July 02, 2002
Kuff beats the Chron to the punch

On Sunday, Chron political columnist Clay Robison wrote about politicians who campaign on the promise to "run government like a business".

It was amusing last week to hear Sanchez, the Democratic outsider, vowing to "scrub" the budget and Perry, the Republican governmental veteran, defending state spending and insisting that Sanchez didn't know what he was talking about.

Which is pretty much the sentiment that I expressed on Wednesday. You read it here first!

(OK, so Robison's column only runs on Sundays. Sue me.)

Robison also throws rocks at Tony Sanchez's idea that "scrubbing" the budget will magically solve our looming multibillion dollar deficit. It's a pretty nice fantasy, the idea that, essentially, if we root around the government's seat cushions we'll find enough dropped change to make us solvent without having to make any unpopular choices. Anyone remember the Grace Commission, which was supposed to help Ronald Reagan balance the federal budget by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse"? Or maybe the liberal-fantasy movie Dave, in which Kevin Kline's accountant friend balances the federal budget, and they pass a full-employment bill after the Prez kicks the bucket? Each had about the same level or realism.

I've started to wonder just what issues Sanchez will campaign on. As Robison notes, the "run government like a business" claim is even dicier these days. The other article I linked says he's going to attack Perry for the bills he vetoed last year. Perry got a lot of criticism for that, so maybe there's some traction there. I haven't watched much TV since the various season finales, so I haven't seen any recent ads. I have to say, though, I'm getting more worried about Sanchez's ability to win. He's easily the weakest part of the "Dream Team", and if he doesn't at least boost turnout among likely Democratic voters, we can look forward to four more years of GOP domination of the state.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 02, 2002 to Election 2002