Phil Matier: Gov. Brown’s Camp Resorts To Name-Calling In Budget Battle

SACRAMENTO (KCBS/AP) – Mudslinging isn’t all that uncommon in politics, but what about name-calling? That’s the latest development in California’s budget stalemate, with Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief spokesperson, in a recent interview with a Southern California radio station, painting a less-than-flattering picture of legislative Republicans.

During an on-air appearance last Friday on KPCC, Gil Duran said Republican lawmakers were “basically moronic.”

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Does this illustrate a growing sense of frustration as lawmakers inch ever closer to the end of California’s fiscal year?

“Yeah, it also illustrates that the Brown Administration is finally just tossing in the towel as far as its efforts to get four Republicans to cross over and say yes to extending the sales and vehicle tax and having voters have a say in continuing that for some time,” said KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier.

“So it’s basically, on Friday, it started just to change and you know Republicans have gotten counted out. And now it’s up to, it looks like it’s going to be up to Jerry and his fellow Democrats to craft out something in the next couple of days and even that promises not to be too pretty.”

As the end of California’s fiscal year approaches this week, there’s added urgency to a deadline that is usually ignored.

Lawmakers face significant new pressures, as well as opportunities, as they seek to close California’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit and get a budget in place by July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

Proposition 25, approved last fall, forces lawmakers to go without pay for each day they fail to pass a balanced budget.

Democrats also can now pass a budget without GOP votes, although they still need a two-thirds majority to raise taxes or put a tax measure on the ballot, as Gov. Brown hopes.

Brown negotiated with Democratic leaders over the weekend after months of talks with Republicans failed to yield a deal.

“You try to negotiate for a while but if (Republicans) have sort of taken the no, no, no stance and it’s primarily on, no matter what they negotiate they say no to any type of taxes, eventually you just sort of take them off the sidelines,” Matier continued. “You just say you’re off the field, you’re in the bleachers and we’re going to run this thing on a simple majority vote. We’re not going to get taxes but we’re going to be doing everything else.”

“It’s risky for the Republicans because they can make themselves more irrelevant,” Matier reasoned, “but it’s really dangerous for the Democrats because they’re sitting there and going, okay, how much do we cut and where are we going to cut it and there’s a big gap between what the governor wants done because of what he’s promised and what the Democrats in their individual constituencies are willing to do?”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

More from Phil Matier
  • genomega1

    They are saying no to regressive taxes and if the democrats really cared about the poor and middle class they would say no also.

  • moravecglobal

    University of California wage concessions take pressure off of need for higher taxes on Californians. University of California faces massive budget shortfalls. It is dismaying Calif. Governor Brown. President Yudof and Board of Regents have, once again, been unable to agree on a package of wage, benefit concessions to close the deficit.
    Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed wages, loss of retirement, medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes: UC Board of Regents Regent Lansing, President Yudof need to demonstrated leadership by curbing wages, benefits. As a Californian, I don’t care what others earn at private, public universities. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP should apply for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position. The sky above UC will not fall.
    Californians suffer from greatest deficit of modern times. UC wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid. Campus chancellors, tenured & non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by more talented academics
    UC faculty, chancellor, vice chancellor, UCOP wage concessions:
    No furloughs
    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.
    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.
    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load
    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research, teaching load
    100% elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

    Overly optimistic predictions of future revenues do not solve the deficit. However, rose bushes bloom after pruning.

    UC Board of Regents Sherry Lansing, President Yudof can bridge the public trust gap by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed wages in California. The sky will not fall on UC

    Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until an approved balanced budget: let the Governor/Legislature lead – make the tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Afterwards come to public for continuing, specified taxes.

    Once again, we call upon UC Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty, UCOP to stand up for California and ‘pitch in’ for Californians.

  • whathappened

    The democrats represent one group People who live off other peoples money. all brown and the rest of them ever talk about is give us more. I noticed the other day even though brown and his wife are worth millions he is having some other group pay for his aparment and utilities in Sacramento. But he thinks nothing of taking our money to give out. oh he tries to embllish but it is simply greed on the part of the teachers and other school people Numbers are hard to come by but I think he is planning on spending 10 billion more than the 2010-2011 buget

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