CRP Blog

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Hypocrisy of Jerry Brown, California's Top Cop

By Ron Nehring

Big Government, November 12

The Communications Director for California Attorney General Jerry Brown resigned last week after admitting he regularly taped telephone conversations with reporters without their permission. Under California state law, the recording of private telephone conversations without consent is illegal. Although the Attorney General’s Office worked to shut down the story by calling it an internal personnel matter, the potentially illegal behavior of a senior staff member to California’s top cop raises some serious questions.


Here’s one: How can one of the most powerful law enforcement officials in America not know his communications director routinely engaged in activities that may have been unlawful?

Or, how is it that only this senior member of the staff knew this was occurring as they currently claim?

Since we know the conversations on the tapes were transcribed, who provided those transcriptions? Was it an internal staff member? If it was an outside service, who approved the payments for such service?

Any logical line of questioning (especially from an office full of state attorneys) would seem to lead to two possible conclusions: either procedures in one of the highest profile law offices in the nation are woefully inadequate and ineffective; or, other members of staff knew what was going on and are now concealing their earlier knowledge.

Either conclusion is a disaster for a man who frequently brags of the benefits of four decades of political experience.

The irony here is that while Jerry Brown has chosen not to investigate the matter further, his office is currently pursuing the makers of the recent videos that exposed ACORN’s corrupt practices based on the same legal grounds. Apparently California’s Attorney General thinks that he and his cohorts can sidestep the very laws that they are using as justification for their investigations of ACORN filmmakers James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles.

Unfortunately, it appears Brown may manage to casually sweep this scandal under the rug while breezing into the Democratic Party’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination. With the sudden departure San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom from the race last week, Brown currently has no other opposition in the race to win the nomination of the party that likes to lecture everyone else about diversity.

The bottom line is that Brown displayed serious management deficiencies that allowed a senior member of his staff to go rogue under that neglected leadership. His double standard policy for the investigation of possible crimes under the law conveniently keeps his political pals out of the fray while aggressively going after those who exposed the problems at ACORN.

At least we know who that group will be campaigning for in 2010.


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