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Steve Lopez: Jerry Brown, his wife and that weird fundraising challenge

September 4, 2010 |  8:27 am

TalkBackLopez_187x105I keep asking myself why Jerry Brown is running for governor, and whether at some point his wife will grab him, shake him, and tell him he’s got to be out of his mind because it’s a headache neither of them needs.

But then Brown sent this e-mail to me and who knows how many other people: “Dear Steve: Earlier this week, my wife issued a challenge -- can we raise $50,000 online in one week to end the summer with a bang?”

If this is the kind of thing Brown and his wife discuss, you have to wonder whether the marriage is in trouble and she’s looking for ways to get him out of the house. JerryBrown

Brown goes on to say he’s got to do something to counter Meg Whitman’s $104-million investment in her own future, with millions more on the way.

So Brown says he’s $28,000 short of raising $1 million online, and the donor who puts him over the top will win -- are you ready? -- two tickets to his Sept. 21 debate with Whitman.

Jeez, could I trade those for tickets to Sheryl Crow at the Greek? It’s not a bad ploy, actually, Brown playing to the masses -- one step removed from begging for quarters on street corners -- while Whitman keeps cracking open that fat piggy bank of hers.

I’m going to make a $10 online donation on the chance of attending the debate to see whether the candidates can explain, for the first time, how they intend to close a $20-billion deficit and fix the state’s structural fiscal problems. It’s almost Labor Day, folks, the traditional start of the campaign sprint.

Who do you think will be our next governor, and what’s the winning recipe?

-- Steve Lopez

Photo: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown. Credit: Associated Press