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Finally, it’s safe to turn on the television.
At least until the general election heats up and the political ads begin raining down again.
As you know, campaign spending records were shattered in the primary season that mercilessly ends Tuesday, with Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner investing more than $100 million trying to convince us they’re really, really conservative.
Beginning Wednesday, of course, the winner will begin trying to convince us that was all a mistake, and that he or she is in fact really, really, moderate.
And so it goes, Democracy in action.
Because I’m in a good mood with the primary behind us, I’d like to offer the gubernatorial candidates a way to communicate a plan to voters without resorting to more TV ads.
If Meg Whitman,Steve Poizner or Jerry Brown can explain in some detail how they would close the $20-billion budget deficit or help put more than 2 million unemployed Californians back to work, this space is theirs.
If they’d like to weigh in on term limits, the creation of a steadier revenue stream or other reforms that might help set the state straight, this space is theirs.
Silly season is over. We can’t afford another one.
And if the politicians are too afraid to bare their souls, maybe readers would like to Talk Back and show the way.
-- Steve Lopez
Tell Steve what you think -- comment below.
VOTER GUIDE: Breakdowns of the candidates, polling information, resources, links and biographies
ENDORSEMENTS: From The Times' editorial page.
BREAKING POLITICAL NEWS: From PolitiCal, The Times' state politics blog.
I remember when Jerry brown was Governor and he is a great job, I am sure he will be great again.
June 08, 2010 at 08:42 AM
You hit the nail on the head, I'm tired of hearing what party they represent, give me the facts of what your going to do. Its time to move away from party politics and stand for what you beleive not what you are told to beleive and vote for. The party politics only breeds more and more lobby control.
Take a stand and tell me what your direction is and how you will take us there!
Trent Levinson |
June 08, 2010 at 08:44 AM
1. Amend Prop 13
2. Renegotiate all the Public retirement benefits. Including teachers, prison gaurds, fire & police.
3. Legalize and tax marijuana.
4. Stop illegal immigration.
June 08, 2010 at 08:44 AM
Perhaps Times reporters might consider their own role in these vapid campaigns. I'm sure it feels really great to vent, but wouldn't you and the rest of us be better served by an interview by a reporter who did things like follow-up questions and fact-check while the interview is still in progress? Use the camera that comes with every mobile phone.
Of course, you would have to be at least as knowledgeable as the candidate but that doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.
I'd say the lack of substance starts in the newsroom when it comes to political coverage.
Edward Greenberg |
June 08, 2010 at 08:45 AM
Everybody knows that Democrats with their "SPEND-SPEND-SPEND" attitude
can not save California. First step should be "KICK THEM OUT, ALL OF THEM!"
June 08, 2010 at 08:45 AM
I would like to know how to put 2 million people to work, without expanding the number of non-federal government public employees at all levels in the state.
June 08, 2010 at 09:01 AM
We are THE entitlement state. We are also on the losing end of an endless stream of illegals attracted by our addiction to entitlements. The only way we gain control of our overspending is to elect someone conservative and kickout everybody that is illegal. Out of our schools, out of our welfare lines, out of our ER's, and out of our jobs.
June 08, 2010 at 09:01 AM
It's time for the Democratic Party -- I'm thinking of the Atty. Gen. race -- to admit it is ADDICTED to the criminal justice system. All of them, Kelly, Harris, Lieu, Delgaldillo cannot imagine using the AG office to reduce prison populations, and thus investments in the prison system, in correlation with real declines in crimes over the last couple years.
This endless, mindless fixation on the criminal code is expensive, threatening to other public investments, such as education, and ultimately self-defeating.
There is NO REASON why we can't have a rational discussion about criminality and drugs. Constructions of "gangs," of "immigrants," of "minorities," of all of them, are implicated in the criminalization of drug use.
Prohibition ended because people realized it created hypocrites and criminals.
Where is the old-fashioned American sense of, gee, is this really working, or do the Puritans, again, rule this country?
Louis Anthes |
June 08, 2010 at 09:13 AM
and to whom dus dow really care?
June 08, 2010 at 09:15 AM
how much of what these Politicans say is true, to find out I've tried to contact each of the parties " rep,dem.green,peace and fredom and so on " just to see if anyone of there candidates would be willing to step up to a lie detector test.
got nowhere, the fun thing is-is that these people want you and I to vote for them based on what the're saying as truth-- Well-- step up to the polygraph machine and prove to us that you're not full of crap, put up or shut up..
June 08, 2010 at 09:19 AM
if you REALLY REALLY want to buy a campaign and political position here is a thought ...Meg donate half of your wealth to the general fund. Say ... ohhh maybe $500 mill and make a serious dent in the deficit. I am a staunch democrat but that would buy my vote for a real reason. Than get Carly to donate some money along with Steve, Tom and all the reset of them. Talk to your other rich buddies. Pay down maybe a couple billion. Then go on an austerity binge. 2-3 years of slash and burn. We are all in the same boat. Risk you political career and make people upset but saving 3-4 billion a year in 1 term gets us fairly close to a reasonable budget level. Very distateful but at this point there is no free lunch and we will all need to feel the pinch.
June 08, 2010 at 09:21 AM
Thank you Steve, for posting this great article that I feel was way overdue. As a proud Californian it worries me to see what is to come out of these two candidates if they come to office. They spent 100 million on garbage ads that have not convinced me of anything positive for our state. Arnold is not a good actor and he managed to fool the public, now we have two really bad actors to potentially take the seat this time! I forecast more problems ahead.
Rick B. |
June 08, 2010 at 09:27 AM
American politics will be saved when a politician can no longer purchase advertising on television.
June 08, 2010 at 10:02 AM
two million out of work, 2.7 million illegals here.... interesting!
June 08, 2010 at 10:05 AM
I'm tired of Republicans using divisive issues like illegal immigration (or being anti-Latino) to try to get elected. Poisner went overboard on this issue. And all Californians really want is for politicians to create jobs and close the deficit.
June 08, 2010 at 10:09 AM
Thank you, Steve! I've been yearning for substance in campaigns since.. well, since I was old enough to vote. Candidates: I'm tired of hearing if you're a "true Conservative". I'm tired of hearing reasons why I shouldn't vote for your opponent. I want to know what YOU are going to do to make this state a better place to live. I want to know what YOUR vision for California is, and how you're going to go about achieving that vision. Let me decide who my vote goes to based on what you have to offer, not by attacking other candidates.
@Trent Levinson, you hit the nail on the head with party politics. Part of the reason we're in this mess is because We the People are too busy arguing with each other to see what's really going on. Both parties are now owned by Wall Street. There's a reason George Washington said party loyalty is freedom's worst enemy.
June 08, 2010 at 10:17 AM
The campaign was definitely a boom for the political ad writers and producers. Did she keep the jobs in California?
They are afraid to tell the truth, afraid of actually being themselves and afraid to actually have a plan.
I also think they fear their opposition will Me Too when they present a plan. Politics surely isn't know for it's honesty and originality. It's always been who has the most money, name recognition and face time in front of the cameras/voters.
Things need to chane!
Uncommon Sense |
June 08, 2010 at 10:19 AM
@ Jarha - Simply amazing that the right wing has distanced themselves from their other supposed savior and love child, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Try wiggling and squirming as you might to distance the Republican Party from the gift they provided, at the end of the day he is still your candidate. So yes, lets kick them all out and try a more Democratic govenor this time around.
June 08, 2010 at 10:22 AM
Naturally the completely unbiased and impartial LA Times would report that the Republican primary was a lot of hot air and no substance. It is obvious they paid no attention to the campaign positions of the candidates. Whitman for example has laid, and printed, DETAILED description of what she's going to and in what sequence to get the state's economy back on it's feet. We can only hope ( can we?) that when Jerry Brown ( whom Im sure the Times will endorse) will receive the same attention for his hot air. NOT !!!!
peter wolf |
June 08, 2010 at 10:26 AM
The lack of any substantive content in the political ads is nothing new, but the fact that Whitman and Poizner are willing to layout the outrageous sums they are spending for a job that pays less than $200,000 per year should be a red flag for all. Coupled with the fact they are tripping over one another to prove their "conservsative" chops, there is some serious idiocy going on here.
All of the whining about each other's records is neither germane nor helpful. If I were a Republican I would be far more interested in your gameplan than your prior pecadilloes.
Tim Gillespie |
June 08, 2010 at 10:27 AM
The only winners in the primary campaign have been the California TV stations, enriched by tens of thousands of unfactual, blaring, repetitive and irritating commercials. Nothing has been proved. Neither candidate has laid out specifics as to what they will do if elected governor. Assuming Whitman wins, and gets a million votes today, she will have spent over $70 for each of those votes, and none of the voters really knows what she stands for. It's time for Whitman and Brown to both meet with the media and take questions with absolutely no restrictions. That's the only way we'll find out what they believe.
June 08, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Steve, what makes you think that anyone with a net worth of less than $50 million dollars matters to any politician? Our local, state and federal governments only exist to serve corporations and the filthy rich.
June 08, 2010 at 10:36 AM
Big shocker, but you do it the way it always works. You go through periods where you raise taxes and lower spending. Stop. Repeat. For those of us who live in the real world (moderates) we prefer real solutions.
June 08, 2010 at 10:46 AM
Wouldn't it be something if instead of investing all that money in the cascade of rhetoric, they invested the money into the deficit....Especially Whitman...
kim lyons |
June 08, 2010 at 11:12 AM
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