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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Moonbeam Strikes Again

“The Democrats are more radically liberal and irresponsible than they have been at any time since 1933. The damage they will do to every aspect of federal action over the next two, four or six years will be substantial—perhaps grave. For me, defeating that danger is the highest priority. After the election, beating up backsliding Republicans will be a task I will return to with relish.” —Tony Blankley

 On January 2, 1975, one day after the fifth ranked USC Trojans defeated third ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 18-17 in one of the most exciting games in the history of the Rose Bowl, Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown was sworn in as the 34th Governor of the State of California. Jerry Brown , soon to be called “Governor Moonbeam” due to his radical beliefs, took his time in selecting his new Director of Transportation (CALTRANS) Adriana Gianturco.

The 36 year-old had been educated at Smith College, UC Berkeley and Harvard graduate school, with jobs in urban planning and transportation under her belt when she arrived at CALTRANS’ headquarters building in Sacramento, on March 15, 1976. Gianturco, who was living in Boston at the time, took on her new job with the zeal of a dedicated progressive ideologue with the dictates of the new governor to “tear the Department apart and get rid of the good old boy engineers.” (This was told to me by Ms. Gianturco several years ago while sitting with her during lunch at a transportation seminar where I was speaking).

On the very same day Gianturco assumed her new office the signs went up along the Santa Monica Freeway initiating the infamous diamond lanes limiting use to vehicles with three or more occupants. The scheme was an unmitigated disaster rejected by the public and local politicians. It did not take long for a law suit, filed by Los Angeles City Councilman, Zev Yaroslavsky to shut the project down and return all eight lanes to the driving public.

In somewhat of a defense of Gianturco this was not her plan, it was not even Brown’s plan. The plan had been initiated under the governorship of Ronald Reagan under a mandate from the Federal Highway Administration. It was Gianturco’s arrogance in implementing the plan that drew so much fire her way. She was soon was harnessed with such nicknames as; “Giant Turkey”, Our Lady of the Diamond Lane” and “The Mad Woman of Caltrans.” She (as admitted to me) was young, idealistic and totally without the experience to take of the job as Director. She was disrespected and almost hated by the professional engineers within CALTRANS. There were probably many reason for this, including her age and gender, but the number one complaint was that she knew nothing of managing a major transportation agency or how to build and maintain a transportation infrastructure. It was her boss’ mandate that brought her the most ire of the motoring public and the bureaucrats.

Jerry Brown hated freeways, the very freeways his father had fought so hard to build. In fact he hated just about everything his father, Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown had built in California. He loved radicals, metaphysical thought, progressives, taxes, social justice, abortion, government employee unions, public transportation, a market-oriented system of universal health care, college radicals and being governor. He did not like capital punishment, the police, guns, freeways, aqueducts, fiscal responsibility, Proposition 13 or a real job, which he never held his entire life.

While governor he refused to live in the historic Governor’s Mansion or ride to work in the official state car. He walked in sandals and drove an old brown Plymouth. He could not understand the dreams of the common person to aspire to a better life. He was in favor of a monastic life, unless he was with Linda Ronstadt (from whom he acquired his “moonbeam” nickname.”

Under Brown’s governorship California began to decline. He befriended Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers of America and every public sector union that existed. It was under Brown’s direct leadership that the 1978 Dill Act, which legalized collective bargaining for the public-employee unions. These unions became the best-organized political force in California and currently dominate Democrats in the legislature. They are also responsible for the billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that may bankrupt this state.

SB839 – the State Employer-Employee Relations Act (SEERA) was piloted through state legislature by Sen. Ralph C. Dills (D), whose 42 years in the state Assembly and Senate made him the longest serving legislator in state history and eventually earned him the nickname “Mr. Collective Bargaining” Brown took no time in signing the bill into law and was proud to take full credit for it. Today, due to the SEERA the largest political special interest groups in California are the public service unions. They control the legislature, the budget, the schools, the courts and the fate of the people of this state.

After Jerry Brown left the governor’s office in 1983 he wandered off to the Orient to study Buddhism and “clear his mind so he could better understand the political process. He also left the Democrat Party and declared as an independent, which lasted only a few years. After very unsuccessful tries to garner the Democrat nomination for the presidency he found his way to Oakland, California, where in 1999 he became the mayor for the next eight years.

Oakland, a very troubled city in the bay area of California was looking for a mayor and Jerry saw a good opportunity to get another public sector job, and the pension that would go with it. Oakland, the home to Jack London, was a crime-ridden city in such a terrible state of decay the citizens would have accepted Attila the Hun as its mayor. The problem was that Jerry was no Attila. Under his tenure as mayor crime rose, with a 57% increase in the murder rate — most of it do to gang activity, taxes increased on everything from property to video rentals, the schools became so bad that he State had to take them over and Oakland became a refuge city of illegal immigrants. Jerry did another wonderful job. I guess he should have studied more Zen.

Now Jerry wants to be governor once again. He says he has no plan for the state — how could he, he doesn’t even know what is wrong. He just needs another good paying public sector job and another pension. He claims he will not raise taxes without voter’s approval, but Prop 13 is in his gunsights. I am sure with the Democrat controlled legislature and with public sector unions needing a bailout he will have no problem getting Prop 13 reserved and the burden of paying for the states liabilities transferred back to the homeowner. If you think I am exaggeration please click here to see what “Moonbeam” had to say about college and illegal immigrants. This debt-ridden state just cannot survive another term of Jerry Brown.

If he voters of California elect this man they will deserve the government and state they will get — I don’t.

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