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Gov. Brown's unfortunate move
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Governor Brown announced his decision Wednesday to stop budget discussions with Republican legislators.

I am saddened by the governor's decision to halt budget discussions. His partisan positioning belies his campaign promises to be a different type of governor. The governor complains about Republican legislators being constrained by party activists, yet he is the one that can't tell the unions "no" even while the fate of California hangs in the balance.

As he nears the end of his career, I believed Brown truly wanted to leave a different legacy than his Moonbeam image of before, and he may. Instead his final governorship may be closer to that of Schwarzenegger - one plagued by incompetence and inability to use his power to change anything.

The governor said he supports pension reform, regulatory reform, and a spending cap; that it's the list of what he calls Republicans' "collateral demands" that caused him to stop negotiations. That is simply false.

First, the governor has never agreed to our proposals for a spending cap, regulatory reform, or real pension reform. He doesn't seem to understand that a tax extension without real reforms is just another gimmick that will not solve the problem, just push it down the road. Second, what he calls "collateral demands" are mostly simple budget items that went completely ignored by Democrats during the budget committee process - these are not "demands." Now in his third term, I hoped Gov. Brown would understand the difference.

When the governor announced he was ending talks, he attacked Republicans for being unwilling to delete enterprise zones, redevelopment agencies, and the single sales factor, calling this refusal a Republican "demand." I'm sorry but not agreeing to destroy the last keys to economic development and job creation in this state and particularly the Central Valley does not constitute a "demand." It simply means we are not willing to tell businesses that California is officially closed for business.

The governor's hypocrisy saddens me when he demands Republicans "let the voters decide" when pushing for his tax extensions to be put on the ballot. Yet, he ignores the fact that in every recent poll, voters have consistently shown more support for pension reform and a spending cap than his tax extensions.

Furthermore, in demanding the deletion of redevelopment agencies and the single sales factor, the governor is asking us to ignore the voice of the voters when they decided to protect those two things by supporting Proposition 22 and defeating Proposition 24 last year - a point which the governor could not answer when I brought this up with him.

If the governor is going to be selective about when he wants to listen to the voice of the voters, it gives me great hesitation to support any of his initiatives, for fear that if the voters tell him something he doesn't want to hear, he'll simply ignore it.