"Jerry Brown's trip to China: What's your take on the value of the trade mission? And did those who financed the trip get their face time?"
As someone who's actually helped set up trade missions for governors, and traveled on them, they're almost always a mixed bag. Usually, it's a combination of hype, meaningless protocol gestures, and some legitimate business deals. In Brown's case, the highlight might have been asking Yao Ming if he'd ever been injured.
It's good for Jerry to get out of Sac. And Gavin got to be acting governor!
When Governor Muscles went to Asia on a trade mission, Senator Noreen Evans said the Governor was on “a junket with special interests.” (LA Times, 9/9/10) Was this Governor’s trip a “junket with special interests” and, if so, where were the tough questions from “watchdogs,” the media and leading Democrats?
The Governor was right to do the people's work on someone else's dime. Although the press generally gives this governor a pass, the "who paid for it" stories would have been worse if the trip were taxpayer-funded.
Photo opps. Giant meetings. This isn't the way business gets done. But it makes headlines and solidifies relationships. Jerry Brown isn't a schmoozer, and it makes no difference whether that's in Sacramento or Beijing. Anybody hoping to get special treatment was probably disappointed."
Governor Brown is spending more time looking at things other than California finances. It is a sign of a change in his priorities.
Trade missions are valuable but they should be publicly paid, not financed by interests lobbying the governor. The public benefits from trade and business development, and the public should pick up the tab. The most interesting thing about the trip: After chatting with his business underwriters, Brown said CEQA reform may not come until next year. Hmmmm. So much for face time with the governor.
Zero value to the state unless he gets free repairs done on their shoddy bridge work. Lots of face time for lobbyists, but he's so unpredictable it doesn't really matter.
Those who financed the trip? I hope they had fun watching the Governor hang with his fellow big government control, anti-small business types. We are watching California's major players (Google and Union Bank for instance) hire more people out of state and we don't count that as lost jobs. And he goes to China. Wow.
Across the Pacific in a plane alone with Jerry Brown? This is bravery that deserves medals.
Ed's Note: Those from whom we sought opinions include Andrew Acosta, Elizabeth Ashford, Hector Barajas, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Richard Costigan, Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Tom Gede, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Gale Kaufman, Jason Kinney, Dave Lesher, Elizabeth Leslie, Chris Lehane, Greg Lucas, Donna Lucas, Mike Madrid, Aaron McLear, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio, Adam Mendelsohn, Jacob Mejia, Beth Miller, Paul Mitchell , Barbara O’Connor, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Matt Rexroad, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Ben Tulchin, Angie Wei, Scott Wetch.