Hours before his attorneys were scheduled to tussle with prison receiver J. Clark Kelso in front of the Ninth Circuit, Brown said the governor and the Department of Corrections can do an adequate job of caring for inmates.
“You can’t have federal judges in the framework of plaintiff and defendant running a system as complicated … as the prison system,” Brown told a Sacramento gathering of the California Newspaper Association.
The AG was clearly teeing off on a three-judge federal panel that’s preparing to order the release of 55,000 inmates due to overcrowding. He’s also hacked at Senior Judge Thelton Henderson, who’s ready to punish the governor and controller for not forking over big money to Kelso for pricey prison medical care improvements. (The Ninth Circuit stayed Henderson’s contempt order pending today’s hearing in San Francisco).
Court control of prisons, Brown said, “is not a management methodology that works.”
Prison, schmison ... let's take potshots at Gavin Newsom and Gray Davis! After the jump:
Brown’s remarks were part of a free-wheeling conversation with L.A. Times editorial page editor Jim Newton. The veteran politician seemed at times like a historian revisiting his days as governor and then a philosophizing economics professor analyzing the country’s economic troubles.
He admitted, not surprisingly, that he’s thinking of running for governor and bragged about the size of his campaign account and low cash-burn rate: “In my spare time at night I do a little plotting.”
Brown said his former chief of staff, Gray Davis, picked out his infamous 1974 blue Plymouth. “It was one of his many bad choices.”
He questioned America’s obsession with consumption and said he chastised his wife for calling her 1994 Lexus old: “I said the hell it is. That car’s got lots of years left. I guess that was an unpatriotic act.”
He said he’s more pragmatic nowadays, noting his support for a military academy in Oakland: “I’m not into ethereal any more.” A politician is better off making sure that schools are good and potholes get filled, he added. “All that’s good stuff that keeps your poll ratings in the low 70s.”
— Cheryl Miller