The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

September 21, 2011
Jerry Brown irked by Jon Coupal, John and Ken, Flash Report

20110914_ha_brown_bills31891.JPGIn today's New York Times story on Jerry Brown being "tripped up" by the shift in politics in California, the governor expresses irritation at the power exercised by a quartet of GOP players:

"Four people control the Republican Party. Jon Coupal, who works for Howard Jarvis; Grover Norquist; the Ken and John talk show; the guy who does the Flash Report. Any two of those can stop any bill in the Legislature where Republicans are needed. They basically work for them. They are like, when I was growing up, the Catholic Church had something called the Legion of Decency. The Legion of Decency rated the films. And if you got it condemned you couldn't go to the movie, or it was a moral sin.
"Well, these four people form a Legion of Acceptability. If they give you a condemnation there's no way to get them to vote."

I have to say, Jerry is showing his age a bit with this analogy. Few Californians, I would guess, have heard of the Legion of Decency, partly because is was renamed in 1966 as the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures and generally has waned in influence. (And just for the record, it is the "John and Ken Show," not Ken and John, and the "guy who does the Flash Report" is Jon Fleischman).

The gist of the Times' piece is that Gov. Brown now "appears bewildered and stunned by how much Sacramento has changed since he first served."

Really? I can't help but wonder if the Brown machine is floating this line as part of a carefully crafted effort to make the governor appear to be a Capitol outsider, independent of Democratic and Republican lawmakers that, based on recent polls, are so despised by voters.

What do you think?

Bee photo/ Hector Amezcua
Sutter lays low as Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown go over a bill with staff on Friday, Sept. 16.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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