Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Five questions reporters should ask Jerry Brown

Mary Duan, a reporter with the San Jose Business Journal, has an upcoming interview with Jerry Brown and wants help coming up with questions to ask him. 

I want to help.

My list of questions for Jerry Brown.

1.  You were first elected to statewide office 40 years ago - 1970 -  when you were elected California Secretary of State.    Career politicians like yourself have given the country runaway spending and have saddled future generations with a mountain of debt.  Why should voters believe that another career politician will solve California's budget crisis?

2. You have openly courted the major public employee unions - SEIU, the California Nurses Association, the Professional Firefighters Association, AFL-CIO -- to campaign for you and run television and radio ads for you. What do you say to voters who don't believe you will have the courage to make serious cuts in public employee salaries or pensions?

3.  Your actual record of cutting government spending is awful.  When you were mayor of Oakland, the city government payroll ballooned -  the number of people on Oakland's payroll earning more than $200,000-a-year increased by more than 700 percent between 2003 and 2006.  The taxpayers of California are tapped out; what is your plan to actually cut government spending? 

4. You are 72 years old -- the same age John McCain was when he lost to Barack Obama in 2008.  Hasn't your time passed?  

5. After Prop 8 passed, you initially said you would fight to uphold the initiative as Attorney General even though you personally voted against it. Then you flip-flopped and worked to invalidate the will of the people.  Why should citizens ever trust you to follow the law instead of your own preferences or whims?

Those are the questions I'd like Jerry Brown to answer.  If you have other questions, give Mary Duan a tweet: @maryrduan.

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