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Jordan's Report

A few weeks ago Jordan, a sixth-grader from Redlands, posted a comment on my website asking for help on a report for school. My daughter replied and now he's sent us his finished product. Here's an excerpt:

"My opinion is that Garrett would make a great governor. In my book he meets all of my standards. In the qualifications I think he is good enough to be the president. I think the reason Garrett is not one of the top candidates is because people don’t think with logic until it’s too late. Someday it is going to get us in very deep debt and we’re going to regret it."

He's obviously a thoughtful voter-to-be.

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 29, 2003 at 10:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

No On The Recall

In case anyone missed it the first couple of hundred times I said it, I'm urging everyone to vote no on the recall. This isn't because I think Governor Davis has done a good job. In fact I've been disappointed by many of his choices and actions. However, I believe that government by recall is bad for the state. It's destabilizing and demoralizing. It's impossible to run the world's 6th largest economy if the governor is in constant danger of being recalled. We have regularly scheduled elections. Lets stick with them.

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 29, 2003 at 09:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Looking For a Vote I Can Live With

This from Susanna Cooper of the Sacramento Bee editorial board in today's "Recall Fly on the Wall":

My feeling late last week was that the recall would fail, and that freed me up to vote my conscience without carrying the guilt of a throwaway vote. Like Mark, my unfettered vote would go to Garrett Gruener (one more plug for his web site here). What I liked most about him was his ability to talk straight about the state's challenges and his ideas for solving them; he can explain, to pick one example, the need to close Prop. 13's commercial property tax loophole in a way that is understandable and compelling but not dumbed-down. That's the kind of leadership we need. Under normal circumstances I'd be wary of the fact that he hasn't held public office of any kind (would it hurt to try your hand at city council or Assembly before you run for governor?) but these aren't normal circumstances.

Today I'm less certain about the recall outcome, and feel more obliged to vote "responsibly." But how, when the choice is between Bustamante and Schwarzenegger? I'm a lifelong Democrat, but Bustamante has blown it with me. From the dirty money (from which he now wants Arianna to help wean him -- what kind of pathetic publicity stunt was that?), to his pandering on gas-price regulation, to his campaign, in which he's basically not made himself any more available for serious questioning than Schwarzenegger. Tom points out that Bustamante is the candidate most likely to protect funding for public schools -- okay, yes, that's important to me, too -- but I worry about his susceptibility to the forces in the Legislature that would undo education reforms that have made the system more accountable to the public.

That brings me to Arnold, and I just can't go there.

So I'm back to Garrett Gruener, with the full realization that a vote for him may be a vote for Schwarzenegger. But I want to punch that card without feeling like I need to go home and shower afterwards. So be it.

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 29, 2003 at 09:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

No Go, Mr. S.


Arnold Schwarzenegger, the well known economist and political analyst, wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal last week. (Well, at least it appeared under his byline.) His message: it's all about cutting taxes and state expenditures. If state government would get out of the way, Californians would be happy, healthy, educated and employed.

That, Mr. S. is more fantastic than the most fantastic of your movies -- and much more dangerous.

Mr. Schwarzenegger claims to be a fiscal conservative. Actually, there are two critical tenets of fiscal conservatism that he appears not to understand. First, and foremost, is fiscal responsiblity, which requires telling the truth even if the truth is harsh and doesn't get you any votes. Second is investment for growth. Great businesses continue to invest for the future no matter what short-term fiscal problems arise. Invest or die is a good conservative business principle.

State government has a major role in the investments that attract businesses. Mr. Schwarzenegger's claim that it's possible to increase investment, lower taxes and AND balance the budget is no more than irresponsible pandering to voters. We know, even if the Terminator doesn't, that there's no free lunch.

Many thanks to Steve Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, and one of the most thoughtful thinkers around. Read his paper for an excellent analysis of the role of state government in creating a climate for job growth in California.


Written Saturday, September 27

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 29, 2003 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

A Near Brush with Arianna

I'm beginning to think that flying hundreds of miles to talk to a reporter, meet with the editorial board of a newspaper, or shake hands with a group of people is perfectly normal. Today, I "did" Santa Barbara: a meeting with the Santa Barbara News Press editorial board followed by a walk on the beach with James Studarus of the Conception Coast Project, a local environmental group. To finish things off, we did a photo shoot of the politician - me - walking down a beautiful Santa Barbara beach in shoes and socks.

Next thing I knew I was doing a call-in radio show on KFIG 1430 AM, the "Big Dog" in Fresno. I answered questions from farmers and small business people. Arianna Huffington, the other guest, was late calling in . When she finally called, Dale, the host, told her that I was also on the show and that he wanted us both to participate. At that point she mumbled something about not being able to hear and needing to catch an airplane and hung up. I didn't realize I was that scary!

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 26, 2003 at 07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

The Great North

Have you ever been to Chico, Redding and 8,000 feet above Eureka in one day? Well, that's where I was yesterday. The idea was to visit smaller media markets, rarely visited by politicians. In Chico, I was met by a reporter for the Chico Enterprise Record who filed this story.

In Redding, I met with the editorial board for the Redding Record Searchlight. Redding is an interesting small city, which has experienced growth and an influx of retirees. The timber industry has receded and the people of Redding are trying figure out how to provide affordable housing and jobs for the future. The Record Searchlight ran this story today.

Unfortunately, the famous north coast fog prevented us from landing in Eureka so I had to miss talking to the editorial board of the Eureka Times-Standard. Hopefully next time.

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 26, 2003 at 07:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Video on Demand

Just to let everyone know, yesterday's debate webcast has been archived and will be posted shortly. Portions of it were shown on TV in Los Angeles, discussed in a number of newspapers statewide and even picked up by a newspaper in Australia.

Also, mini-documentaries on my approach to handling the state budget and each of my three E's -- education, the economy and the environment -- are up on the website. Check them out.

(If you use a Mac or prefer Quicktime, go to the home page, select "Ideas" and take it from there.)

Written Wednesday, September 25

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 26, 2003 at 06:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

A Minor Miracle

It's 11:30 at night and we just got back from Sacramento, where we pulled off (just barely) the world's first live web simulcast of a political debate. See Dan Weintraub's blog for a description of what we were trying to do. The archived webcast should be available tomorrow on my website. The staff was fantastic - thanks to all.

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 24, 2003 at 11:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

How To Crash a Debate

Well, no matter what we've tried the California Broadcasters Association has refused to give me a seat at the debate in Sacramento tomorrow. It didn't matter that editorials in the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee proposed that I be counted among the top tier candidates, or that I have the fourth best financed campaign, or that I have real answers to the debate questions. No poll, no seat.

So we're going to crash the debate, sort of. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 24th, I'll provide in-depth, real-time responses to the debate questions through a Web cast broadcast live at www.gg4g.com.

Do you want to hear Arnold parrot prepared answers to pre-assigned questions? Or do you want to hear bold, new ideas that address the issues facing California? Click on www.gg4g.com tomorrow evening at 6:00 and tell your friends!

Written Tuesday, September 23

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 24, 2003 at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Orange County -- A Day of Contrasts

On my way to visit Peter Ueberroth this afternoon, I stopped by at the Orange County Register to meet its editorial board. Usually these editorial board meetings have the character of an interview, maybe an oral final exam. This was pure lecture; a lecture on libertarianism: no government, no taxes, no support for my views (but I knew that going in).

By contrast, I had a wonderful meeting with Peter Ueberroth. It's easy to see why he has been successful. He's charming, very casual, smart, and you get the sense that he's capable of making very tough decisions. We agreed that whoever wins is in for a tough three years. We also agreed that we are the only two candidates who have actually created jobs in California.

Peter talked a lot about the difficulties faced by small business. In particular, we've got do anything we can to lower barriers to new businesses, consistent with our overall environmental objectives. He mentioned that developers he works with can get approvals in Arizona years faster than California, in spite of the fact that the two states have similar environmental laws.

I don't think he is going to endorse anyone, but I felt that we share a similar passion for getting California back on track, and for investing in our future.

Written Monday, September 22

Posted by Garrett Gruener on September 24, 2003 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)