Where's Jerry? is the question on many lips around the capital and the state these days. You remember Jerry, the Jesuit educated, zen practicing, feisty, progressive, anti-death penalty, crusading young Governor of 1970's California? Governor Moonbeam - THAT guy! According to an article in the June 22, 2013 edition of the Atlantic
, he's "morphed into a 21st century version of a 1950s Southern governor." That mellow dude has been reincarnated as George Wallace! Could that really be?
His latest power move is to defy the Federal courts who have ordered, ordered, mind you, that Jerry Brown comply with an earlier order to reduce prison overcrowding to just 137.5% (!) of capacity, by taking several steps outlined by the court. Jerry dumped a bunch of prisoners back into County jails, ridding himself of part of the problem while overburdening already cash strapped counties, but that seems to be the extent of his efforts.
Now the court is really pissed off and has added additional steps to reduce that overcrowding in an order of 6/20/13
or they will haul his sorry ass into court for contempt. Yet the new Jerry Brown, the one who has stolen old Jerry's soul and replaced it with a lump of anthracite, continues his tough stance ignoring the prison crisis and the court's order. Why? Could it be that new Jerry is a politician where old Jerry was a mensch. New Jerry started to rise from the ashes of the old back when he was Mayor of Oakland, started a military academy, and later, as Attorney General, restarted capital punishment, despite supposedly still being opposed to it personally. Politics? He was actively pursuing a bid to become governor once more at the time.
I first noticed the new Jerry when Prop. 66 was on the ballot, the first attempt to undo some of the draconian and unintended consequences of the Three Strikes law, and I got a robo call from then Mayor Jerry, warming me that killers and rapists would be set loose to murder me in my bed if I voted for this law.
I was outraged, not by the prospect of murderers and rapists but by the transformation of Jerry Brown into new Jerry, tough on crime Jerry, the political animal Jerry. So I ask, where is Jesuit Jerry, zen Jerry? Or maybe the question should be "what is sound of one Governor calculating?"