California Governor Jerry Brown speaks to reporters as he announces his proposed budget.
Every now and then, government workers catch a break. On the rare occasion, they are looked up to, admired and honored.
Such was the case with the 40 members of the federal military who stormed Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan Sunday.
Now a wag might point out that these weren’t unionized employees of the U.S. government. There is no collective bargaining for Navy SEALS. Nevertheless they are the kind of workers whom most taxpayers are more than happy to have take a government paycheck. In fact I’m sure most would give them a raise.
Gov. Jerry Brown commended President Obama for the attack which he said demonstrated “America’s resolve in combating terrorism and protecting the values of democracy and freedom”.
Since the gtovernor once drew a connection between the revolution in Egypt and his desire for a vote on tax hike extensions, it shouldn’t take long before he somehow turns the raid in Abbottabad into an endorsement of higher vehicle license fees.
That probably won’t help. But this might. Once again the focus is on the “war on terror” (although you rarely hear that line in the Obama administration, it was more of a Bush thing). People are again thinking about their security. Sheriff Lee Baca, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and many more spoke about the importance of their “if you see something, say something” campaign at a high profile news conference at LAX. Law enforcement officials in San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego did the same. These image and their timing could be put to good use by Mr. Brown.
Expect the governor to push hard on police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors in the districts of GOP lawmakers who are reluctant to agree to the extension of tax hikes on sales, income and the VLF. Law and order has always been a Republican issue. There may be more than just a few legislators who are reluctant to take the blame for cuts in public safety, particularly at a time like this.
And then there is the advice from former Assembly Speaker Bob Hetzberg of the non-profit reform group “California Forward”. Hetzberg, on NBC4 LA’s “News Conference” program says Brown needs to get tough with the GOP. He advises the Governor to (tell voters) “we are going to cut all the services in the districts of those who don’t want a vote…tell the people these decisions are being made because your legislator won’t let the voters decide”.
It is unlikely Jerry Brown will take that advice but it may be his only hope to pass a budget without anymore “gimmicks” (which he says won’t work this time but legislative Democrats may attempt anyhow). What he would love is to somehow tap into the national patriotism of the moment. It won’t be easy to link Special Ops forces to DMV workers but if any Governor would give it a try it is this one.