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I am not a Moonie

Jerry Brown
A Washington Times reporter who made some amazingly inaccurate statements while questioning Gov. Jerry Brown deserved the tart replies she received from Brown and his press aide Gil Duran.

If Kerry Picket wanted to take on the governor's record, she should have done a little reporting beforehand. Instead, she asserted that things "changed" in California when Ronald Reagan was voted in after Brown (he preceded Brown), that Brown had lost a reelection campaign for governor (he lost a U.S. Senate race, not a gubernatorial reelection contest), and that California was going into bankruptcy. (It just feels that way sometimes.)

But what on Earth could have led the governor to ask whether she was a Moonie? Yes, the conservative newspaper was founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon, but how are her religious beliefs, whatever they are, relevant or fodder for attack? It's her failure to do her homework that was the issue here. 

The strange part about the interchange was that Picket started on more solid footing. She questioned concessions to the teachers unions, and Brown did indeed approve restrictions on how schools could make spending cutbacks, banning them from teacher layoffs and requiring them to base expenditures on an overly rosy budget picture (and no, I am not a Moonie). He now proposes to cut back on the number of standardized tests, which he might sincerely believe is a good idea, but it's also sending shivers of joy down the spines of teachers unions.

Without specifics to back up her questions, though, the reporter was quickly in over her head.

Brown made an equally strange assertion that criticism of his current administration has come solely from the Washington Times. The Los Angeles Times editorial board would surely differ with him on that score.

ALSO:

California's party of yes

Democrats need to get serious about pension reform

Which political force is more powerful: gas prices or optimism?

-- Karin Klein

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks with reporters as he leaves the Governors Luncheon at the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington on Feb. 25. Credit: Cliff Owen / AP Photo

 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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