Anne Gust Brown: California’s Rahm Emanuel? Who will really lead California?

Stephen Levine by Stephen Levine on November 11th, 2010

This is article 26 of 376 in the topic Elections

Once again, it appears that an unelected person is going to have great sway in the way California is governed. A czar-of-czars if you will. A steady hand to guide the aging hippie, Jerry Brown through the difficulties of restoring California to its formerly golden status.

Who knew that Californians elected a stealth gubernatorial candidate, one who did not appear on the ballot may affect public policy in a subtle and unaccountable manner.

As reported in the Daily Beast …

“California voters may have turned down the applications of Whitman and Fiorina for the governorship and a U.S. Senate seat, respectively. But in the very same election, they voted to put a female corporate executive from the Bay Area in charge of their state’s government.”

What? The only two women executives for top positions of power were former e-bay executive Meg Whitman and former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina. Neither of them democrats and neither of them winning their desired office.

“The name of Anne Gust Brown, a former top lawyer and executive for The Gap, wasn’t on the ballot, but it might as well as have been. She served as de facto campaign manager for the campaign of her husband of five years, the once and now future Gov. Jerry Brown. And by all accounts, she will serve as his top aide (albeit on an unpaid basis) as he runs the government.”

Perhaps it is the writer’s perception that Anne Brown should have been on the ballot – but that wasn’t the case and no Californian voted her into a position that could very well be more powerful than the state’s elected (and legitimate) second-in-command, California’s Lieutenant Governor. Additionally, while the Governor can choose anyone he so desires to serve as his Chief of Staff; or in other words, his top aide, this is a paid government position subject to the rules and regulations surrounding government employees.

The tea leaves …

“That’s why no one batted an eye when Governor-elect Brown suggested this week that he may not bother appointing a chief of staff. The statement only seemed to confirm that Anne Brown will be in charge, even if she doesn’t hold the title. This would be nothing new. She performed a similar role during Brown’s just-completed four-year term as California attorney general.”

To hear that Californian’s have seemingly elected a co-governor without appropriate vetting or that Anne Brown may have influenced the actions of the California State Attorney General’s office is deeply troubling.

One, because it it is definitely an indication that Jerry Brown’s age, competence and judgement is being called into question and two, because the significantly younger Anne Brown may have different ideas of her future without Jerry Brown.

“Anne Brown was coy when the subject came up with reporters at a press conference this week. ‘I don’t know what my role would be,’ she said. ‘I’m sure that I will be advising him closely because I have been ever since I left The Gap.’”

I do not mind that she has provided insight and guidance to him while he was running for office or struggling with the formation of policy – but I would draw the line at an unelected person making public policy using the governorship as a proxy power. Or by stating that she will be “closely” advising him.

“Her husband was more direct. In his victory speech Tuesday night, he threw off the campaign pretense that his wife was a mere fundraiser. Anne Brown, he said, was ‘the most important person of all, who really ran the whole show and kept me on track.’”

Perhaps, Jerry Brown has become an empty-suit like Barack Obama and Anne Brown is the  éminence grise behind the power somewhat like Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama.

Which leaves me wondering, who did the people of California really elect?

What an indictment …

“Throughout the campaign, Brown made clear that he envisions his next governorship as a mom-and-pop operation. That this promise did not envision the sort of backlash that President Clinton and Hillary Clinton encountered when they made a similar promise is a testament both to the respect Anne Brown engenders among California elites—and to the lingering concerns about her husband’s managerial weaknesses.”

I can hardly forget that the Clintons were majorly corrupt and spent more time pandering to the special interests and pursuing their far-left ideology than they did governing on behalf of “We the People.” Had Bill Clinton kept his pants zipped, there is no telling what our nation could have become or the damage these democrats could have done.

What I want to know is if the state’s ethics requirements apply to the governor’s wife – can she be the person who negotiates with the corrupt unions without having to disclose the existence of the conversation or the content? Does her status as a lawyer give her special privileges when it comes to withholding information from official inquiries?

And to even suggest in print, that it was known that the wife of the governor engenders respect among “California elites” and the fact that there were concerns about the perception of Jerry Brown’s managerial weakness is both troublesome and problematic.

Birds of a feather …

If one had any doubts that RINO Meg Whitman was an elitist billionaire more at home with a democrat-style philosophy of governance, the following comment is telling.

“Even Brown’s GOP opponent Meg Whitman, when asked during a debate this fall what she admired most about Brown, responded: ‘I really like his choice of wife. I’m a big fan of Anne Gust.’”

It should also be remembered that Meg Whitman was also openly admiring of far-left radical, and self-described communist, Van Jones.

A marriage of convenience?

While there have always been raised eyebrows at Jerry Brown’s lifestyle, perhaps Brown found marriage necessary to complete his transformation from “Governor Moonbeam” into a serious political candidate at his advanced age.

“Ever since they married in 2005 (it was his first marriage, at the ripe old age of 67), their union has served as a political talisman, cited by Brown’s supporters to reassure voters old enough to remember his failings as governor from 1975 to 1983.”

Those concerns run deep. Brown spent much of those two terms on national politics, including two runs for the presidency; now, his supporters say, he’s too settled and too old for such foolishness. Brown often was unfocused in his first gubernatorial go-round; in the next, he has a corporate lawyer wife to keep him on task.

“Most crucially, supporters say that Anne Brown may counter one perceived Jerry Brown weakness: his taste for improvisation and his preference for pursuing new ideas while ignoring the crucial nuts-and-bolts of governance.

The Plan …

Even set against the background of a endlessly circulated U-Tube video where Jerry Brown claims that all politicians are lying when they say they have a plan, we find that he truly does lack a specific plan. <Source>

“During the campaign, he raised those old doubts by never offering a coherent plan for dealing with the state’s deep budget crisis.”

On election night, Brown explained this by referring to his wife: ‘I don’t need a plan when I have such a good planner at my side all the time.’”

Where were the journalists?

Here we find that Joe Mathews, a well-respected reporter  writing in the Daily Beast, has raised significant doubts that Jerry Brown and his style of governance may be suitable for California.

A state deeply mired in debt, mostly caused by democrats who allowed the public employee unions to run wild in good times and their emphasis on the budget-busting social policies that made California a sanctuary city for both illegal aliens and the nation’s indigent. Why California residents have to support 33% of the nation’s poor without assistance is beyond comprehension.

Which illustrates, once again, that the mainstream media simply did not do their job in vetting Brown and his wife against the requirements of a state in deep fiscal trouble. And a state with the obvious need for the public employee unions to obtain a taxpayer bailout before union members sacked the union’s corrupt leadership.

Bottom line …

We are facing another situation where the governance of California is left in the hands of unknown and unelected people.

Even though California has a relatively weak governor when measured against the power of the legislature, diffusing power at the top has a way of promoting decisions which serve the politicians and the special interests or are made solely to serve as public relations statements for the media.

When I hear that Jerry Brown is considering forgoing a traditional Chief of Staff in order to allow his wife to function as a quasi-official government official is just another example of democrat hubris and a sign of a clear and present danger to all of California.

— steve

Reference Links …

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