Gubernatorial candidates say California needs government reform

first_imgCalifornia gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman met face-to-face Tuesday night to discuss their plans for the economy, upcoming propositions and the role of the government in their third live debateHot button · Gordon Stables (left), director of debate at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, moderates a panel debate between former Sen. Kevin Murray and former press secretary Margarita Thompson. – Dan Doperalski | Daily Trojan The USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics hosted a debate watch and panel, where former California State Sen. Kevin Murray and Margarita Thompson, former press secretary for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, discussed what they believed were weak points in the candidates’ platforms and what they saw as a lack of charisma in each.“[Brown should] stay safe; no major booms, and hope that [Whitman] makes a mistake,” Murray said. “Show them who you are, show personality and show people they can have a connection with you.”Thompson said the recent drama surrounding the candidates’ campaigns were examples of what attracted voters.“The media has proven that negative campaigning works,” she said.During the debate, former eBay CEO Whitman began by speaking about a vision for California.“Today what I see is the California dream is broken. Not everyone gets the chance to live their life,” Whitman said. “I was very lucky. … I really lived the California dream. I don’t think my story would be possible in any other country in the world.”Both Brown and Whitman reiterated the points they made in previous debates, such as Brown’s positions on pension plan reform and increasing funds to state education.Whitman emphasized her plan to reduce the size of the state government and create jobs.“We need to use technology to do more with less,” she said. “We need to shrink the size of government, we need to have fewer people working.”When asked by debate host Tom Brokaw about the recent revelation that Whitman had employed an illegal immigrant for nine years, she responded with her intended course of action to enforce border control.“We have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers,” Whitman said. “We’ve got to secure the border, hold employers accountable, eliminate sanctuary cities.”Brown, however, said he believed the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the federal government.“We need a comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level,” Brown said. “These are real people, these are mothers, dads and kids, and they have this fear.”Brokaw also addressed a taped phone conversation in which one of Brown’s campaign staffers referred to Whitman as a “whore.”“Again, Ms. Whitman, I’m sorry it happened. It does not represent anything other than what happens in the campaign,” Brown said.Whitman said, however, that the slur was more than just a comment.“So Jerry, it’s not just me, it’s the people of California who deserve better than slurs or personal attacks,” she said.Alex Villosuerte, a senior majoring in history who identified himself as a liberal, said both candidates focused on the negatives.“There have been a lot of attacks, and it seems like it’s 60 percent attacks and 40 percent about things they’ll do,” Villosuerte said.Peter Kim, a sophomore majoring in political science who identified himself  as a Republican, said he would vote for Brown because of his past experience.“They are trying to solve a fundamental budget problem that only someone like Brown with the know-how will be able to tackle,” he said.last_img

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