And the Winner of the Final Brown/Whitman Debate Is. . .

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Tom Brokaw. Man, why can’t this guy run for governor? Taking a break for his documentary gig to moderate the final Brown/Whitman debate, Brokaw outdid both candidates in cutting to the heart of the state’s problems. He asked what Californians can do for California, if anything, and what they thought of polls showing that the state’s voters were “utterly unrealistic” about what can be cut from government spending without affecting services. He asked whether Proposition 13 was a “sacred cow” or a “boulder in the road” to reform. And he wrapped up by wondering if the candidates supported any structural reforms such as major changes to California’s dysfunctional constitution. He didn’t get many straight answers. But he did straighten out Republican Meg Whitman at one point by fact-checking her claim that Brown had caused job losses while governing California in the ’70s. (The national recession was to blame, Brokaw noted; Western states run by Republicans at the time had also lost jobs). It’s nice to find somebody with enough perspective to see that the real story behind this race is the death of the California Dream. Too bad the state’s electoral politics aren’t really set up to discuss how to revive it.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate