Details Aren’t Golden Here

by John J. Pitney, Jr.

If Jerry Brown wins the California governorship on Tuesday, the reason will not be his specificity.  The top issue is the state budget deficit, but instead of spelling out what cuts he’d make, he’s talked vaguely about process. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Asked how he’ll succeed when Schwarzenegger has had problems getting the Legislature to work together, Brown said he will be relentless in making direct and individual appeals to lawmakers. He warned that on issues he cares about, “I can be inexhaustible.”But the Legislature alone won’t be making the choices, Brown said. “We’ll let Californians decide … it’s a choice,” he said. “People have to understand what’s at stake … it’s what I call civic dialogue.”

Asked about the potential of going to the ballot box next year to ask voters to approve new taxes, Brown sidestepped the question, saying it was too premature to make those judgments before the election.

On the stump, Brown, the current state attorney general, cautioned that what’s needed now is “a sober assessment of what’s ahead.”

Whitman has not been specific enough, either, relying heavily on the old “we’ll cut waste-fraud-and-abuse” line.  But she has been more forthright on items such as pension reform.

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