California Attorney General Jerry Brown seems to be getting a lot of reminders from his gubernatorial challengers Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman about his failed governorship of the state from 1975-1983 when Californian’s endured high unemployment, home foreclosures, large scale labor strikes and fuel shortages at the gas station. Recognizing the failed policies of then Governor Brown, California voters revolted and passed Proposition 13 which is a landmark initiative that limited politician’s ability to arbitrarily raise taxes on California residents.
Over a week ago, Attorney General Jerry Brown got yet another reminder, this time coming from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The report “Follow the Money: ACORN, SEIU and their Political Allies” focuses public attention on AG Brown’s failed investigation of ACORN. While some of Brown’s gubernatorial challengers talk of the need for a California Governor to have a spine of steel, AG Brown has instead crumpled like an aluminum can cowardly hiding behind state bureaucrats and a wall of state agencies.
On October 1, 2009, Jerry Brown publicly announced that an investigation had been opened concerning undercover videos that were obtained by citizen journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles who videotaped ACORN employees at two California offices. ACORN employees were filmed providing advice regarding tax evasion, prostitution and human smuggling of underage girls. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was informed by AG Brown in a letter that he had “opened an investigation of both ACORN and the circumstances under which ACORN employees were videotaped.” Since that announcement, AG Brown has found himself at the center of a controversy surrounding the mismanagement of the investigation as well as a potential scandal due to a double standard involving one of his own state employees secretly recording conversations with reporters.
Shortly after ACORN had been alerted to the immanent investigation as a result of AG Brown’s public announcement, ACORN employees at the San Diego, CA office were caught engaging in a massive document dump on October 9, 2009. Those records were retrieved from an unsecured shared public dumpster where they had been thrown revealing sensitive personal, financial and banking information for both clients and employees in addition to revelations about the political inner workings of ACORN’s relationship with major U.S. banks and labor unions.