Political reporters have delighted in covering Jerry Brown's political campaigns through the years.
The reason for reportorial delight is that they do not have to strain for a story. Brown supplies interesting copy by just listening to him and reporting what he has to say.
Brown, who launched a political comeback in California by initially becoming mayor of Oakland, then the state's attorney general, last week achieved the Democratic Party nomination for governor.
George Skelton, a political reporter for the Los Angeles Times, did a piece on Brown. He mentioned that Brown has been quiet as of late, especially for him. Skelton speculated that the reason could relate to Brown not wanting to provide a target for the opposition.
With the campaign heating up and a competitive fall campaign assured for the matchup between two term former Governor Brown and Republican nominee Meg Whitman, Skelton commented that it was time for the Democratic nominee to begin to make his case to the state's voters while contrasting his position on the issues with those of his opponent. He added that he expects Brown to launch into full mode soon.
Jerry Brown is a man who proved wrong those who scoffed at his ideas as bizarre and referred to California's youthful leader as "Governor Moonbeam." Brown warned in the late seventies about excess consumption, something of a lower keyed Thomas Malthus in the latter quarter of the twentieth century.
Brown's predecessor as California's governor, Ronald Reagan, scoffed at those delivering warnings such as Brown's, including his opponent in the 1980 presidential election, President Jimmy Carter.
On the subject of what the economists term conspicuous consumption and the inherent dangers lying therein, who has proven to be right?
Brown's opponent Meg Whitman amassed a fortune as CEO and president of eBay. In the recently concluded primary Whitman spent a reported $80 million of her own money to secure the Republican nomination.
The ensuing question based on such factual information about Whitman's $80 million expenditure is this. How much money from the eBay executive's massive fortune will be spent in the fall campaign leading up to the November 2 election?
Turn back to the clock to 1992 and recall what Jerry Brown did when he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, a prize that eventually went to then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
During presidential debates involving the Democratic candidates Brown was the one who kept repeating the 1-900 telephone number which citizens could call and pledge funds to his campaign. It was a campaign that he proudly exclaimed was being run without the aid of political action committee money.
Here we are eighteen years later. Brown is opposed by a highly wealthy opponent willing to spend huge amounts to be elected governor of the nation's most populous state.
The opportunity is there for the reformer image of Brown to resurface in the realm of campaign finance reform. Will he let the opportunity to make a strong case pass?
For one thing he can issue a challenge to Whitman to engage in a series of public debates where an entire array of issues can be discussed.
Brown could then do what Senator Robert Kennedy did the evening that the 1968 Indiana Democratic Party's presidential primary results were being reported.
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