At a time when California, the nation's largest state population wise, has been experiencing crippling economic problems, two veterans of accomplishment are ready to answer the bell and work toward a better future.
Jerry Brown was a visionary of the seventies who, in the tradition of visionaries with insight, was ridiculed while California's governor and referred to as "Governor Moonbeam". What a compliment it is for a leader of vision and intelligence to be ridiculed by critics who falsely pose as instruments of knowledge.
At the same time that an incoming President Ronald Reagan's subordinates laughed openly and ordered taking down solar energy collectors from the White House roof that had been installed on the orders of predecessor Jimmy Carter, Brown was one of the few lonely voices in the land stressing the need for limiting consumption, restricting growth, and calling for intelligent future energy planning.
While making a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 it was Brown who agreed with former political rival Gore Vidal in seeking to change the way that politicians are elected. Brown took no contributions from lobbyists or corporations and ran a grassroots campaign with strenuously self-imposed contributions, all of which came from his citizen's corps of supporters.
Now California's current attorney general has announced his candidacy in the 2010 California governor's race. How easy it is to endorse that candidacy and hope that his experienced hands will be shortly guiding the wheels of state in Sacramento.
Another veteran political figure who deserves endorsement is San Francisco's John Burton, who is running for Democratic State Party Chairman.
Burton followed his brother, the late Congressman Phil Burton, into elective politics. Like Phil, he served both in the California State Assembly and Congress. Also in the tradition of his brother, John Burton has always been an unstinting warrior on behalf of those in need who require a champion like him.
In his earliest days in the California Assembly Burton he tenaciously fought Governor Reagan's efforts to cut programs for the needy.
Burton also earned plaudits from progressives for his efforts on behalf of Caesar Chavez and the California Farm Labor Union. Through his efforts, working along with figures such as Senator Robert Kennedy, exploitation on the part of powerful farm interests were combated as valuable rights were obtained for forces who had been badly exploited.
Just as the federal government has taken a progressive step toward the future with the election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, it is time for the Golden State to take a forward step and put Brown and Burton to work at a time of division and economic calamity.
(This article also appears on the Political Cortex website.)