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Our View: Democratic governor best hope for GOP?

Posted: December 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The elections are over in California and it’s time to get real. Whether you like the outcome or not, there are some huge problems that need attention — now.

The Democrats, with a supermajority in both houses of the California Legislature, clearly have the power to enact what they want. But with that power comes responsibility.

We often have editorialized about the importance of balanced budgets, living within our means and fiscal prudency. Even though the Republicans have been in the minority in Sacramento for some time, their numbers have been sufficient to cause at least some negotiation on elevated spending and regulation.

But now what?

Ironically, the key may be with Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has become somewhat of a voice for fiscal reason compared to the rest of the state’s ruling party.

Our intent in this editorial is not to canonize the governor but to show how the minority Republicans in the Legislature could build a coalition with him to get more of what they want.

The governor has made traditionally conservative moves such as significantly reducing the budget deficit, developing a 12 point plan for controlling the public employee unions he helped create, reducing overall spending in Sacramento and even slashing his own office budget by 25 percent.

He vetoed a Democratic budget last year as well as bills backed by labor, including one providing overtime to domestic workers, upsetting many in his party.

Certainly the governor and the more conservative Republicans don’t share a lot of common ground on social issues, but they do have similarities in their perspectives on important fiscal matters.

Rather than just sitting back watching the Democrats drive the state to financial ruin, the Republicans can take an active part in softening the blow.

It can be done. Neighboring Ventura County Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell has teamed up with Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to create a “Gold Team” that goes outside California to entice businesses to come here.

These are two unlikely partners working together on a program that benefits all Californians.

Neither the governor nor the Republicans in the state Legislature trust the Democratic leadership to reduce the size of the public trough.

We hope that the leaders of the Republican caucuses in Sacramento can meet with the governor and develop new areas of mutual interest, especially as it pertains to the economy and California’s significant taxpayer burden.

We know it sounds crazy, but these are crazy times.



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