Besides the advantage in registration, Jerry Brown has pitched a demographic not discussed much. As expected, the Brown campaign seeks to appeal to the African American and Hispanic voters.
There is another demographic which has benefited from the largess of the state government. Jerry Brown has pitched the state workers aggressively. And why not? In his prior terms starting in 1979, he aggressively promoted unions for state workers. In his Labor Day speech he referred to the wealth of California. He did not mention the outlandish obligations incurred by pensions promised to state workers. If a state worker retires at age 55 as some of them can, the average longevity for a person who survives to that age is over a quarter of a century.
The appeal to state workers has been repeated despite the fact that it has ony been seven years since the recall of Gray Davis that centered on the budget deficit and the outrage at the large increase in the salaries and benefits granted to prison guards.
The debate at California State University at Sacramento was a poor choice of venue. Whenever Brown said “green”, the audience cheered. Oddly, the students cheered when Brown promised that all qualified applicants would be admitted to state colleges irregardless of their “documentation”. One wonders if the students’ parents were as enthusiastic at the prospect of higher taxes.
Brown has referred to “immigrants” as “children of God” without regard to documentation. Problem is he does not sound a lot different than the 2008 version of John McCain. When Meg Whitman was hanging out with McCain, she expressed the view that children born to illegal aliens should not suffer for the “sins” of their parents in being denied state services.
These theological references which can be uttered so easily do not recognize the birth rate in Mexico, Central America, Haiti, and other nations close to us. Porous borders will leave America with burdens which will spread poverty more than cure it.
Sadly, Brown is ahead in the polls. It is hard to understand.