforms. They aren’t smart enough to write reforms. They don’t know the first thing about the details of reforms. We have to do the work. Those are our reforms," Duran said.
Such acidic rhetoric is typical of talks that have broken down. Republicans held a news conference on Thursday accusing Brown of being the unwilling party in the negotiations.
A spokesman for four Republican senators who have been actively engaged in negotiations with Brown could not be reached for comment Sunday evening.
-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown delivers a keynote address during the 2011 Pacific Coast Builders Conference Thursday in San Francisco. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images