Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jerry Brown: a Democrat willing to fight for Democratic principles

eMeg vs. Jerry

Despite being significantly outspent by his Republican opponent, Meg "eMeg" Whitman, Democratic candidate and former Governor Jerry Brown is somewhat ahead in the polls. And he performed very well in his debate with eMeg this past Saturday. And he performed well by doing a good job delivering the Democratic message, especially on immigration. Joan Walsh gives a good account of it in Meg Whitman's meltdown Salon 10/04/2010.

Joan's whole article is good. And she includes these quotes from Brown, showing how Democrats can and should approach comprehensive immigration reform:

I'm going to treat everybody, whether they're documented or not, as God's child, and my brothers and sisters.
Brown, who was a Jesuit seminarian for four years, can use religious language comfortably without being exclusionary and without looking for non-existent "common ground" with hardcore rightwing Christianists.

If I am elected governor, I'm the leader of the largest state in the union. I'm going to do whatever I can to get this comprehensive immigration reform ... There's a lot of politics now and the fact that my opponent is so strongly against the path, path to citizenship -- then what happens? Do we deport 2 million people in California, 11 million people throughout the country? This is a real human tragedy. It's a problem and these people are working for Ms. Whitman. They're working all over the place, in this university, in restaurants and picking the food in our fields ... What we need to do is to as Californians we need to demand that our federal government create a secure border, yes but a path to immigration and a way to handle this thing instead of just saying it doesn't exist. We don't know about these people. They're in the shadows ... so we can forget about it, it's wrong, morally wrong. [my emphasis]
Calbuzz also has a good piece on that same debate, Sabado Gigante! Jerry Smacks Meg in Fresno Brawl 10/03/2010. They also discuss the immigration issue in the debate:

We wondered why [Brown] didn't mention that [notoriously anti-immigrant] former Gov. Pete Wilson is chairman of [eMeg's] campaign. At least she didn't suggest she’d round 'em all up and deport them. Or did she?

"Illegal immigration is just that, it is illegal," she said. "And we need to make sure we have the workers that the economy needs to grow and thrive," Whitman said. "We live in a rule of law. There is a judicial process, and we have to abide by that. So I think the best thing that I can do to help the Latino community in California is as first and foremost, as I said, jobs."

Brown countered that it's wrong to bring workers in to fill labor shortages and then herd them home.

"This is about human beings. And you don't bring in temporary workers and then when you've used them up, you send them back. ... You don't just bring in semi-serfs and say, 'Do our dirty work,' and then we’re finished with you like an orange and just throw it away. That's after you've squeezed it. That’s not right."

On "path to citizenship" alone, Whitman dug in against a position that 90% of Latinos (and Brown) support. [my emphasis]
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