LA Times Endorses Boxer for Senate, Brown for Governor

The Los Angeles Times issued its endorsements for the top two races in California this election — and the editorial board on First Street has come out in favor of Senator Barbara Boxer for Senate and AG Jerry Brown for Governor.  Boxer’s endorsement ran in today’s edition while Brown’s endorsement ran in Sunday’s newspaper.

On the Boxer endorsement, the Times wrote:  “For us, the choice in the race between Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina, resolves itself into a simple proposition: Issues matter, especially in the United States Senate.

Fiorina is intelligent, energetic and accomplished in the private sector. But on too many issues she reflects the doctrinaire conservatism that is ascendant in the Republican Party.

By contrast, Boxer has been a voice — if sometimes a strident one — for values promoted by this editorial page: individual rights, equality, environmental protection and constructive engagement by the federal government with national economic problems, including the crisis in healthcare.

We have criticized Boxer in the past for not exercising influence commensurate with her seniority. For example, as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she has brought creative ideas to the process of crafting a six-year transportation bill, but she bears some responsibility for the panel’s failure to produce one — the legislation is now a year overdue. Part of the problem is an assertiveness that often is perceived as arrogance.

But the paramount responsibility of a senator is to cast the right votes for her state and her country. By that measure, the contrast between the two candidates couldn’t be starker.

Like us, Boxer believed that the government had to respond aggressively and creatively to the financial catastrophe that loomed in 2008. She supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Fiorina says TARP didn’t work. Boxer also supported the stimulus plan that has saved jobs even if it hasn’t been as successful as we or the administration had hoped. Fiorina has criticized it.”

In the endorsement of Brown yesterday, the Times’ editorial board clearly came out in favor of Brown as the lesser of two evils.  It’s a backhanded endorsement at best, buit one that puts Whitman in her place.  The Times wrote:  “We will have to wait for the governor with the talent and courage to shake the state loose from the structural dead-ends into which voters continue to push it. In the meantime, we must choose between Whitman, with her disappointing and empty policy approaches and her assertion that having no experience in government is the best experience, and Brown, whose nonlinear, unscripted style sometimes leaves his listeners wondering what exactly they’re going to get. Again, Brown is not the ideal candidate for California, but what he does bring is the reality-based, seen-it-all-before wisdom of a political veteran, and of the two candidates before voters in November, The Times endorses him without hesitation.

Whitman has built her campaign on a checklist of popular but in the end incorrect and cliche-ridden assumptions about California’s current condition and what got us here. Illegal immigration is a real and serious issue, but Whitman’s solutions range from adding National Guard troops at the border — although illegal crossings directly into California account for little of the problem — to denying higher education or job opportunities to tens of thousands of children brought to the state by their illegal immigrant parents. To Whitman, it makes sense to educate those children in public schools so that they are incorporated into U.S. society, but then when they become adults to cut them loose with no place to go and no chance at earning anything but the most basic living. It is an approach that reflects the high emotional charge of the immigration issue, but none of the understanding that a leader needs of the nuances.

Whitman also takes a CEO’s approach to cutting expenses, asserting that she will lay off 40,000 state workers but failing to acknowledge that California’s public-worker-to-resident ratio is already among the nation’s lowest, and that further slashing the workforce merely moves our dysfunction from one arena to another by slowing state responsiveness without fixing the underlying structural problem. She targets welfare, zeroing in on the resentment that working Californians feel for supposed freeloaders, but she exhibits little understanding of the role that state social services play in keeping society intact in times of distress.

Whitman also completely misses the lessons of the Schwarzenegger governorship, arguing that the current governor started out on the right foot with his vows to “blow up the boxes” of government but then lost his nerve or interest. A candidate paying closer attention would recognize that Schwarzenegger — who unlike Whitman already had some background in politics and policymaking and was no stranger to Sacramento — grew into the job, moved the state past decades of gridlock to launch a major program of rebuilding infrastructure, accomplished key objectives in defusing partisan power and attempted to recapture the state’s leadership, sometimes successfully (as with greenhouse gas emissions), sometimes merely getting the ball rolling (as with healthcare reform).

Brown, too, jumps far too quickly at the chance to echo populist sentiment. His campaign promise to reject any new taxes unless they are approved by a vote of the people would only deepen California’s governmental stalemate. His assertion that the Legislature will buckle down and make hard decisions if only he lays out all the information before it sounds naive.

But Brown offers a different kind of leadership, and although it might not be our first choice, it will do. Rather than the dynamic leader of new ideas from the 1970s, Brown comes to us now as a sort of grizzled mechanic of the state’s failing machinery. He knows which parts can hold out a few more weeks, which rattles can be ignored and how much tension the timing belt can handle before it fails.

Brown knows that the state’s top expenses are public education, health and safety, and that none of those programs can be eliminated but that there are short-term efficiencies and long-term structural changes that can keep each operating for another generation. He has a good grasp of the degree to which labor unions can be weaned from unsustainable health and pension entitlements and, likewise, which regulations the state can ease to attract business and which cannot be touched without affecting California’s quality of life.

  3 comments for “LA Times Endorses Boxer for Senate, Brown for Governor

  1. junior
    October 4, 2010 at 10:40 am

    “LA Times Endorses Boxer for Senate, Brown for Governor”

    Was there ever any doubt?

    PS: Vote (write-in) Karen England for Lt. Gov

  2. October 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Both, – Senator Boxer, by her support for the Wall-Street Puppet, Barack Hussein Obama, – and her challenger, Carly Fiorina, by her silence, support America’s hyperinflationary breakdown comparable to Weimar Germany in the Summer/Autumn of 1923.

    “Sleepers, Awake! The Situation Is Not Yet Quite Hopeless”!

  3. October 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Robert — asa public service, I’ll let our readers know about the Marxist past of Lyndon LaRouche.

    As a Quaker, he was at first a conscientious objectorConscientious objectorA conscientious objector is an “individual [who has] claimed the right to refuse to perform military service” on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion….
    during World War II, joining a Civilian Public Service camp, where Dennis King writes he “promptly joined a small faction at odds with the administrators.” In 1944, he decided instead to join the United States ArmyUnited States ArmyThe United States Army is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven uniformed services…
    as a non-combatantNon-combatantNon-combatant is a military and legal term describing civilians not engaged in combat. It also includes persons, such as medical personnel and military chaplains and soldiers who are hors de combat.Article 50 in Chapter II: “Civilians and Civilian Population”…
    , serving in India and Burma with medical units and ending the war as an ordnance clerk. LaRouche describes his decision to serve as one of the most important of his life. While in India, he developed an interest in and sympathy for the Indian Independence movementIndian independence movementThe term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide spectrum of political organizations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending British colonial authority in South Asia…
    . He reports in his autobiography that many GIs feared they would be asked to support British forces in actions against Indian independence forces, a prospect he says “was revolting to most of us.”

    While still in the CO camp, he had begun discussing Marxism with fellow camp inmates and soon became a MarxistMarxismMarxism is a particular political philosophy, economic and sociological worldview based upon a materialist interpretation of history, a Marxist analysis of capitalism, a theory of social change, and an atheist view of human liberation derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels…
    himself. While traveling home from India on the SS General Bradley in 1946, he met Don Merrill, a fellow soldier, also from Lynn. Merrill won LaRouche over to TrotskyismTrotskyismTrotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party…
    on the journey home. Back in the U.S., LaRouche attempted to resume his education at Northeastern, intending to major in physics, but left because of what he called academic “philistinismPhilistinismPhilistinism is a derogatory term used to describe a particular attitude or set of values. A person called a Philistine is said to despise or undervalue art, beauty, intellectual content, or spiritual values…

    LaRouche returned to Lynn in 1948 and began attending meetings of the Socialist Workers PartySocialist Workers Party (United States)The Socialist Workers Party is a communist political party in the United States. The group places a priority on “solidarity work” to aid strikes and is strongly supportive of Cuba. The SWP publishes The Militant, a weekly newspaper that dates back to 1928, and maintains Pathfinder Press, which…
    (SWP). He joined the next year, adopting the pseudonymPseudonymA pseudonym is a fictitious name used by a person, or sometimes, a group.Pseudonyms are often used to hide an individual’s real identity, as with writers’ pen names, graffiti artists, resistance fighters’ or terrorists’ noms de guerre and computer hackers’ handles. Actors, musicians, and other…
    Lyn Marcus for his political work. LaRouche battled and endured “a nasty hepatitisHepatitisHepatitis implies inflammation of the liver characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The name is from the Greek hepar , the root being hepat- , meaning liver, and suffix -itis, meaning “inflammation”…
    ” in 1953 and subsequently arrived in New York CityNew York CityNew York is the most populous city in the United States, and the center of the New York metropolitan area, which is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. A leading global city, New York exerts a powerful influence over global commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion,…
    and occupied himself with “a light management-consulting assignment”, advising companies on how to use computers to maximize efficiency and speed up production. In late 1954 he married fellow SWP member Janice Neuberger. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1956.

    1960–1965: Trotskyism

    By 1961, the LaRouches were living in a large apartment on Central Park WestCentral Park WestCentral Park West is an avenue that runs north-south in the New York City borough of Manhattan, in the United States….
    , Manhattan, his activity in the internal life of the SWP minimal as he focused on his career. He and his wife separated in 1963, and in 1964, while still in the SWP, he became associated with a faction called the Revolutionary Tendency, which had been expelled from the SWP and was under the influence of the British Trotskyist leader Gerry HealyGerry HealyThomas Gerard Healy, known as Gerry Healy, was a Trotskyist activist.-Early career:Born in Ballybane, County Galway, Ireland, although some sources claim Liverpool, he emigrated to England and worked as a ship radio operator at the age of 14…
    , leader of the British Socialist Labour League. For six months, he worked closely with American Healyite leader Tim WohlforthTim WohlforthTimothy Andrew Wohlforth , is a United States former Trotskyist leader. Since leaving the Trotskyist movement he has become a writer of crime fiction and of politically oriented non-fiction….
    , who later wrote:

    LaRouche had a gargantuan ego. Convinced he was a genius, he combined his strong conviction in his own abilities with an arrogance expressed in the cadences of upper-class New EnglandNew EnglandNew England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and the state of New York, consisting of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut…
    . He assumed that the comment in the Communist Manifesto that “a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class…” was written specifically for him. And he believed that the working class were lucky to obtain his services.

    LaRouche possessed a marvelous ability to place any world happening in a larger context, which seemed to give the event additional meaning, but his thinking was schematic
    SchematicA schematic is a diagram that represents the elements of a system using abstract, graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures. A schematic usually omits all details that are not relevant to the information the schematic is intended to convey, and may add unrealistic elements that aid…lacking factual detail and depth. It was contradictory. His explanations were a bit too pat, and his mind worked so quickly that I always suspected his bravado covered over superficiality. He had an answer for everything. Sessions with him reminded me of a parlor game: present a problem, no matter how petty, and without so much as blinking his eye, LaRouche would dream up the solution.

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