Willie Brown, Pessimist

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Willie Brown, the former Assembly speaker and San Francisco mayor who remains one of California's political giants, was asked by Patt Morrison, the KPPC radio host and LA Times columnist, about where the "reverse gear" is to get California out of its dysfunctional spiral.

He was not optimistic, about the whole project of California government:

"My guess is we're going to continue down this road because I don't see the body politic becoming any more informed in their voting choices. The initiative process — where you can put anything on the ballot and then test it for constitutional purposes, like Proposition 187 — that all just creates chaos. You get limitations imposed upon resources for government by things like Proposition 13, and you rob flexibility by the two-thirds vote. You've got an incredible array of obstacles in front of people trying to make good public policy. And then you don't have politicians who understand that every time they say "Let's cut taxes," you better simultaneously say, "Unless you're doing it from a surplus, what will you eliminate to finance the tax cuts?"

When Willie Brown, who could bend Sacramento to his will, says that California is ungovernable, he's probably right.

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