There’s been some very real danger that the June Democratic primary for Governor race was going to turn into a mud fest. Comments from both campaigns, bolstered in the press, seemed to indicate that they were going to try to make it about irrelevancies like personality, rather than ideas.
But today there is some excellent news on this front: Phil Angelides’ campaign took a big step today in moving things away from that direction by releasing a bold vision for where this state can go, including a twenty-five percent reduction in gasoline consumption over ten years. After the state Democratic Party convention last year, I was thinking that someone running for Governor should run on energy independence, not just as an environmental issue but as a matter of national security. Just like this:
President Bush and the Republican Congress remain locked in denial about the security and environmental risks of our reliance on oil and about global warming. They have refused to raise vehicle efficiency standards or vigorously pursue clean energy alternatives. Governor Schwarzenegger has offered rhetoric about greenhouse gas targets and hydrogen highways but no real plan or substantial change of direction. His massive infrastructure proposal, rather than encouraging smart growth and reducing oil use, fuels sprawl as usual by directing less than 5 percent of its proposed $100 billion in transportation funding to transit.
This is exciting stuff. President Bush’s paucity of leadership on this issue and Governor Schwarzenneger’s pavement-filled vision for the future of our state have never looked more lame. To our friends in the corporate media: this is exactly the kind of thing we want this campaign to be about. Please do not impose your “personality” driven storylines (or whatever it’s going to be) on this race.