Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Willie Brown Handicaps The Election Season

The Citizen

SACRAMENTO Willie Brown sounds like a politician with no interest in ever running for election. In fact, he told members of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco five times Tuesday evening he had no intention of running for office, although he said he might think about accepting a bid to the Supreme Court if Elena Kagan's nomination falls short under one condition. "Only if they took Clarence Thomas off," he said.

The San Francisco sage of California politics took humorous potshots at nearly ever current moving target running for office while offering his view of a worsening state economy--term limits are the problem, he says.

Brown believes the other famous Brown across the Bay, Jerry, will win a second go-around in the governor's mansion and believes Republican Meg Whitman has squandered major financial resources against State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Some polls now have Whitman up 2 points over Poizner from a high at one time of 49.  Brown joked Poizner's campaign probably put out the prior poll to enhance the impression of a monumental comeback, but sees the race getting even tighter. "I wouldn't be surprised if Poizner wins," said Brown, "but I have great respect for [Whitman's] $150 million."

At one point, Brown needled Jerry's Brown lack of youthful good looks, while boasting of the beauty of current San Francisco District Attorney and Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris and the dashing Mayor Gavin Newsom. "It sure helps to be attractive," he said. Brown received his loudest round of laughter when he said Jerry Brown and Poizner look physically similar. "They both look like they were sired by Alan Cranston," Brown said referencing the long-time former U.S. Senator from California.

Jerry Brown's road to victory will be much simpler for him rather than his opponents, said Brown, since most of the Democratic hopefuls bowed out of the race early. "Jerry just sat back in Oakland and waited for everyone to die and hope he would go to heaven," said Brown who believes Jerry's age will be a strong target for the Republican nominee to exploit. Another, interestingly, may be his sister's employment with Goldman Sachs. Brown's sister, Kathleen, who lost the 1994 gubernatorial race to Pete Wilson is a senior advisor for Goldman Sachs's Western region. "If she were my sister, she would be resigning," joked Brown.

Brown offered other provocative politics insights Tuesday night:

  • Contrary to conventional wisdom, Brown says the loss of Sen. Ted Kennedy's Senate seat to Republican upstart Scott Brown ("not a relative," said Brown) is the main reason Democrats were able to pass health care reform last March. "It dampened the aggressiveness of the Progressive side of the Democratic Party. They knew they had to scale back on whatever they were demanding to place in that health care bill."
  • "Mr. Obama made the wrong decison in allowing the Congress to be the leaders in solving health care," he said. "There too many divergent views among the 535 people that make the Congress and Senate." 
  • "If the health care issue had been resolved in February to May of last year, there would not have been the opportunity for the freightening demonstrations that occurred as members of Congress returned to their home for purposes of addressing their constituency."
  • Democrats will retain a majority in Congress and the Senate.
  • Obama has performed "reasonably well."
  • Newsom's campaign for the Democratic nomination lieutenant governor will be "a walk in the park" over Janice Hahn. Brown says Hahn is not well-liked in Los Angeles and may perform better in Northern California than her home region. A general election victory for Newsom is likely, too, but Brown mocked him saying, "He'll have to actually work for it."
  • Tea Party demonstrators are part of "Old America," says Brown. "From back when there was less diversity and less intelligence."
  • Term limits are the problem with gridlock in the state Legislature. Because time in Sacramento is fleeting, no particular expertise in solving problems is needed, he says. "Every single member there is doing something to highlight their career." 
VOTE JUNE 8! www.eastbaycitizen.com


  1. Nicholas E. TerryMay 12, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Brown will not be governor. If he is, I will never seek any elected office, promise.

    And lastly, for Slick Willie Brown to say the tea party is "from back when there was less diversity and less intelligence" is PURE ignorance and a sign of lack of diversity himself.

    WHO CARES what these people are, they have a right to do what they are doing...Mr. Brown has a right to say what he said about their lack of intelligence, however, he attacks some pretty intelligent people by saying so. Willie Brown is jealous that his elected office went as high as Assembly Speaker and Mayor of a backwards city.

    Mr. Brown should speak out about Mr. Newsom once saying that he would not seek the Lt. Gov seat...which we all knew was a FAT LIE because he had no shot as Gov, yet. (see my note about not running again...I can take it back, proof is in Mr. Newsom.)

    The President is doing "reasonably well." This from a man who ran San Francisco.

    Democrats WILL retain the majority, but not a HUGE majority.

    Willie Brown is from back when there was a way to get away with a scam and politicians needed less intelligence.

    (If you respond anonymous, the points you make do not mean squat.)

  2. Nicholas,

    Your promise not to seek elective office is a repeat of your recent withdrawal from candidacy. Your integrity is the issue. We already know that most politicians have none. Your recent candidacy and urgent withdrawal are very similar to the those you castigate. I am not anonymous. You can find my email directly from here. If you want to stand up for something, then say it. Attacking and hate mongering are not productive. Michael.

  3. Nicholas E. TerryMay 12, 2010 at 12:09 PM


    Attacking and hate mongering...you do it well.

    A sense of humor, you do not do well.

    Michael...you can not base my integrity of one single even you followed online or in a newspaper clip that gravely misinformed you and purposely eliminated the bulk of my withdrawal. Perhaps if you asked why I truly withdrew, then maybe you'd have a clue. No one cared about the open letter I sent to Assem. Hayashi at the start of my campaign and how her office was going to go "after" me in a way I would no subject my family. But that's ok...forget that truth and stick to "castigate" me for having real integrity for thinking I (a fresh new, and untouched voice) could serve the voters.

    Attacking and hate mongering is WHAT politicians and candidates do...I assume the double standard is acceptable when you favor the person doing it.

    (I take back what I said about not running...just because of this dopey attempt of attacking me.)


  4. The Alan Cranston line is a classic! If Willie Brown is not related to Scott Brown, is he related to Jerry Brown?

  5. Nicholas E. TerryMay 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Is calling him Mr. Brown, racist?

    I digress (and kid).

    Maybe Bobby. Or James. Or Chris.

  6. Nicholas,

    Responding to your blog entry is not hate mongering. The all capitalized emphasis is the same as screaming, as you well know. The alternate referrals to Slick Willie, Mr. and Willie Brown are the racist references in my note. This is not an attack. This is a riposte or response to your comments.

    I read your posting then to Mary Hayashi and your statements of fear that she would denigrate you, involve your family and defame your character.

    That you folded up your campaign tent against her was and is your responsibility. I had posted to your blog and website, as well as this one, my requests for information from you. I actually wanted to support your candidacy. My big concern was that you were a younger version of Lou Filipovich.

    You chose not to respond and then to dismiss my comments later in print as not important, due to the fact that you were no longer a candidate.

    I would tender to you that your skin is a bit thin, not well suited to politics and perhaps you should stay where you are. Those that will transform Hayward-San Leandro-Castro Valley politics and representation have yet to show themselves within the context of this blog or the East Bay Citizen.

    It is a shame that you are so defensive.

    Go softly in to the night. If you would like to continue the discussion, you certainly can find my email through this blog.


  7. Well said Michael.

  8. Willie Brown is a jackass pure and simple. The reason California is so screwed up is because of welfare loving bastards like him. He's piece of crap. Thank GOD for term limits because we would have been in a hell of a worse shape if that crooked bastard was still in office.

  9. Oh and another thing, Clarence Thomas' farts are more acceptable than Willie Brown's being.

  10. Nicholas E. TerryMay 12, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Boring...lets stay on topic...because its getting too elitist sounding.

    Time to go toughen my skin.

  11. Nicholas E. TerryMay 12, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    PS. I do not care to continue this discussion...I have some what of a life.

    PSS. There's an election in 2012, if you're so omniscient, why don't you run for some sort of office, even Sanitary District.


  12. Thank you, Michael. I will agree we have yet to see the next generation of leaders emerge. I'm a bit torn whether I have not been looking hard enough to indentify them or the East Bay political roots need to be clearcut or burned for the new crop to vibrantly rise.

    Believe me, when that person or person rise I believe something special will start to occur.

    We have a woeful lack of leadership in our local governments, not all
    of the members, but clearly most who treat governance as a hobby rather than a noble job.

    That being said, I still think The Citizen with help from our readers can nab at least one scalp this November of a lackluster incumbent who did not deserve to win. You guess which ones I'm thinking of.

  13. Here's a quick list of future leaders. It's very short. San Leandro Council candidate Corina Lopez, Haywars council candidate Sara Lamnin. I would add Hayward's Councilwoman Anna May along with one day Alice Lai-Bitker's chief of staff Shawn Wilson. New mayoral candidate Sara Mestas AKA Mo Wiley has the Hollywood story of political neophyte who gets screwed by the powers that be and run for office. I can't think of any other prospects, unless Lou Filipovich has a 30-year-old great-grandson ready to rail against "subsidized taxpayers."

  14. Nicholas E. TerryMay 13, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Aren't I Lou Flipovich's 30 year old great grandson?


    If there is a new generation of leaders, we can only hope they are not at all similar to the current "leaders," and do not lack courage to say what the majority believe. They question with boldness and won't back down, they won't accept the same old games as many today and in the past do. I honestly haven't seen any, perhaps besides Anna May. If these future leaders are easily swayed by big money from local unions, special interests and the like, then there are no new leaders. The same old talking points do not make them new leaders...it makes them younger looking off-springs.

    Society must allow for future leaders to rise and not harp on them for saying something that isn't cookie cuter or the norm. What doesn't help is set-in-their-ways folks who want change so long as it's their style of change.

    (I probably once was under that list of future leaders...darn it for doing what was best for me!)

  15. Kamala Harris?? bahahhahahahahaaha A washed up, incompetent who thinks she can get by on an affirmative action quota. Disgusting how, flukes like her are passed along while qualified people are held back.

  16. Qualified people often don't run for office. That's why we're stuck with what we've got!