tv Gubernatorial Debate NBC October 12, 2010 5:30pm-6:30pm PST
good evening from dominican university in california in san rafael, and welcome to the third and final debate of 2010, the race for governor. a crucial election at a crucial time for this state and, for that matter, for the nation. the winner this race will face daunting issues on the economy and jobs, the budget, and pensions, immigration, education, and health care. tonight we will get answers to those questions on all these topics and more. from the democratic candidate, attorney jerry brown, and the republican contender, former ebay ceo, meg whitman. let's review the rules of engagement before we begin. each candidate will have 90 second to answer each question. rebuttals and followups will be allowed at my discretion. they will last for 30 seconds.
there's a great deal of ground to cover here tonight, of course. the candidates have agreed to forego opening statements, and a coin toss was held to determine which gets the first question. that will go to meg whitman. jerry brown, at the conclusion of this hour, will get the last question. to you, ms. whitman, and attorney general brown, welcome, nice to have you with us tonight. let me remind you of something that i know you were familiar with at one point in your lives. but it seems to have been lost in american politics. 50 years ago this january, john f. kennedy at his inauguration said famously ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. modern campaigns and yours is no exception, spent most of their time telling voters what they can do for them. tonight i'd like you to begin by looking into the camera and saying to the voters of california, as citizens of this state, this is what you must to for california at this crucial
time. ms. whitman, you begin, please. >> first of all, thank you very much to dominican university. thanks to you, tom. i'm sorry about your ankle. but i am delighted to be here tonight. and i'll start the answer to that question by telling you why i came to california. 30 years ago my husband and i moved here as newlyweds. my husband wanted to be a doctor. i wanted to be in business. we wanted to raise our family here. because everything was possible in california. and i was very lucky. i ended up running one of the great internet success stories, and really lived the california dream. i don't think that my story would be possible in really any other country of the world, and maybe not even in any other state. but today what i see is the california dream is broken, and not everyone has a chance to live their life, to raise their children, to send their kids to public school, to be successful doing what they love. and that's why i'm running for governor of california. i want to bring that california dream alive.
and what people are going to have to do is support the next governor in making some very tough tradeoffs. we have a government we can no longer afford. we continue to spend more money than we take in. and there's going to be some tough tradeoffs, everyone's going to have to make a sacrifice to get california back on track. but if we do that, i can tell you we have an incredible opportunity. this is a great state with tremendous people. more compassion, more courage, more innovation than any other state in the union. but we're going to have to pull together. i am a big believer that what we can do together none of us can do alone. and there's going to have to be some shared sacrifice. >> mr. brown? >> thank you. i, too, thank the sponsors of this debate and dominican university for allowing us to come into your homes and to be part of this very historic exchange of ideas. john f. kennedy did ask americans, ask not what you can do for yourselves but what you
can to for your country. and i have to tell the people of california we do have to make some tough decisions. we have to live within our means. we can't point the finger. we can't scapegoat whether it's government employees or immigrants or neighbors down the street or the opposite political party. we're going to have to rise above the poisonous partnership, and our own comfort zone. our own identities, whether they be ethnic or gender or partisan or religious, and we have to think -- we really have to think for the first time as californians. as californians first, as members of these other categories second. we are a great state. we have tremendous potential. and while people on the east coast say this is some kind of failed state, it's not. this is a state of 38 million people. last year, the wealth created by the people and the businesses this state equaled $1.8 trillion. that's more than most of the countries in the world. so this is a wealthy, fabulous place with a great deal
environment. i love california. i've lived here all my life. and i just want to say i think i can fix it. i've got the know how and the experience, and that's exactly what i want to do if you give me the chance. >> ms. whitman, in june of this year, the pugh organization polled the voters of california. 40% of them said you could cut the state budget by 20% and not affect the services that they've gotten used to. someone did an analysis of those cuts, and to make that kind of a cut in the state budget, you'd have to give up the prison system, transportation, and welfare. have the voters of california become utterly unrealistic about the realityi ie-- realities of situation and your clawing to the finish line in the process? >> i think the voter of california have the right instincts. they know the government isn't run efficiently and effectively. and the first thing we have to do to get this budget back on track and we have to put californians back to work.
for families, the solution is a job, that's the solution for our budget. we've got to put californians back to work. but then i've identified $15 billion worth of savings that i think actually, if we achieve them, it will make california stronger, not weaker. we need to shrink the size of government. we need to have fewer people working. we need to -- have fewer people working in the government. we need to use technology to do more with less. then we have to make two tough reforms. first is the public employee pentagon system. we have a pension -- public employee pension system. we have a pension system that people can't afford anymore. it's a $60 million to $100 million unfunded liability. that means the taxpayers of california owe more money than they can afford to pay. then we have to reform welfare. welfare -- we have become the welfare state. 12% of the population lives here, and we have 32% of the welfare cases. we have the longest time on welfare, and it's not the right
thing for our budget, but it's really not the right thing for our communities. and then last, we have got to run the government more efficiently and effectively. the bay bridge is a perfect example. from san francisco to oakland, the seismic repairs were supposed to cost a billion dollars, it cost $4 billion. over budget, simply not acceptable. and what happens in sacramento is the parties just blamed each other as opposed to taking accountability for results. >> mr. brown, have the voters become unrealistic about the hard choices they have to make based on the polling that we've done? >> look, we're all unrealistic when it comes to pain or sacrifice, our hard choices. we don't like to face the tough choices. a long time ago i said government was facing an era of limits, and boy people didn't like that. they misinterpreted, they denied it, but you it's true. we have limits, and we have to recognize them. and you choose one thing or another. i will say this -- with the complexity of this government, i've decided that the budget
process has to start not in january and dot along until -- dawdled along until june and november, i want to start this process in november, a few weeks after the election if i'm nominated governor. then i want to go to central california, the central valley, i want to go to san diego. i want the people of this state to reflect on what it is their state government is doing. how much of it do they really want, how much does it cost, and how much do they want to pay for it. we are suffering from a gap. and the gap was caused not just by some overspending in sacramento, which has happened, but also by the wall street meltdown, by the washington inability to regulate the banks and the mortgage scam artists, people that i'm fighting as attorney general. and we've received a lot of good judgments on that fact. but whatever, here we are. and i think we can return power to the local level where people can judge it more quickly. i think -- there's $18 million
in possible fraud and abuse, we've got to dig into it where we can. those at the top need to lead by example. if i'm governor, i'll cut the office by 10% to 15%. >> ms. whitman, let me raise what has become a holy grail in the state. that's proposition 13. i was here when it was passed, and it of course puts limits on property taxes. a lot of people see that as a boulder in the road to reform. others do see it as a kind of sacred part of the california tax code. can you go forward and achieve the goals that have you outlined without reforming in some fashion proposition 13, which has been in effect in the state now for almost 40 years? >> proposition 13 is absolutely essential to the future of california, and i want to defend proposition 13. what propaganda 13 does is -- proposition 13 does is keep a lid on property taxes. i was in diamond bar not long ago, in southern california, and
was in the home of an older woman named marie. she was able to stay in her home even after her husband had died two years ago because her property taxes were low. if those property taxes had escalated without proposition 13, her property taxes would have been -- 6,000 more per year. one of the reasons i'm running for governor of california is to defend proposition 13. the really only sustainable way to increase tax revenues is create more jobs. the more jobs there are, the more companies are paying taxes, more individuals are paying taxes. and the only way we're going to do that is we have to reduce taxes, we have to decrease our -- streamline regulation which is strangling businesses of all sizes, and then we have to compete for jobs. it's not okay that many big companies are leaving california for neighboring states like arizona or colorado or utah. for example, the headquarters of devita, a health care services company in los angeles, just
announced they were moving their headquarter to denver, colorado. and the reason is it's simpler and easier to do business in neighboring states. so we've got to compete for those jobs by having competitive tax rates, by being a help to small business, and to big business as opposed to putting a big, red, stop sign in their way and saying, you know what, doing business in california is just going to be harder than it is in neighboring states. >> mr. brown, does proposition -- is proposition 13 sacrosanct even for commercial property? >> look, there's no sacred cows over the long term. we have to look at things. but i support the implementation of proposition 13. i once opposed it, then i made it work. as a matter of fact, howard jarvis, the author of proposition 13, actually voted for me and did a campaign commercial because he said even while he created 13, i was the one that made it work. and we made it work because i built up a $5 billion surplus, which didn't exist when i became governor. we were looking at a recession, and as we came out of that, i held down spending. by the way, there's a couple of myths in proposition 13.
the actual business side of the role in the homeowners are contributing about the same in taxes and their assessed values have grown. we've got to find ways to live within our means, we've got to make tough decisions, we've got to return the authority to a local level. a lot of the problem with 13 is because the state provided bailout and money, the state took over more and more power, micromanaging the schools, sending more and more controls down to cities and counties, and special districts. i would do my utmost to return authority and decisionmaking to local communities where it's closer to the people. and then finally one thing i wouldn't do to compound our budget defense and our tax unfairness, i wouldn't totally eliminate the capital gains tax which my opponent, meg whitman, wants to do. that benefit mostly millionaires and billionaires and would add $5 billion to $10 billion to our budget deficit, and a lot of that money would have to come from public schools. i don't believe that's right. >> ms. whitman, i think this is
the first time for rebuttal time. >> right, thank you. jerry brown's just wrong about this. the capital gains tax, the tax that he likes so much is a tax on jobs, it's a tax on job creators, and it's a tack on investment. and we compete with other states. three other states, washington, washington, texas, and nevada have no capital gains tax. if we eliminate this tax -- capital gains tack, what you'll see is more jobs, more businesses, more tax revenues, so we can invest in the things that we really want to invest in. we are not competitive with neighboring states. and to the recovery effort that i have planned, tax cuts are a big part of it. >> and you have 30 seconds for a followup. >> well, first of all, 82% of the benefit this tax break will go to people making $500,000 a year, and there's not one guarantee they'll spend that money in california. and ms. whitman, i'd like to ask you, how much money will you
save if this tax break was in effect this year or last year? [ applause ] >> so, you know what? i'm an investor, and investors will benefit from this. but so will job creators. and i was a job creator. and you know what, we have got to get someone in office who knows what the conditions are for small businesses to grow and thrive. my track record is creating jobs. my business is creating jobs. your business is politics. you've been doing this for 40 years. [ applause ] >> and you have been part of a war -- of the war on jobs in this state for 40 years. you've increased regulations, you've increased taxes, and you've made it more difficult for small businesses to grow and thrive here. >> by the way, i have to say, those last three statements are demonstrably false, pointed out by the hometown newspaper, "san jose mercury" and my newspaper, jobs were 4.9 million, by the way, regulations, i haven't been in the state government in
sacramento as governor for 28 years. there have been three republicans and one governor. if there are more regulations which there are, you can call those people to account. >> mr. brown, let me move on to another subject if i can. [ applause ] >> so i -- tom? i got to answer that if it's all right. >> that's okay. >> so you know what you just heard is a classic politician's answer. it's a half answer, and, therefore, a dishonest answer. jerry brown talk about having created all these jobs when he was governor. but the fact is unemployment nearly doubled to what was then a record 11%. there were 400,000 more californians without a job at the end of his term than at the beginning of the term. and that's the kind of half answer that -- that's the reason that people don't trust politicians. and spending went up 520% during your -- and by the way, deficit went from a $6 billion surplus to a $1 billion budget deficit. that's the record, and you need to be accountable for that
record. >> i've got to say two points. because this -- talk about half answers. your story on pentagons is a big half answer. i'll get to that later. look, we have something called a business cycle. and i'm going to presume you as a businesswoman know about the business cycle. we get booms and we get busts. in the recessionary period, unemployment goes up. we've come back, seven time since world war ii we've been in recession and always come back. we did create new jobs. yes, we're in a recession. two years later, california was booming again, as we will. if we make the tough decisions and live within our means. >> this is an opportunity for me to engage in something called a fact check. i looked up the numbers, at the end of mr. brown's term as governor of california, it was in the middle of the ronald reagan recession. and there were four republican states, illinois, ohio, michigan, and -- or indiana and tennessee, all had republican governors and higher unemployment rates at that time
because of the recession, so you have information on that. we've been through a torturous process in the state of california, took 100 days for the legislature and governor for everyone to reach a budget of smoke and mirrors. they say that they balanced the budget in some fashion, but the numbers simply don't hold up. you have said that the process is the plan. you have outlioned something very similar to what they just went through to try to get to a balanced budget. so hasn't the experience of the last 100 days in sacramento undermined any authenticity to the plan that you want to put forward to the voters of california? >> okay, tom, that's a very good question. i'll tell you why it's different. first of all, i don't have to learn on the job. i've done eight budget. four were absolutely on time. and a couple were a few days late. but i've done this before. what my plan is is not to have the governor present a budget in january, then everybody sit around until june, then they get
serious around august and september. i'm talking about two week after the election. i believe the next governor should call all 120 legislators into the room, into the wherever you can get it big enough, and start going over this budget in detail. then i want to bring in the special interest groups, and i want to work on a budget analysis and workout plan in november, december, and january. i want to take it on the road. i want to go to los angeles and san diego. you said earlier the people think -- have certain ideas about the budget. may or may not be true. i think we have to articulate in a very clear way what is california government. what do we want in our schools, in our prisons, in our highways, in our waterworks. i think that intensive conversation, not the 4,000 bills, not the fundraising, not all the gimmicks and perks that we see in sacramento, that's status quo. i want something entirely different. and i also want to start at the top. i want to see the governor cut 10% to 15% out of his budget and
then the legislature. and i have a number of cuts that if we have the time i'll outline them. >> ms. whitman, looking at the budget passed in your first 100 days, what alterations would you like to make in the budget that you're about to be handed if you are elected governor of the state of california? >> well, the next governor had to have a plan. you're exactly right, attorney general brown said the process is the plan. if you like the process that we have in sacramento, if you think this is working for californians, then you should elect jerry brown because if he goes to sacramento, it will be the same old, same old. what i bring is a fresh approach and a very detailed plan that will engage the legislature with. and by the way, you know, when governor brown says he's going to start by cutting 10% to 15% of the governor's budget, do you know how much the governor's budget is? >> yeah. it's a lot bigger when than when i was there -- >> no. the budget -- the governor's office budget is $18 million. if he cuts 15% out of the budget, he's going to save $2.7 million.
which is less than .01% of the $20 billion budget deficit that we face. if that is your plan for fixing the budget, we have really big problems ahead of us. i've got a very detailed plan. i think that's part of leadership. you have to say what you think is the plan to get californians back on track. and then we've got to engage the legislature, we've got to make sure that you have the right appointments. but the governor has got to have a plan and a way forward. if you don't know which way you're going, any road will take you there. and that is the problem with the dysfunctional government that we have in california today. we need a fresh approach, a different aproesh, and i've got 30 years of experience in balancing budgets, in using technology. you know what's great about silicon valley? when we have a problem we can't solve, we figure out how to go after it. you go around it, you go underneath it, you figure it out using technology in. sacramento, they hunker down and just do the same thing over and over again, and it's not going to work in the future. >> thank you, ms. whitman.
mr. brown, let me move on to another subject -- >> may i respond? i know what the budget of the governor is. it was a fraction of what it is today when i was governor. here the point -- i want -- here's the point. i want those in power who are at the top to lead by example. i want to see them feel some pain and sacrifice. if you don't lead from the top, it's hard to ask those below you to do things. by the way, she doesn't have a detailed plan. she said $14 billion in cut, doesn't say what they are. 40,000 people, doesn't say who, where, what departments. by the way, you got to get the legislature on board or nothing happens. >> ms. brown, let me -- [ applause ] >> let me come to you with the 100,000-pound gorilla in the room, public pension programs. california is being compared to greece in a lot of sectors because of the amount of money that they're paying for public pentagons. you have 12,000 state employees who are making more than $100,000 a year in retirement.
3,000 teachers who are earning more than $100,000 in retirement. any reform of the pentagon program, what is the role of current pensioners? should they be required to start cutting become on the amount of money that they feel obligated to receive? >> okay. very interesting issue. the pension reform. and i have a very detailed pension reform plan that you can go to jerrybrown.org and see it. everyone has got to face facts. the pensions are only paid by the stock market, by the employer, and by the employee. you asked about existing employees. they can contribute more to their pension. you can increase the amount of money contributing, and that is the quickest way to inject money into the pensions. the problem is that our pentagon systems have been telling the politicians that you can keep expanding it. and expanded quite a lot. when i left the governorship in '82, i put in the budget act get
a two-tier pentagon system as soon as possible. they ignored -- pension system as soon as possible. they ignored that. we have to bargain collectively, and you sit down with the labor groups, as arnold has. he's already gotten significant concessions. there is more coming. it's based on actuarial data. what will the stock market give us, what can we expect and, therefore, what is made up by the employer or employee. if the employees don't kick in, then the employer will have to lay people off or reduce wages in order to pay it. and i think a knowledgeable governor can get the kind of pentagon compromises that the -- pension compromises that the actuarial numbers require. i pledge here that i will do precisely that. >> does that mean in your judgment, any whitman, that those who are receiving these pensions now are taken off the table? >> the existing pensioners we can't touch. they struck a deal. they are retired. they need to have what -- what they have earned. but you know, you got to listen to what jerry brown says. it's a little bit do as i say not as i do. when you look at oakland, when
he was mayor, the highest paid city manager in practically the country before bell was his city manager. there were 1,100 employees who make over $100,000. and the number of employees who made $200,000 had gone up by 740%. so we have got to take this on. and here's the problem with the existing pension system. if you're a rank and file civil servant today, you can retire at 55 years old with much of your salary and much of your health care benefit until the day you die. i bet virtually no one in the audience tonight has anywhere near that kind of deal. and that pentagon, that lavish pension -- and that pension, that lavish pension benefit is squeezing out other things we care about. fees have gone up at the university of california by 32%. and at csu. the reason is that the pensions have gotten so big for all the faculty and staff that it's squeezing out the students. if we do not resolve this pentagon issue, it is going to -- this pension issue, it is
going to cause california to run out of money. to give you perspective, in 2000 we spent about $300 million a year supporting the public pensions. today it's $3.9 billion. and new people, new employees have got to come in under a different deal. a 401(k)-style program for rank and file. for civil servants, those who carry guns and defend our people every single day, i think they need to stay on a defined benefit program. but the rank and file's deal had got to be entirely different because we can't afford $3.9 billion every year on its way to $4.5 billion or $6 billion. >> ms. whitman, let me follow one another question if i may. i was looking at the retirement program in the city of los angeles where they have 31 fire and police officers primarily who have retired on pensions of -- from $265,000 to $150,000, by the way, a four-star american army general retires at a number lower than that, at around
$149,000. the city of los angeles within four years will be on the hook for $2 billion in the pension programs. that cost will come to sacramento at some point. should there be a state law as well that overseas municipality and the county governments and pension programs they have. >> here's where the governor needs to exercise true leadership because you're right, 1/3 of the city of los angeles budget could go to support the pension benefits. as i said earlier ewe've got a $ -- earlier, we've got a $60 million to $100 million pension liability at the state. what the governor negotiates with the unions sets the table for the rest of the unions in california. here's a big difference between me and jerry brown. jerry brown is beholden to these public employee unions. they have paid for his kbientir campaign and going toward attack ads again me. i am sweng my own money in the race, but it gives me the independence to go to
sacramento. i will not owe anything to anybody except to the voters of california, and i'll have the independence to take on this serious problem. because we've got to find a solution that's fair to government workers, but also fair to the hard-working taxpayers of california, and i don't think anyone thinks it's fair for people to retire at $250,000 to $300,000 a year when a four-star general retires at a fraction of that. >> ms. whitman, i was asking -- [ applause ] >> we're doing pretty well on time, we have to keep tracks of the lights that will regulate where we are. mr. brown, you get a chance to respond respond. >> yeah, go to the "oakland tribune" with comments about where what i did or didn't do in oakland are refuted. as they make the point that she distorts the facts. by the way, the woman i appointed actually got a lower salary than the mayor that was there before who was appointed by the previous mayor, who i happened to fire. by the way, there's one unexplained elephant in the room here. ms. whitman says she's going to
exempt fire and police from her pentagon reform, and they're 25% of the entire pension cost. i say everyone has got to sacrifice whatever union they're in, whatever service, and we have to make it fair to the workers, fair to the taxpayers, and actuarially sound, and i will do that. [ applause ] >> let me answer that, if you wouldn't mind. i did not exempt public safety from pension reform. we have to take the age from 50 years old to 55 for retirement, vesting periods have to extend. the public safety individuals will have to contribute to more to their requirement. but i do think public safety officials have earned a defined benefit program. i'm not exempting the public safety part this at all. one of the biggest levers the governor has is the number of people who work for the state. and that number has natured by 33,000 -- its increased by 33,000 over the past five years when the revenues of the state were about where they are today. we have a government we can no longer afford. we have to shrink the size of
government to make california stronger to get us back on track. >> mr. brown, you did attempt to reach out to the police union. the telephone message was left on. it's now a notorious part of this campaign in which somebody in your campaign referred to ms. whitman as a whore. a campaign spokesman then described that as salty language and apologized after a fashion. we've heard no outrage to you on the use of language which to many women is the same as calling an african-american the "n" word. have you been this charge of the investigation of your campaign to find out who is responsible for using that phrase? >> i don't agree with that comparison, number one. number two, this is a five-week-old, private conversation picked up on a cell phone with a garbled transmission, very hard to detect who it is. this is not -- i don't want to get into the term and how it's used. but i will say the campaign apologized promptly, and i affirm that apology tonight. >> you're repeating it to ms.
whitman? >> yes, i am. i -- it's unfortunate, i'm sorry it happened. i apologize. >> so jerry, it's not just me, it's the people of california who deserve better than slurs and personal attacks. that's not what california is about. it is not our better selves. and i think people know exactly -- i think every californian and especially women know exactly what's going on here. and that is a deeply offensive term to women. >> could i interject? have you chastised your chairman, pete wilson, who called the congress whores to the public sector unions? >> you know better than that, jerry. that's a completely different thing. the fact that are you defending your campaign, the fact that you are defending your campaign for a slur and, you know, a personal attack on me, i think it's not befitting of california, it's not befitting of the office that you're running for. >> it's unfortunate. private conversation, i'm not even sure it's legal because you have to get the consent of all
the parties, and there's lots of people talking. i, again, ms. whitman, am sorry it happened. that does not represent anything other than things that happen in a campaign. the issue there, of course, is pension reform, and the fact you got the endorsement of that union, i didn't because they said i'd be too tough on unions and public employee pensions. i'll take that. >> so that's actually -- [ applause ] >> so -- >> can i ask the audience, plea, we have a lot of things that we have to cover here. we'd like it not to be quite as demonstrative as you are. i know it's sometimes hard to contain yoursz. >> i got that endorsement because that union knows that i will be tough on crime. and jerry brown has a 40-year record of being soft on crime. he appointed judges who were recalled by the voters, rose byrd being the best example, who was simply not fit to be a judge. he is against the death penalty. that union knew exactly where i stood on pensions because i put out a detailed plan in march of
this year. that decision was made in late summer. they said that i will be a better defender of the death penalty, of three strikes and you're out, that i will be the friend of law enforcement, and that's why i got that endorsement. [ applause ] >> well, very briefly, i've received the endorsement of the california police chiefs, the largest organization of the management, the police chiefs in california. also porac and several deputy sheriff's organizations and sheriff lee baca. they know i'm tough on crime, tough on three strikes. and yes, i've defended the death penalty as attorney general hundred of times. probably more than anyone else in the state or perhaps even the country. >> ms. whitman, let me now move to another subject if i can. the contest between av-32 and proposition 23. av-32 would roll back carbon levels to the 1990 levels by 2020. it is supported by governor schwarzenegger and by former
secretary of the treasury, former secretary of state george shultz, one of the most distinguished californians. you at first said it was a job killer. then you said you would suspend it for a year and examine it. are you saying that george shultz is wrong when he claims that proposition 23 will kill a bill that will actually create green jobs for the state of california? >> let me tell you where i stand on all of this. so first of all, ab-32 of the law that was signed into existence in 2006. and the notion was could we lead the environmental movement in the united states, stimulate green jobs, and that was the plan. however, today we have a 12.4% unemployment rate. and here's what people really need to understand is that today only 3% of our jobs are green jobs, and 97% of jobs are in the other part of the economy. and ab-32 is going to do real
damage to the 97% of the jobs in the rest of the economy. it's not fair to the employees in manufacturing, trucking, packaging, all the other industries, to drive those jobs out of state. so i call for a one-year moratorium on ab-32 which, by the way, was built into that law. there is a provision to freeze it and then fix. that's what i want to do. i want to freeze the implementation for a year and fix to see if we can't nurture green jobs but at the same time not drive 97% of the other economy out of the state. so that's my plan. with regard to prop 23, that would have effectively eliminated ab-3 2. i said i didn't support that because i thought a one-year moratorium on the implementation was a better way to go. that's where i stand on all of that. we can be green and smart, but we cannot jeopardize the unemployment -- the jobs of people who are working so hard and barely making it today because we have $2. -- 2.3 million californians who wake up
without a job. that has to be our first priority, to keep jobs in california and keep people employed. >> what's wrong with the one-year moratorium on ab live 32? >> it's turning the clock back, stop and start, creates regulatory uncertainty. the california resources board has adopted as a goal for california a requirement that 1/3 of our electricity use be from renewable energy. i have a plan that reaches that goal. 20,000 megawatts by 2020. when you stop that requirement as she's advocating, you create uncertainty. you create doubt for investors. secondly, another part of ab-32 is the low carbon fuel standard. that incentivizes biofuels and other substitutes for oil. and that -- we don't want to pull that incentive back. by the way, the people who are crying are two oil companies in texas and a big conglomerate, a petrochemical conglomerate. they're putting up the money. they don't want to deal with it.
one said, my god, they're going to use less oil in california. you bet. we're going to use more california sun and more california wind. and we'll get it done. [ applause ] >> let me answer that for just a second because he didn't answer the question that you asked which is what is he going do about the 97% of the jobs that are going to be hurt by ab-32. there was a provision in this law which was such the right provision. in times of economic durr is when we have so many -- duress when we have so many fellow citizen without a job. i was in lancaster, california, the other day. a woman came up to me in tears saying that her husband had just lost his job. they were not sure they would be able to hang on to his house. he's a trucker. truckers are going to be hurt by this. what's wrong with taking a pause, what's wrong with being smart and green and protecting the 97% of the employees who are very vulnerable to just a blind implementation of this bill? >> there's no credible -- [ applause ] >> wait. there's no credible study that
says 90% of the rest of the economy is going to be hurt. that's silly. that was a phony economic study that came out of sacramento state. it's been thoroughly debunked. yes, the oil companies are screaming. let me tell you, if you put thousands of people to work, retrofitting buildings so they don't burn as much energy, that will put people to work here. it will save money to consumers. and whether i was governor, i -- and when i was governor, i adopted fuel efficiency standards. over the last 30 years, it saved californians $50 billion, and it's created one million jobs. i want to do that again. [ applause ] >> i want to move to another area if we can. i want to move to another area if i can now. mr. brown, what has been the role of the teachers union in the state of education in california currently? >> what the role is is a very important role is since they represent across free elections hundreds of thousands of teachers in california classrooms. and they're a very strong advocate for more money for schools. that's important, particularly when you have people like meg
whitman coming around wanting to cut the capital gains tack and put a $5 billion home which a certain amount of that will come from the schools. the teachers are a powerful union. arnold schwarzenegger learned that. and i say you don't go to war with all the major elements. she's raised $30 million from people who will benefit from a capital gains tax. yes, i'm getting support from unions as well as business. you have to be tough. when i was governor, right issed the pay raises -- i vetoed the pay raises of all the state employees, not once but twice. i said we better have a two-tier pentagon system 28 years ago. i'm independent. at this stage i feel i've got what it takes to do the right thing, to work with people, but to stand up when they resist thing that we need for california. >> i think jerry brown needs to campaign more. every stop i have, two, three, four every week, every day i hear a story about someone who is in jeopardy of losing their
job because of ab-32. so i promise you we have to protect the every single job. i want to fight for every job in california. let me turn to the california teachers association. we have a mess on our hands in our k-through-12 public education system. we are rated almost at the bottom of all 50 states. you know who is part of the problem, not part of the solution? the bosses of the california teachers association. we have got to fundamentally change how we do things. we've got to have more charter schools. we have to pay the better teachers more. we've got to grade every single public school. and the teachers union fights change every step of the way. you know, there's a parent teacher association, there's a california teachers association, there's no kid association. and i want to defend the children. i want to have the very best public school system in america. and we're going to have to make radical changes. [ applause ] >> ms. whitman, this brings me
to something else. it's well-known that you're spending $120 million at least of your own fortune on this campaign. it's money that you earned, and you have -- absolutely a legal right to spend it in this campaign. but i think people wonder if you were so interested in the state of california, why you didn't vote all those years or get involved in state commissions or in other parts of public life. is there something about how you have used your fortune for the good of california and other causes that we don't know, that you would like to share with us tonight? >> well, let me talk about voting because i have a lot to say on that. and i am not proud of my voting record. it was wrong. and i take full accountability and full responsible for if. and i apologize to the people -- for it. and i apologize to the people of california. you're right to look at that. every candidate is a package of strengths and weaknesses, but i think i have a lot to offer california. the reason that i have invested my own money in this is because
i think we can make california much stronger. i think we can revive the california dream for every single californian. but i'm up against some pretty big entrenched interests. the public employee unions have poured money into this campaign. over the last four or five years, they've poured $300 million to control milk in sacramento. and that -- control mix in sacramento. and that expenditure of money allows me to be independent,ing to to sacramento with no strings attached. if jerry brown get to be governor this state, there will be a meeting. he talk about bringing people together. there will be a meeting of all the union bosses who are there to collect the ious for them having funned jerry brown's entire campaign. and so that ability to invest my own money does allow me independence. yes, of course there's a family foundation that support higher education and health care, but my focus right now is turning the state of california around. i bring expertise from the private sector, i know how to
balance budgets. i could bring a common sense approach from the real world. and this was always supposed to be a citizen democracy that you would be anchored in the real world, having faced challenges from what the government, and that's what i bring to this race. [ applause ] >> first of all, my entire campaign has been supported by many businesses and many individual. in fact, we've raised $2 million on the internet alone. in addition, any whitman in addition to $ -- ms. whitman, in addition to her $121 million, she's raised $30 million from the corporate executives who will benefit correctly from her key economic plank, ton invest but to take money from schools, invest in her rich campaign contributors. that's the fact i think people ought to take into account. secondly, i have stood up to teachers unions. as a matter of fact, when i ran for attorney general, the california teachers association supported my opponent in the
primary. as mayor of oakland, i created two charter schools. one the oakland school for the arts, and one the oakland military institute. they're both doing quite well. as a matter of fact, my family founding put in $1.1 million in these charter schools because they needed the money. and i've learned a lot about how schools work, and i appreciate charter schools. but i also appreciate the fact that 95 percent% of the kids go to regular schools. that's where we've got to put our attention, not by changing the numerical grade to a letter grade, but by recruiting the best teachers, taking control from sacramento, moving it to the districts and teachers, letting the people closest to the students have the power and authority to make the tough teaching decisions. [ applause ] >> mr. brown just said something that he knows is not true. i have never said i want to cut spending on education. i want to continue to invest in education. i do have a different plan on
how we spend the money that we spend every year. of all the money spent, $70 billion, only 60 cents of every dollar goes to the classroom, 40% goes to the bureaucracy. we are force feeding stops feed the bureaucracy. that's why the next governor cannot be beholden to the california teachers association because they want to protect the bureaucracy. the number-two contributor to jerry brown's independent expenditures attacking me is the california teachers association. >> let me move on because we're beginning to counsel down here on the -- to count down on the clock. there were a couple unresolved questions. ms. whim, you said that businesses and households out to be held accountable for employing undocumented workers as they're called in california. at the same time you said that businesses, three strikes and you're out, you lose your business license. then you discovered that you had an undocumented worker with apparently what was very good documents that she had, and worked for you for nine years.
if you couldn't find someone in your home of undocumented or illegal, how do you expect businesses to be able to do that? [ applause ] >> so we went through an employment agency. we looked at three forms of identification. our housekeeper falsified those documents and came to admit it nine years later. it broke my heart. but i had to fire her. i had to let her go. but this is why we need a very good e-verify system that allows a business of every size to look at the document and know whether it is real or not. we have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers. illegal immigration is a huge challenge in california. estimates are that $6 billion to $7 billion of the budget goes to services for illegal immigrants. and we have got to get our arms around this challenge. so what i want to do is secure the border, the border patrol agents need more resources. more border patrol, more infrom
red and motion detector technology. hold employers accountable, eliminate sanctuary cities, and finally, we have to have a temporary guest worker program that allows people to be here on a temporary basis and work in different industries, where there's agriculture or hospitality. but i've been clear from the beginning that i didn't think the arizona law was right for california. it was divisive, it will be caught up in the courts, but we have to solve this problem. it is one of the major challenges facing california. i think i've got a great plan to do it. [ applause ] >> mr. brown? you're the chief law enforcement officer in california. why should not businesses be held responsible for the hiring of undocumented workers and pay a penalty if they continue to do it? >> this is good, but this is a federal government responsibility under our constitution. and almost every police chief i know does not want to be in the business of raiding businesses. that's what the immigration
service is for. i as attorney general have signed agreements with the federal government so that those illegal immigrants who are arrested, that their fingerprints are sent back to washington through my office. if they're illegal, they're made subject to deportation. the biggest problem is we have millions of people that are here illegally in the country and in california. they're in the shadows. what are we going to do about it? i mean, is she going to deport them, are we going to leave them there? we need a comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. i strongly support that. without a pass to citizenship you have people here ten years, kids going to schools and have not broken laws. we need to think about this carefully not just from a political point of view but from a human point of view. these are mothers, dads, kids, and they have this fear, the fear that her housekeeper had. by the way, i don't want to get into that because it's a sorry
tale there. after working for nine years, she didn't even get her a lawyer. at least i could tell you that could be done. look, the other thing i wanted to say is about the temporary workers for the farmers. that sound like the old program. what the farmers want and what the people want is temporary workers who if they do right by their employer, they can get a path to citizenship. she says no to that, and that's basically treating poem from mexico -- bringing people in, work them, send them back. i don't think that's human. i don't think that's right. [ applause ] >> let me move to another dimension of the whole issue of the relationship between california and mexico. mexico is in a state of near anarchy because of drug violence. and a lot of the blame is always focused only on mexico. the fact is that the drug violence is a result of the enormous purchasing power of
drugs in states, especially like california. but i've heard neither one of you talk at all about cracking down on illegal drug consumption this california which would go a long way toward helping mexico, our southern neighbor, do something about drug cartel violence. you're the chief law enforcement officer of the state. that has been not a high priority so far as i can tell. >> no, tom, i have to differ with you on that. as part of my department, the department of justice, we have the bureau of narcotic enforcement. and we've had several shakedowns of cartel-inspired drug operations, prison-connected drug operations in salinas, in atwater, in stockton, in the imperial valley. i've been there myself often to see it. it is tough, it is very dangerous. the cartels that are murdering people below our border are beginning to infiltrate not a lot, but the specter is there. and yes, we have gang task
forces called the g-set forces. the legislature cut $5 billion out of that. i found other fund s to restore most of it. i feel strongly that this drug operation connected to the prisons, to make and gang in our own cities is a very high priority. and as attorney general, i've made it a high priority of mine. >> ms. whitman, let me give you a different spin on that. are you opposed to the proposition that would legalize marijuana in california. what would happen if tomorrow marijuana were legalized, licensed, and controlled by the state because it's no secret in the state and across the country people can get it wherever and whenever they want to. >> so i am firmly opposed to proposition 19 which is the legalization of marijuana. i think this is not the right thing for our young people, not the right thing for our community of citizens of california. but don't ask me. ask law enforcement. every single law enforcement official in this entire state is against proposition 19. and i'll make one other comment.
jerry brown says that he is tough on drugs and drug crime, but the narcotics officers association of the -- of california looked at my record. they examined his record, and they have chosen to endorse me because they know i will back up public safety in california. [ applause ] >> and this is one of the biggest differences between me and the attorney general. is our point of view on law enforcement. as i said, jerry brown has been soft on crime for 40 years. he has been against the death penalty, he has appointed judges -- as i mentioned, rose byrd who fought against all 64 cases of capital punishment that came her way, when she was recalled by the voters of california because they didn't like her stance. i think you have to look at the california peace officers association who endorsed me, the cops of the police protective league of los angeles. there's no more front line police organizations than the front line cops in los angeles. and they know i'm going to back them up and be tough on crime.
and fight in california. >> let me ask about another proposition that's been getting attention in california. proposition 8 which would ban gay marriages, in the federal court system. how important is that to california, and to you personally on a scale of one to ten? >> well, i am running for governor of california because we need to do three things. we need to first and foremost jumpstart our economy and get californian back to work. we've got to cut wasteful government spending, and our k through 12 system is a mess. we have to turn it around because we are denying children a chance at a great education. prop 8, personally i was opposed to prop 8. i think the term marriage needs to be between a man and a woman. but i was if favor of the very progressive laws that we have in california. but i think the question is what is the obligation of the attorney general to defend prop 8 which is now part of the constitution of the united states so it can have its day in court. in the ninth circuit court of
appeals and the supreme court. and i think the chief law enforcement officer, the a.g., needs to defend that lawsuit. regardless of what your view is on gay marriage. 52% of the people voted for that constitutional amendment. and they need to have their day in court. it needs to go through the appeals process. thus far, jerry brown has refused to defend that. i think it's dangerous because you can't have a governor or attorney general who makes a decision what part of the constitution they're going to defend and what part of the constitution they're not going to defend. i don't think that's the judgment call we want being made. we've got to have the governor and the attorney general who would defend the constitution of the state of california. >> mr. brown? >> look, i'm following the precedent that prior attorney general followed when he refused to defend a discriminatory initiative. and because i believed that the 14th amendment, which i swear to take an oath to uphold, ban this kind of discrimination against same-sex marriage, i am not
entering the court, and i didn't -- i'm not going to appeal it because it can be appealed by the parties. that will be there. but when something so fundamentally wrong as defined after a long trial, we hear testimony from the pro and the con and the judge said this violates the 14th amendment, i'm not going to be the one to take that up upon and i want to add one more thing on the cops. i've got the police chiefs backing me because they know i'm tough on crime. >> i said -- he's got the police chiefs in his back pocket. >> no. i -- sometimes unaccustomed as i am to politics, i stumble in one of my phrases. i have their backing, not like some of the ones backing you not because of crime but because they know you're not going to be as tough. in fact, one of the endorsing unions said brown is going to be too tough on unions and that's why we're supporting meg
whitman. he put out a press release. i've been a tough attorney general, i supported the three strikes. more than that i want to support reform. since i love the governorship, they -- since i left the governorship, they built 22 prisons. those have been adding to the problem. we need considerable just reform, re-entry, and we need to be tough on crime. >> thank you. we're closing in on the final questions now. let me try and get a couple of quick takes. let me begin with you, mr. brown. what do you think of the job that president obama is doing? and would you like to have him come to california and campaign at your side? >> yes, he's coming to campaign for me. i'm very happy with that. i think in a tough time this man has created stimulus, he helped stabilize our bank. we've got a health care plan that people since harry truman have been trying to get enacted. not perfect. got a lot of work on it. i think he's facing tremendous and unreasoned opposition by a small faction of that republican people in -- in washington.
[ applause ] >> so i think president obama's doing a good job. >> ms. whitman? ms. whitman, a real force if your party is sarah palin. she'll be in california on saturday. she's been the governor of a big western state. are you going seek her advice on what you may do in california after her experience in alaska? >> so sarah palin's coming to california, and she's doing fundraising and a number of other things. and you know what, if she has a real -- she has a real following in the republican party. you know that i have supported other presidential nominees in our party, whether it was john mccain, my long-term friend, mitt romney. that day i'll be out with voters talking about the things that matter to californians. and that is jobs. i promise you if we don't cut taxes, if we don't streamline regulation, there's no way we're ever going to get out of this financial mess. as i said, you know what jobs do? it's -- think about a family for a minute. what a job does is put the family budget back together.
what more jobs in california will do is put the california budget back together. and i just have to say one thing. the notion that jerry brown is going to be tough on unions is just a fairytale. he's been joined at the hip with them for 40 years. >> ms. whitman -- you ran over your time. we're getting to a quick close. we have about two minute left. i want to get from each of you the question that i think is central to california. in the 21st century, does california have to reform its fundamental political structure, referendum, term limits, 2/3 vote on any budget? do you have to go back and build the state politically from the ground up? briefly, any whitman, if you would begin, please. >> i think there is a way forward with some fundamental reforms. and the budget plan that i have is first to increase tax revenues by more companies, more jobs being in california. we've got to get our hands around government spending. we spend more money than we can take if. it's not sustain -- take in. it's not sustainable. there are three reforms i would
be interested in pursuing. first is a two-year budgeting process. the one-year budgeting process doesn't work for us anymore because it doesn't allow you to make the investments that you need. it doesn't allow you to have a long-term perspective. i think we need to -- go t's yellow. >> you're at the red light. >> okay. >> we have less than a minute, jerry. >> all right. i'm going to take the world as i find if i become the next governor. we've got to wrestle this budget to the ground under the existing rules. i hope we get a majority vote for the budget, not for taxes. and another part of my proposal for fixing this budget mess is a pay-as-you-go requirement. any time youpropa bill, tell us -- you propose a bill, tell us how you're going to fund it. i want to say something about unions and businesses. they're all influencers, interest groups, part of the democratic process. i've been in the kitchen. i've taken the heat. i know what it is to say yes and what it is to say no. she's been in the bleacher, looking from the internet company at what's happening in government. i've been in this govent