Friday, April 23, 2010

The State of the Campaign for Governor

There seems to be a kerfluffle about releasing tax returns.  What a crock.  Meg Whitman has said she will if Jerry Brown does.  John Burton, the democratic party chair, is foreshadowing the fall campaign with his statement “Whether refusing to reveal how much money she has invested in Goldman Sachs or reneging on her pledge to release her tax returns, Meg Whitman continues (to) play hide-the-ball with voters of this state. Whitman should follow Jerry Brown’s lead and agree to release her returns immediately.”  (Notice Jerry Brown has not released his returns.)

While all this goes on - the state budget is in a perpetual state of deficit.  Confidence in the ability of public officials is at an all time low.  Our elected officials have almost no ability to develop solutions for any of the issues we face - the decline of public schools and infrastructure; a dysfunctional tax system; an overly generous public pension system that is probably $500 billion underfunded; a Cadillac prison system; or a raft of other issues that remain unsolved or even thought about.

It is not hard to figure out why voters look at state government and fewer than one in five find something they can trust.   This starts with the politicians but it is aided and abetted by groups like the Bay Area News Group, which has been pushing for the release but seems unable to cover anything of substance in the campaign.

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