California Governor hopeful Jerry Brown slammed his GOP opponent Meg Whitman at a Local UFCW Union 135 member meeting in San Diego. Brown is vying for the state’s top post as a retread. (He served as California’s governor from 1975 to 1983)
Showing up 15 minutes late, Brown received a standing ovation from union employees looking to generate some excitement for the upcoming November election. Brown spoke with his teleprompter in place and took to bashing GOP candidate Whitman right off the bat.
“Whitman’s plans are B.S. and she’ll double the deficit with tax cuts,” Brown said about Whitman’s plan to give Californians $17 billion in tax credits. “California is a rich state…. We need to pull together and make the state great again.”
During the 10- minute pep rally Brown added some levity by reminding the all-union audience that he has already run for president three times and “I’ve got it out of my system. I can level with you this time,” he said about his intentions and age.
Brown pointed out that Whitman plays a great blame game and can offer California no experience, while Democratic candidates still have the ability to pull together and beat Whitman who is spending record amounts of cash to become California’s first female governor.
“This (running for governor) is like collective bargaining, we pull together,” Brown said about running against a candidate who has endless amounts of money.
The 30-year career politician clearly took aim at Whitman’s tremendous wealth. As one of the founders of eBay, Whitman secured large stock options while building the internet-resale business from the bottom up.
While Brown offered no specific plans on how he would close the state’s $20 billion shortfall he did acknowledge he would continue to push for 500,000 new “green jobs” and hold the schools to a higher standard.
California’s current Attorney General, Brown animatedly stated that “some people aren’t 10,000 times better than other people.” He went on to explain that as union workers, they worked just as hard as the so-called rich people and deserved to make a fair wage for their time.
Looking forward Brown said things could still get much worse and “they will if the other side (Republicans) get into office.”
However, in California the state is managed heavily by Democrats as they control both assembly and senate with large majorities. The current Governor, Schwarzenegger, ran as a Republican, but governed like a Democrat.
Brown finished the speech by explaining the evils of capitalism. “We have to protect California from the ravages of predatory capitalism. That’s what it is, they’re (GOP) going to rip you off if you don’t hit back and vote Democrat for the governor.”
Brown received a standing ovation as he left the room.
With less than 90 days until the November midterm elections, California labor unions and Latino community leaders are ratcheting up their voter registration teams in an effort to minimize Democratic losses.
“For Latinos, the 2010 election is more than merely electing one candidate or another, it is about taking an active role, now more than ever, in the decisions that will affect our families and creating a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” said Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “We have the potential to swing elections and the time for our voices to be heard is now.”
SEIU along with the California Teachers Union and Latino leaders started a new nine-city registration campaign called Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar. For those who don’t read Spanish the English translation is “For Our Families – All Vote.”
By contrast, California is also home to the largest network of Tea Party organizations in the country and they too are looking to sway voters to consider the financial consequences of illegal immigration to Californians.
However, the labor and Latino leaders are looking to have their voices well represented in November. Latino groups are trying to educate their constituency about the importance of voting especially in light of Arizona’s SB1070, a law that sets out to enforce immigration laws more strictly in Arizona.
“With jobs and immigration being the two most important issues in November’s elections, participating in the political process gives Latinos an opportunity to demand respect for our contributions to the economy and civic life of our communities,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
CHIRLA was formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles; promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations; and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society, according to their website.
The CHIRLA organization has been accused of openly meeting with high-ranking Mexican government officials during the California proposition 187 debate that rocked California during the 1990s.
The unions and Latino leaders say the new voter registration campaign will encourage the Latinos, “who make up 32 percent of the adult population eligible to vote but only represent 20 percent of the California’s registered voters,” to head to the ballot box for the midterm election.
The bus tour is set to begin on August 14 and plans to visit San Diego, Riverside, Santa Ana, Los Angeles and San Fernando in southern California before heading north to Bakersfield, Fresno, San Jose and Sacramento.