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tv   Gubernatorial Debate  PBS  September 29, 2010 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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california is in a crisis. >> online and on the campaign trail. >> we can change the direction of california. >> now on the same stage at the same time for the first time, tonight, brown/whitman fais to fais. live from the university of california davis, this is a commitment 2010 special. tonight's debate is co-sponsored by the sacramento bee, capital public radio, uc davis and kcra 3 where the news comes first. now, from jackson hall.
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>> good evening to our television, radio, and internet audience all across this state and beyond and also good evening to all of you here at uc davis at jackson hall. we welcome you to this first debate between these two candidates thiss year. we would again like to thank everybody for being here and right now if you will welcome the democratic and republican nominees for governor of the state of california, jerry brown and meg witman. our questions come in tonight from our panel of three journalists, amy chance from the sacramento bee, kevin riggs of k
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khr-tv in sacramento and marion russ of capital public radio. we should let you know that both campaigns have agreed to keep answers to less than 90 seconds, rebuttal and follow-up answers to less than 30 seconds. there was a flip of the coin to decide who would get the first question, meg witman, you won the toss. >> there's no end in sight for the budget. what would you say to those who say that california is simply ungovernable? and, if it isn't, how would you end the gridlock? >> first of all, let me say thank you you to uc davis and all the sponsors of this debate. i delighted to be here tonight. i want to talk to you about how you we are going to get this state put back together because there's no question i think we have one of the most dysfunct n
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dysfunctional state governments in the country. you're right, the budget is over 100 days late. here's my plan to put it back together. first is we've got to get californians back to work. if we do not bring californians back to work and bring down our unemployment rate, there is no way out of this fiscal mess. we have the third highest unemployment rate. did anybody ever think that would happen? i want to target tax cuts to get industries going like manufacturing. we need to eliminate the factory tax so we can hang on to our manufacturing jobs chgt i want to stleem streamline red tape soo it's not so hard to do business here and finally have an economic development team. then of course we've got to attack the cost side of the government. we have a government we can no locker afford. i want to streamline the size of government. i want to use technology like we do in silicon valley to do more with less, bring some of that
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managerial expertise to sacramento. and finally we're going to have to attack welfare. we have become the welfare state. we're going to have to reform welfare and reform the public employee pension benefits as well. that' the outline of the plan. i'm sure we'll have more to talk about as we go through the debate tonight. >> is there something specific you would do to reach a budget deal with lawmakers at the capitol in a timely manner? >> well, first, we must start earlier on the budget. you know, the governor puts out his budget in january, then really nothing much happens until the may revise. we need to start working on it earlier. and then i think there's some structural reforms we must do. we should go to a two-year budgeting cycle. this business of constantly having our back against the wall, not having the ability to think longer term than three to six months out. those are two reforms i'd make right away mr. brown? >> yes. the budget's never been this
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late before. i do know something about budgets, i must say. the budget is always the heart of any kind of democratic society. how much do you spend and what do you put in it it and how does it reflect your values? so the budget mess is one of the key characteristics of howscrew ed up things are in sacramento. how do we get at that? first of all, you've got to live within your means. i mean, they started spending money and we had a boom and wall street was going and dot com and all that. then it collapses. well, you've got to reset, reset 15%, 18%. i authorized by my legal opinion an 18% reduction in the governor's salary, the legislators' salary and my own. now, how do we get these things going? you start the week after the election. that's what i'll do. i'll bring all 120 together and i don't care whether it takes 200 hours, 500 hours. i know that many of these legislators have no idea what's going on in the budget. they're sitting in the bleachers
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while this big five group, the top four legislators and the governor and a couple of people, work it all out behind closed doors. we need a transparent, exhaustive process. and i would start by example. i would say, i will cut 15% to 20% out of the governor's office. i'll say to the legislature, your turn next. i'd like to see you get 15% or 20%. i know they can. then we start with the agencies and we go from there. i've done eight budgets. most of themmor were on time. one was late by a week or two. nothing like this mess. i know how you to do it, i have the will power, the independence. i know a lot of things like the energy commission being duplicated. we can cut. don't believe when people say they haven't gotten to the bone they've got a lot of fat up you there. >> do you have a rebuttal to mr. brown's comments? >> there's no doubt we have a huge challenge. mr. brown talks about bringing people together. my view you is he will bring people together after he's governor and it will be a
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meeting of all the special interests and unions who are there to collect their iou yous from the campaign they've funded. virtually mr. brown's entire campaign has been funded by the public employee unions. they will be there to collect their ious. i don't think that's in the best interest of the state of california. we have to do what's right for all the people. we are going to have to renegotiated public employees pension benefits, reform welfare. those are the things i'll focus on first. >> jerry brown, your last comment on this? >> i won't try to respond to that tv commercial which i've seen so much of ad nauseam, but i'll say this. one of these target tax cuts is targeted to billionaires like ms. witman and millionaires, to the richest people in california, 82% goes to those making over $500,000. where will a lot of that money come from? our schools. that's not fair, not right. i think it it reflects the difference in our values. i want to invest in our school gtz, protect our schools.
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i don't want to further enrich the billionaires and millionaires who actually have done pretty well our last few years. >> mr. brown, governor schwarzenegger has issued a reprieve for albert brown scheduled to be executed for a murder he committed in 1980. my question is, do you think the process for the death penalty appeals is too lengthy, too involved and if so, what should be done about it? >> it's certainly too lengthy and by the way it's gotten longer during each governor's term after i left. now it takes five years before you get a transcript up to the supreme court for the initial review. i want to say in this respect, the death penalty is a serious issue. i expressed my own preference, that i'd rather have a society where we didn't have to use death as a punishment. that view yand preference is overruled by the legislature and the people in an initiative ballot measure that passed. so we have it. eve got to make it work.
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as attorney general i've defended, literally, hundreds and hundreds of death penalty convictions. but, as you say, this thing goes on and on forever. you've got to appoint the lawyers you've got to appoint the investigators. and, unfortunately, it does take money to make the process work in accordance with our supreme court requirements and in accord with the village license of the ninth circuit court of appeals always looking over our back. i'll tell you one thing, having been attorney general and governor, i pledge to the people of this staitd i will faithfully carry out our law on executions and i'll do it with compassion but with great fiddlity to the rule of law. >> is there a way, though, to realistically speed up habeas corpus appeals? >> given the control by the federal judiciary and the sensitivity that many judges have, i would say the only way to speed it up and it can be done and ron george, the former chief justice said it clearly. you've got to appoint the personnel.
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because under the constitution, these men who are condemned have a right to first-class representation. that means get them a lawyer who knows how to conduct a trial. get the transcripts. get the experts, the criminal t criminalists he'll need. if we do that, you can speed up you this, no question about it. but the legislature never wants to appropriate money for that purpose. >> ms. witman? >> so i will be a tough on crime governor. no question about it. i am in support of the death penalty. i am for three strikes and you're out. i will appoint very conservative xruj judges who will not legislate from the bench but will really interpret the constitution. and i think this is a very big contrast between me and jerry brown because jerry has a long, 40-year, record of being quite liberal on crime. it started with the appointment of rose byrd, who was a supreme court justice who tried to overturn the death penalty almost 64 times. she ultimately was recalled from office and she said once, she
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said, the only good outcome is an outcome that favors the defense. so i will be tough yon crime. i will enforce the constitution on all dimensions. and i will make sure to that we do we can 0 to accelerate the appeals process. the criminal justice league had a request in to jerry brown about how to participate in a federal program that would accelerate the appeals so that you could ultimately implement the death penalty. he hasn't gotten back to them on that. i think that's one way we could accelerate this. it's important because if we don't do this, we will be on the brink of building another death row facility. i don't think anyone wants to do that. we have so many infrastructure needs, i don't think we want to build another death row infrastructure tv mr infrastructure. >> mr. brown, is she wrong about you being liberal on crime? >> dwight eisenhower put in the
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most liberal justice in all of history. he didn't expect that. i will be consistent i'll carry out the law regarding executions. secondly, as far as my support of law you enforcement officers, it's reflected in the fact that the california police chiefs association, has almost unanimously supported my candidacy for governor, including the police officers in oakland where i live and the former police chief sitting there in the front row next to my wife. he'll tell you we were tough on crime when we fought together in the city of oakland. >> last comment to you, ms. witman. >> the record in oakland actually isn't very good. when jerry brown left oakland was rated the fourth most dangerous city in america and homicides had nearly doubled. so actually the truth is he has been liberal on crime for 40 years. and recently in the last week he's had a little bit of a change of heart on the death penalty saying, gee, i'm not
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morally opposed to it. but for 40 years he has been morally opposed to it. so i think the record speaks for itself. >> our next question from marion russet. >> ms. witman, i want to go back to the job creation issue, the state's unemployment rate is over 12% yet both parties institute policies that encourage businesses to use cheap, overseas labor. could you give us some real specifics about how you would create jobs and how many jobs you think you can create with those policies? >> absolutely. this is one of my biggest priorities, creating jobs, because if we do not put californians back to work, as i said, there is no way out of this financial mess. so i put together a very detailed plan to create 2 million new private sector jobs by 2015. and the first thing is, we have got to make the state more business friendly. we have to put a sign on california once again that says "open for business." first i want to do some targeted tax cuts. i want to eliminate the factory
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tax. this is a tax that penalizes manufacturers. if we lose manufacturing, we will lose the soul of our state. we've lost 600,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000, 32% of the base. that can't happen. i want to eliminate the start-up tax, a big stop sign in front of budding entrepreneurs before you deliver a single service or product, you have to pay the state an $800 llc fee. i want to eliminate that. i also want to make sure that we extreme line regulation. you know, i have traveled to almost all 58 counties and every small business tells me they're being strangled by red tape. let's be smart about how we do this. let's create an online application so that we can facilitate these small businesses getting going. and then last we're going to have to have an economic development team that competes for jobs. the fact is, we are being outcompeted by texas, colorado, utah, arizona. those governors are showing a real interest in our business.
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i was with rek perfeick perfecte govern o or of texas, he said, come hunting in california for jobs in texas because we have a better environment. >> if i could follow up you on the factory tax, that could hurt local governments already struggling with a loss in property tax. how do you balance that? justify that? >> well, my view is that actually if we can eliminate the factory tax, that will mean more jobs, more companies in california. so we'll have higher tax revenues. the truth is, we are not competitive to neighboring states. 30 or 40 years ago maybe we didn't have so much competition, but we do now and we've got to examine every tax, every regulation and say, are we competitive to neighboring states? because without jobs we are -- there is no way out of this. we have to do a better job of keeping companies in california and making sure that we get the expansion opportunities as well. no company should put a call center in phoenix, arizona.
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they should put it in fresno or stockton. >> mr. brown, how would you create jobs for california? >> quite differently than ms. wittman, she has the fall that if she just gives it to wall street and follow the george bush play book, things will be well. nothing is worse than unemploy the. losing a job hurts the family, it's demoralizing and there's 2 million people in that situation. as a matter of fact, those in poverty has increased. now 5.5 million californians are below the poverty line and 2 million are children. let's do something. i have a specific plan. it's not to give a $5 billion tax break to myself, much less to the billionaires and millionaires. my plan is to invest in clean energy, the green tech of the future. i don't want to go back to the 19th century and listen to the old companies from texas. i want to stand firm on ab-32, our climate and new energy jobs
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bill. i don't want to suspend it like meg whitman does. we can build 20,000 mega watts and again become the leader in geothermal and efficiency. when i was governor of california, it it was the world leader in renewable energy. we can do that again. when i was mayor, i cut red tape. i got through a lot of dumb rules. that's how we got 10,000 people to move into oakland, into an area that was unimaginable as a place for middle class neighbors to take up residencresidence. i know how to cut the red tape. on my web page, it's about investing in california, not giving tax breaks to the most fortunate and privileged of the people of my state. >> you talked about green jobs but that's only a small portion of the state's economy. what about the rest of the economy? >> but it's the part that's growing. when i say green jobs, i don't mean solar collectors in the des
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er ert. i mean hiring men and women in roofing jobs in northern and southern california. you can put people to work retrofitting buildings in california by the hundreds of thousands. as a matter of fact, from the energy policies that were created when i was governor, over 1 million jobs were wicread over a 30-year period. yes, it takes tile. this is not something that's going to be turned around overnight, but let's invest in the jobs of the future. i did it before and i can do it before. >> jerry brown, thank you for that. we'll give the last word on this topic to meg witman. >> i'm sure we'll get to talk about ab-32 farther on in the debate. but the truth is 3% of the jobs come from green jobs, 97% from the rest of the economy. i want to focus on making sure that the employees who work for those companies don't lose their job through expansion of those businesses or those businesses shutting down because it' more competitive to go to an arizona or colorado or utah. and texas has the very best business climate in the country. it it is not a perfect state by
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any means, but they have businessman in charge of every industry that help you get rid of red tape. they have low corporate taxes, very low personal income taxes and, most importantly, they break through you that red tape so it's easy to do business as opposed to challenging to do business. >> for those of you in our radio audience or elsewhere who may just be joining us, you're listening to the first fr live debate between jerry brown and meg wittman. the questions fin. back to amy chance. >> mr. brown, given your years of public service, you would receive a pension of about $78,000 a year if you were to retire next year. given that you're talk about cutting costs in the state pension system, why should voters expect you to rein in the system that has been, for you, a source of your own financial support. >> let's get something real clear. if everybody in state service worked as long as i have, the pension system would be
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overfunded by 50%. okay? if they all want to stay around until 72 -- by the way, if you elect me governor, i won't collect until i'm 76. if i get a second term, i'll be 80. i'm the best pension buy california has ever seen, okay? now, in addition to that, when i was leading the governor's office in the 1982 budget document, i said, hey, eve got a little problem here. you better think about creating a two-tiered pension system to lower the cost of state government. that was back in '82. the next three governors promptly ignored that. well, i have a pension plan. it's on my web page, jerry what's it about? first of all, we're going to have to negotiate with different employee groups, raise ages, raise contributions. ear going to have to stop this thing where they take the last one year and spike it up and then they use that as the measurement for their lifelong pension. when i was governor, you used
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the last three years and you averaged them. somewhere down the road after i left they got rid of three years and made it it one. in addition, eve got a lot of abuses at the local level. i brought civil fraud yagainst officials in bell, california. i'm going to get that money back. we can get this thing done. i'm going to say one more thing. we need a salaried commission that has a right to set standards to stop the excess. and i will put that in as one of my first goals as the next governor of california. >> ms. witman, for all your experience in the private sector, you've not had a lot of experience with labor negotiations. ebay, of course, didn't have unionized labor. how can you be confident that you can follow through on your own promises to cut state employee pensions and do that negotiating work? >> well, the first thing is you cannot be beholden to the public sector employees. if your campaign is funded by those public employee unions, it's going to be extraordinarily
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difficult to negotiate. and we have got to stand up and be counted here. today the public employee pension system is underfunded by $60 billion to $100 billion. what that means is we owe more money than we can possibly pay. you know who's on the hook for it. the taxpayers. here's what we need to do. we need to take retirement ages p up. aid rank and file civil servant can retire at 55 years old with much of their benefits until they die. i want that age from 55 to 65, increase vesting periods, make sure those employees contribute to their employee retirement funds in a greater way than they do today and new people are going to have to come in under a different deal. they're going to have to come in under a 401(k) style program much like the private sector today. this is not easy. i believe the next governor has to have a spine of steel, know exactly what she believes and
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she needs to stick with it. because there will be tremendous pushback by the unions because they do not want to change. but we have to change because today we spend over $3.9 billion out of a general fund of $85 billion supporting these public pension benefits and it it's simply not sustainable. >> how specifically would you work with the kruns? >> well, the governor has three levers to get this done. first -- and this would be my preferred approach -- is negotiation. and some unions have come to the table. for example, the california highway patrol has come to the table with some very constructive ideas. down in orange county they've negotiated with their sheriff to take the retirement age from 50 to 55. first is negotiation. but second we may have to go to the ballot with an initiative to go in front of the people of california to take back control of their government. we are losing control of the government by a bloated bureau okay rascy. we're going to have to use all
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of the things that we have at our disposal to get this done. it's absolutely essential. >> jerry brown, we'll give you the last word on this. >> yeah, this is a little bit like the kettle calling the pot black. talking about union contributions. she's raised $25 million, enormous number are $25,000, some of them 50,000, some of them husband and wife 100,000. i would bet you the majority will get an immediate tax break from her key economic plan, which is to eliminate totally the california capital gains tax. as i said, that 5 billion comes right out of the general fund and half of the general fund goes to schools. so it's from schools, from kids, from teachers, who i think need to be protected from cuts to the most powerful and big campaign contributors of meg witman. by the way, as far as unions, i'm the only one who ever vetoed the pay raises for public employees. i did it once, twice. i'll do it again. >> we have a lot of topics to
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cover. kevin riggs, you're next. >> this goes to focus and preparation for the job. ms. witman, you have apologized for your failure to vote for much of your adult life. you have described it as atrocious, no excuse for that. my question is, has your failure to participate in california's complex initiative process left significant gaps for you in your understanding of california public policy? >> well, first of all, i will am not proud of my voting record and i have apologized for it and tonight i apologize to everyone in california. it was not the right thing to do and no one is more embarrassed by it than me. if i could change history, i would. but what i can do is tell voters about how i believe we can turn this state around. this state in an enormous mess. i am a big believer -- you know, einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results. we have to challenge the status quo in sacramento. i want to answer one of the
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charges governor brown just said. i have put my own money into this campaign. i have raised a lot of money. that's because many people believe in my vision for a new california. but what that gives me, it gives me the independence to go to sacramento, not beholen to the special interests. i promise you if you elect me the next governor of california bei , i will not owe anything to nichb and i will do what is right for the people of california because there won't be anyone to collect ious from me. >> the flip side of my question, mr. brown, the last time you were governor you ran for president twice, the first time two years from taking office. should you be elected, how can you tell voters you would focus on this job? >> age. hell, if i was younger bei, youw i'd be rubbing again. i'd say at 74, whatever it's going to be in a couple of years, i'm ready. i now have a wife.
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i come home at night. i don't close down the bars in oakland like i did. i'm going to spend more time in sacramento, get it done. so don't worry about that. i'm in for the duration here. i've got to know -- by the way, this business about insanity, repeating what we have, we have a man who i very much like, arnold schwarzenegger, but he was from the private sector. he said he was beholden to no one, he was putting his own money into the campaign and he was a guy who would run the state like a business. well, it didn't work out that way. it does take snknow-how. public service has been a great deal when i was a young person. when i was 5 years old, my father ran for district attorney of san francisco and i watched him become attorney general and governor. i care a great deal about public service. i think it it's honorable and i've lived in the state all my life. i love it and i've voted here all my life. god willing, i'll spend the rest of my life and die in this
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state. i love it and i'm going to make iter work. that's why i'm running for governor, i think i can get it back on track. >> rebuttal. >> mr. brown has no experience of changing sacramento for the better. unemployment nearly doubled to what was then a record 11%. as mayor of oakland he was not successful at turning around the school system. he campaigned as the education mayor. he made a promise to the people of oakland that he would turn their school system around. what happened was, three years later, the school system was $100 million in debt and the state had to come in and take it over. so jerry brown has experience raising taxes, increasing spending, and not delivering on his promises. so i think you have to just look at the experience and say, what do we need? my view is we need a governor who knows how to get california back to work. >> last word to you, mr. brown. >> i only have 30 seconds for this, right? >> yes. >> to refute all the
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misstatements would take me about a minute and a half. i'll try to go real fast. california created 1,970,000 jobs during the eight years i was governor. that surplus didn't drop down from the tooth fairy. i created that damn thing. i had to veto bills, fight with the legislators. i had a guy who was the treasurer, he called my surplus obscene. i had people reviling me because i wouldn't go along with their pay programs. nobody is tougher with a buck than i am. make no mistake about it. >> marion russ, you get the next question. >> mr. brown, this question comes from a student here at uc davis. as governor, would you roll back all of the funding cuts to the u you c, csu and community college systems? why or why not? >> all the fees back? not my first year with an $18 billion deficit. we have to get real here. i certainly don't want to see them go up you. university is something i love.
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i went to the university of california. so did my mother. when she went the tuition was $22 a semester. when i went, 30 years later, it was 120 $120. now it's astronomically higher than that. i care about this university, it's the key to our technological future and intellectual and civic future. i'm going to do everything i can to protect the university and advance its cause. ear going to do that by being tough you on the budget. getting real with these legislators, living within our means and building up a surplus. and certainly not driving a hole in the general fund of $5 billion, giving the tax break to the very wealthy because the university derives all of its state support from the general fund. so, in fact, university support is about 2.5 billion, which is a significant part of the 5 billion. so, yes, i care about the university. i try to hold down the fees as
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best i can. but we're in a tough bind. we'll all have to sacrifice. i'd say those at the top, those at the heights of our economy, should tuck in their belts first. >> just to clarify, are you pledging to hold the line on further tuition increases? >> i'll do the best i can. as you know, i would have one vote as chairman. the last time i used to have a few little disagreements with the regents. look, i'd love to roll back the fees. i'd love to have a freeze. but that would require either the university becoming a lot more efficient than it is or the state finding billions of dollars that it doesn't yet have. one way or the other, ear we're going to protect uc. >> ms. wittman, what's your feelings about the funding of colleges? >> it breaks my heart. every day i talk to children at uc who have had to take a semester off. i ran into a young man the other day who couldn't go back to uc
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berkeley because fees went up by 32% and his father had lost his job. here's my plan for the uc and csu system. higher education is one of the gems of our education system in california. of the top 15 public universities in the country, we have 6 of them. so while we are fixing k-12 education, which i'm sure we'll talk about in a minute, we cannot lose our innovation edge, which is uc and csu. so i want to reduce costs of this government and take $1 billion and put it back in the uc system. i want to streamline the size of government. we've got to get back to an employee count of where we were just five years ago. the state now has more bureaucrats than active duty personnel in the u.s. navy. we have got to reformal our pension program as we've talked about. we've got to reform our welfare program. today we have 12% of the population of the united states and 32% of the welfare cases. we've got five times the welfare cases of new york, and only twice the population.
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frankly, it's a budget issue but also a strength of our community issue. eve got to put californians back to work. welfare can't become a way of life. so i've got some very specific plans to reform welfare, take some of that savings and put it back into higher education. and then last we've got to run the government more efficiently. you know what's ironic? we have the most dysfunctional state government yet i come from the pat of the state where we have the most innovative countries in the world. we need to take some of that expertise and say, how do we run the government more efficiently so we can invest in what we really care about, which the u you c and csu system are the top of the list. >> what about the fee hikes themselves? would you use that money to hold the line on future tuition hikes? >> i would put it to the chancellors and say, how do you think we should best use this money? if we can give you back $1 billion, would you want to invest that in research, faculty, reduced fees? what's the best way to make your campuses great for every child? i'd actually ask them ha they
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thought,s since they are battling the challenges of the budget every single day. >> we're going to move on, the next question from amy chance. >> ms. wit man, corporations have concluded that many of your ads or misleading or even worse. how can voters trust you to communicate with them honestly about the state's problems when you're willing to distort the tru truth to win a campaign? >> i don't agree with the premise of your question. let's take one ad which i know has received a lot of taeks, which was the bill clinton ad talking about jerry brown's record as governor. let's dissect for a minute. let's look at what bill clinton actually said. first he said cnn actually said that governor brown had taken a $6 billion surplus to a $1 billion deficit. absolutely correct. he also said that taxes were higher. in fact, the only error in the cnn facts was that taxes were
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with not higher eight out of eight years. they were only higher six out of eight yeerz and on average taxes with were higher for jerry brown's administration than they were under ronald reagan's. so i stand by the ad. jerry brown doesn't like the ad because it calls out hissed record. he likes my positive ads about the vision that i have for california even less because, in fact, we are going to upend the status quo. we cannot continue to do hinges the way we have historically done them. and i want to reform the pension system. i want to reform education. and, by the way, many of the unions who are so deeply entrenched in sacramento, they don't want any changes to the things that i know parents and others in california desperately want. if we do not reform our education system, if we don't reform our welfare system, we don't reform our pension system, there's not going to be a way out of this mess. so i stand by the ads. they are an accurate portrayal of governor brown's record. >> mr. brown, you've run an ad
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depicting your opponent's nose growing like pi noa noek yoe. >> yes. >> are you happy with that ad? >> you know what? pi noek yoe is waiting by to extend that nose if we get any more of these falsifications. tell you one with, $6 billions. remember if was 1974 when i ran for governor. the state was in recession and there was a deficit. now, it just so happened we came back very quickly and after about a year we had about a $500 million surplus. but i turned that thing into 5 billion. now, a lot of that's economic growth. that's jobs. but it's also this spine of steel stuff when i said no to democrats and to legislators, to unions and to business. by the way, business likes to get their tax all the ones ms. witman is advocating, about $17 billion, you put that on top of the $19 billion budget deficit, now you've really got a deficit. one more thing on the school
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business, i advocated by the way that we have charter schools. i didn't say i could fix the unified school district. they have their own government. they're elected by the people. it's a separate jurisdiction from the mayor. no mayor in california can control the schools. i said we should create charter schools. we had three when i was elected. when i left, we had 21. my idea was charter school would show innovation and put competitive pressure on the school district. as a matter of fact, i wanted to have the guy who drove into bankruptcy, i didn't want him hired. i wanted him fired. that happens to be in the record. as another point, i created two charter schools of my own in oakland and they're very, very successful. >> meg witman, you look like i want to respond. >> i do. >> what do you think about mr. brown's response saying he likes the ads that you put out there? >> well, the other thing that was absolutely true in that clinton ad is governor brown opposed proposition 13. he said it was a fraud and just
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recommended that it not be passed. the voters were fit to be tied. they had it with ever escalating property taxes. governor brown was sitting on a huge surplus which he refused to give back to the people. proposition 13 passed yet didn't align the cost structure of the state and ended up with a $1 billion budget deficit. but you know what krief drives me crazy about career politicians? they refuse to accept responsibility. governor brown campaigned on being the education mayor. well, now he says the mayor couldn't do it. it was hard to make it happen. well, the parents and kids were counting on governor brown when he was mayor to make the changes. when i'm governor of california, you can hold me accountable for the things that i say and do and i think that's going to be one of the most important changes we have to make in politics. politicians have got to be accountable. >> last word, mr. brown. >> i would like to say, yes, i opposed proposition 13. i think pete wilson, our
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campaign chairman, did as well. i campaigned all over the state against it and we're now seeing some of the problems with all the power going up to state capitol, breaking all -- just into gridlock. here's the real important point. i want to leave this very clear message. in the november election, howard jarvis himself voted for me. he said, brown opposed it. i wrote proposition 13. he made it work. i made 13 work because i had a surplus and i bailed out the local governments so we could save our teefrps and police and fire. that's know-how. that's why i'm running for governor because i think i can do it again. >> kevin riggs, you're next. >> mr. brown, do you see any positive impacts in california from immigration and do you support a path to legalization for those who are already in california illegally? >> yes, i do. i do support a path to
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legalization as part of a federal comprehensive reform bill. this is where i think we differ -- i differ with my opponent. secure the borders. get a real, verifiable electronic identification system. make people compensate for any violationses of the law. but at the end ever of the day we have a couple million people in the shadows. there has to be some process as president bush, eastbouven he s that and mccain in his earlier days said the same thing and kennedy and a lot of very thoughtful people said eve got to find a way. we can't round up you and deport them. we have to find a path to citizenship. i've worked with immigration service, signed an agreement called secure communities. every person arrested, their fingerprints are taken and they're sent to my office and i now send them to the immigration
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office. if they're found to be here illegally, they're made subject to deportation. i think we're going to work on illegal immigration. let's start with those who break the law. let's get them deported while we work for the overall, comprehensive immigration reform. >> quick follow-up. were work place inspections part of the solution? >> workplace inspections are part of the solution. i don't think the state of california and police departments that don't want to do this, that's something the federal government can do. as i say, we have 2 million people here. we've got to get at the business of comprehensive reform. in the meantime, any time one of these illegal people, undocumented, commits a crime or is arrested, they will be subject to deportation. >> ms. wit man, do you see any positive impacts to immigration to california and would you support a path to legalization? >> i wouldn't support a path to legalization. we have got to get our arms around what is a very, very pressing problem. and here's my plan for involving
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the legal immigration problem. first is we have to secure the borders of united states of america. i spent a day on the border between mexico and california and i can tell you we've not given the border patrol agents the source resources they need. second, we do have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers and we do have to enforce that law. then, third, we have got to eliminate sanctuary cities. the worst case is of course san francisco. but i want to couple that with guest worker industries for agriculture, for example. it's in need for a temporary geflt worker program. so that's where i stand. we have got to prove to americans and to californians that we can solve this immigration problem and then let's get about doing that. and i have been, by the way, i think very balanced and very fair about this. i from the beginning said that i
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was not for prop 187. i just didn't think this was the right thing to take a k-12 primary education away from children. and i also said i didn't think the arizona light was right for california. it was too dwesive, going to be tangled up in lawsuits. i had a better plan to get our arms around illegal immigration. i know we can do this, but it will take a governor who can stand up and be counted. >> how would you pay for workplace inspections given california's dire straits? >> the cost of illegal immigration is significant in our budget. if we can hold employers accountable, i think ultimately that will be a budget positive. and we're going to have to work with our federal law enforcement as well as local law enforcement to enforce this. illegal immigration is just that, it is illegal. we have to stop the magnet. most illegal immigrants i believe come here for the jobs. so we have to go to the source and make it -- enforce the laws on the books. we are a rule of law. it's very important to enforce
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it. >> just a note to our listeners, you are listening and watching a special live broadcast of the first gubernatorial debate between jerry brown and meg witman. we're live at uc davis. we continue with capital public radio radio's marion russ. >> ms. witman, you've spent more on your campaign than any self-funded candidate in u.s. history, 119 million so far. please address the criticism out there that you are trying to buy the office of governor and also tell us whether anything you've learned throughout this process would affect your views on the safe campaign finance laws. >> i have invested a lot of my own money in this campaign. and the reason is i'm up against some very significant forces. in the last five years, the public employee unions and unions throughout california have spent over $300 million on politics in california. so i'm up against a pretty big set of entrenched interests. but you know what? i think californians are really smart. i don't think you can buy
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elections. i think californians are too smart. what you can do is get your message out and tell californians what your view is of the way forward. and that is what i have tried to do. i want to get job going again in california. i've got three really important priorities, jobs being one, government efficiency two and getting our schools back in order. it's not okay that our schools are rated near the bottom of the barrel. so that's what i've done, invested my own money so that i have the independence. i said earlier, you know what? that independence allows me to go to sacramento, break glass, change how things are done there. you know, if you want someone who will just go along and not really fundamentally change what is wrong with sacramento, then i'm not your candidate. we have got to fundamentally change how you this state runs. eve got to redo how the budget is done. we have to think about how to spend money differently. and we have got to have a business-friendly state. that's why i've invested my own money and i think it gives me
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the independence. >> what about the campaign finance laws? any changes? >> you know, it wouldn't be the first thing i would tackle. you know, i am a big believer that in a crisis you can only focus on a small number of things. you cannot go to sacramento and boil the ocean. my total focus in the first couple of years of my administration is going to get californians back to wok, making sure we hold on to manufacturing, hold on to high tech and biotech being making sure the agriculture industry thrives as opposed to having tremendous challenges, given lack of water. >> in the corresponding question for you, mr. brown, you have longstanding ties to labor organizations in this state, many of whom have spent millions supporting your campaign. so, given that, how will you be able to remain independent on questions about state worker pay and benefits? >> well, when it comes to pay, whether it's professors, administrators, union members, i don't think there's anybody who has taken a more no nonsense
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approach. i was legendary for my frugality. i want to repeat again, i believe i'm the only governor who vetoed the excessive pay rages of all state employees, not once but twice. i believe i was the first governor to call for the first two-tiered pension. yes, unions have their problems. but what about business over here? i mean, business are the folks lobbying washington got all the regulations cut back. they deprive the attorney generals of their power protect borrowers from fraud and abuse and we lost in this country 11 trillion, over 1 trillion in california, because of the abuse of the practices of wall street, the mortgage bankers, countrywide. as attorney general, i've been suing those people. so we've got to be village lent, whether it's labor or business. but i have to say something about our teachers and the people who clean bedpans at hospitals, our policemen and
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firemen. i mean, they're the people who really have embarked upon public service as a calling. and yes they should act as public servants, hold them to the high standard. but i do cherish and appreciate the work that they do, and when there's excess, i'll stop it. i mean, we've tried this business of the inexperienced private sector person coming in with a spine of steel and they get flummoxed by the shark-infested waters of sacramento. i won't. you have something on campaign reform. i have a very good thing on that one with. c ten seconds? >> go ahead. >> the chamber of commerce has a secret slush fund they use for meg witman to attack me. her friend pete wilson, i'd like her to tell the chamber, please disclose all the donors to those ads you're running on television. whether it's labor or business, i would like to see 24-hour
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disclosure, whether it's strictly formal campaign committee or one of those questionable nonprofits that are spending millions not only in california but throughout the country. >> i want to go to it amy. first a chance to respond to that? >> i'd love too. the fact that jerry brown is trying to distance himself from the labor unions is amazing to me because the lube unions and jerry brown have been joined at the hip for 40 years. i mean, my view is putting jerry brown in charge of negotiating with the labor unions around pensions, around how many people we have in the state government, is like putting count dracula in charge of the blood bank. the fact is, nothing will get done. and we have got to make very serious changes here. you know, just over the last five years the number of employees at the state level has ballooned by 33,000 people. no family has been expanding like that. businesses have been cutting back. we have got to run this government more efficiently. we have got to have a government
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we can afford. we need to use technology to figure out how we do more with less. we need to use technology to find the fraud that is imbedded in the system. you know, estimates are that there is $5 billion worth of fraud imbedded in the medicare and mehdi-cal system. i want to impanel a grand jury so that if people are ripping off the state of california they're going to go to jail. it's just not acceptable that we let fraud be riveted in the system and not actually go after it. and then think about cutting cal works. >> jerry, i'll give you the last word. >> when i ran for attorney general, in the primary, the california teachers association, the firefighters, and the building trades all supported my opponent. so i know how to stand up against people. i also know how to work with people. by the way, meg witman says she wants to change the pension system, but when it came to police and fire, who are pretty
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powerful, by the way, represent 25% of the pension system, she carved out an exception and she wants the defined benefit plan which she says is so batd. i think that's a reflection that when power forces come she'll cave. i've been in the kitchen. i know the heat. i can take it. i've got the know-how and yes the spine and intelligence and wisdom and at my age the independence to do what's right. >> all right. our last question tonight will come from amy chance from the sacramento bee. just keep the candidates to time so we can have enough time for closing statements. amy? >> mr. brown, ensuring all of california has enough water will be an issue for the next governor. would you support requiring northern californians to use less water so there's enough to ship south? and would you support a peripheral canal to go around the delta to deliver water to southern california? >> look, i would support whatever will bring us more efficiency in water and more
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conservation. we thought 25 years ago that we needed a lot more energy than we now know we can get along with because we're very efficient in technology has helped us. as far as the peripheral canal, of course, in 1981 i brought the legislature together and had a peripheral canal bill that would have brought water to southern california. unfortunately, northern california didn't like that and there was a referendum and my proposal, even though it went through the legislature, was voted down by the people. what that shows you, you've got to negotiate, bring in all parties. so here's my proposal on the water. we have to have this principal. when you benefit directly from water, you've got to pay. the beneficiary has to pay. if they get the water. not the general taxpayer. if it's going to be for habitat protection or rebuilding levies, that's something that the public ought to pay for. and i think if we increase water recycling, work with local
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communities on groundwater management, do better there, if we make it easier for water transfers and we build the conveyances that make sense, then i think we can deal with the water, which is first of all, by the way, one other thing, you have to ensure safe drinking water. there's some kids in the central valley that have birth defects and are finding real problems with pollution. so safe water, water conservation, the beneficiary pays, and the taxpayer then supports the general benefits. >> i need to jump in and give the same question to meg witman. >> turning our backs on water is turning our backs on jobs. i was a proponent of the piece of legislation, the water bond, that has just been kicked to 2012. and i think that was wrong. i was a supporter of that bond. it was not perfect by any means. there was pork in that bond. but i come from the real world where you actually have to get things done. and sometimes perfect is the enemy of progress. so i thought this had all the elements. it had above and below-ground
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storage, an outline for the peripheral canal. there was conservation measures put in there. and then once all that was done, there would be more water for the delta to restore the ecological health of the delta and the farmers. i think that was a great blueprint. it was a bipartisan group of environmentalists and water owners and agencies that came to a point of view that i thought was absolutely correct. so that's my stand on water. we have a humanitarian crisis going on in the central valley. it's just not right that we have communities with 35% unemployment. >> would you support conservation in northern california to get more water -- >> absolutely. sacramento just got water meters so we have got to do a better job of conserving walter across the state. no question about it. the water bond was the right path. >> we have just enough time right now to give the final word to both of our candidates here tonight. by a flip of the coin it was decided that meg witman would give her final statement first.
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>> first of all, thank you for hosting the debate. and the reason that i am running for governor of california is i refuse to believe this state, our beautiful state, cannot be better than it is. and make no mistake about it, i think we face some of our worst challenges in the last 30 years. you all know the statistics. my view is, if we are going to change the direction of the state, we're going to have to do it very differently. i said earlier, you know, i thought einstein had it right, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. my approach is anchored in focus. i want to do three things really well to restore the faith that the people of california can have in their government. all trust has been lost. the legislature has a 9% approval rating. we are down to blood relatives and paid staffers at this juncture. so we have got to prove to the people of california we can turn this state around. and i will do that. i have the independence to do it, and i also, you know, i'm a
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big believer in the power of many. the people of california are the most compassionate, the most entrepreneurial, the most courageous of any in the country. if we bind together, we can do this. we can make the golden state golden again. but i am a big believer in the power of many and i would very much appreciate your vote and your support on november 2nd. >> jerry brown? your final statement tonight. >> well, to tell you the truth tonight, i did think long and hard about whether i should run for governor again. i've been there -- this is not an easy job and certainly i don't think it's a job because you know how to run a private business you can run government. it's entirely different, more complicated, more frustrating with less power in the governor. i thought about it and i thought, boy, i've been looking at the government from every angle from my earliest childhood. my first job was as a community college trustee, elected in los angeles. then secretary of state and governor and later mayor.
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a tough city, yes, we had crime. in the very neighborhood where my wife and i lived there were nine murders within five blocks. but i didn't have a guard, a driver. i walked the streets and i saw it. that's what gives me such determination to try to make things better. and i felt -- look, i've got the know-how, the experience, and at this point in my life i have more insight and i believe more independence. that's one of the major differences, know-how and experience. secondly, my values are different in some important respects. i would not give millionaires and billionaires a big $5 billion tax break. in fact, in a big year it might be as much as 11 billion. it's been that high in the past. i think we have to invest in our people, protect our schools and we have to all work together with those that are most powerful sacrificing first i'd like to say those are the biggest belts. tuck them in first. and finally my vision about how to go from here is different. i believe, unlike ms. witman, we
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should not suspend ab-32, our climate change energy bill. we should stay the course and create those new green jobs. >> i'm sorry. jerry brown, meg witman, thank you you both for being here today. thank you to our panelists and of course thank you all for being here for what we hope has been an informative hour folks using on the issue that's are most critical to californians in this crucial election year. thanks for being here. this crucial election year. thanks for being here. good night. -- captions by vitac --
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this program was made possible by contributions to your pbs station from views like you. thank you. i was wondering, if there is a force beyond the universe, on balance, would you class it as (a) alien or (b) friendly?


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