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Jerry's New Strategy: Call 'em Names!

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Jerry's New Strategy: Call 'em Names!

DePauw University

Gil Duran, press secretary to California Gov. Jerry Brown.

 More confusion in the capitol. What to do now.

With the governor’s unprecedented veto of the state budget, there is a question as to whether the legislature should start the process all over again, or keep it and pray for a miracle.

That miracle, of course, would be Republicans agreeing to an extension of hikes in sales and income taxes, as well as vehicle license fees (which expire at the end of the month).

Governor Brown needs two GOP votes in the state Assembly and Senate to send the issue to voters.

How to get those votes remains the governor’s proverbial Gordian Knot...which just got a little tighter thanks to Mr. Brown’s chief spokesman, Gil Duran.

In a recent radio interview Duran apparently denounced GOP legislators calling them "basically moronic".

He then went on to call them stupid, at least when it came to drafting the reforms they insist should also go before voters.

"They aren’t smart enough to write reforms", Duran told KPCC radio in Pasadena. "They don’t know the first thing about the details of reforms. We have to do the work. Those are our reforms."

It is unclear how this is going to help.

I asked Brown during his last news conference about the wisdom of playing hardball with Republicans while trying to persuade them.

Mr. Brown, who has more experience at this sort of thing than any living politician in California, admitted it wasn’t easy.

Perhaps Duran’s comments were part of the balance, with diplomacy being practiced at the higher level while the name-calling is handled by subordinates.

It is clear that Duran is frustrated, like so many others within the majority party and the Governor’s staff.

But that is no excuse.

Who was it who said "if you can’t answer a man’s arguments, all is not lost: you can still call him names."

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