Gubernatorial Candidates Differ On Student Issues

For the next month, Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman will be fighting for the student vote in the California gubernatorial election. In this article, the Foghorn intends to dissect these two candidates, revealing their stances on issues that relate to USF students. Thus, when voting day arrives, students can make the most informed decision about which candidate will represent the student voice at USF the best.

Brown and Whitman come from very different backgrounds. Brown has served as a public official nearly continuously since 1975, when he was elected governor of California. After serving two terms as governor, Brown ran for the United States Senate, but lost. He was then elected Mayor of Oakland. Finally, in 2006, he was elected Attorney General of California. Whitman’s resume consists entirely of business experience. She has never held a public office, but spent the majority of the last decade as the CEO of eBay. She has also been an executive at Disney Inc. Her decision to run for Governor, as cited on her website, relates to her desire to fix the California economy using her skills as a national leader in big business.

As far as issues go, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have staunchly different beliefs. Brown’s resume for education reform in California is vast: he founded two public charter schools in Oakland while Mayor and increased funding for teacher training and Cal Grants as governor, among many other accomplishments. Now, he has formulated new plans for education reform including: more funding for community colleges and the consolidation of funding for public education by restructuring how money is distributed to local governments.  This reconstruction, he believes, will limit bureaucracy and allow money to go directly to schools, instead of through government loopholes

Whitman provides very little information about her plans for education reform, stating on her website that it must be “fixed.” She briefly mentions her plan to consolidate grants for education funding. Her campaign to lower taxes, however, will certainly have an effect on public schools, considering that fewer taxes lead to cuts in funding for education.

Job creation is another issue that is relevant to USF students. Brown’s focus on job creation combines with his focus on clean energy. Brown specifically wishes to create technology that will reduce the use of toxins and pollutants in California. This plan, he believes, will create many jobs in technical fields, as well as in the labor sector as the state begins building a more efficient energy system.

Whitman’s plans for job creation are more vague than Brown’s. She focuses primarily on tax cuts for start-up companies and removing taxes on capital gains. She does note, however, that an “across-the-board” tax cut in California would be irresponsible in the current economic crisis. Whitman also plans to provide tax cuts and increase jobs in the agriculture industry.

With this summary in mind, the Foghorn encourages students to research both candidates and decide who best represents your beliefs. Then, on Nov. 2nd, we encourage you to go to the polls and vote.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Opinion Editor: Laura Waldron

2 thoughts on “Gubernatorial Candidates Differ On Student Issues

  1. I think between the two candidates Brown has the track record for and experience as it relates to education. Further, we have an idea as to his plan if he is elected. With Whitman we don’t really know specifics as to what her plan for education would be

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