GM is running this ad during the holiday season:
The state’s highest paid worker is none other than Jeff Tedford, the head football coach at Cal.
Cal’s seven-year postseason streak was snapped this weekend, when it lost to Washington. Cal finished the season 5-7. The team is going in reverse, and it comes as the school’s athletic program is cutting other sports, as I’ve written previously.
“Last week, the UC Regents voted to raise student tuition by 8%. Many UC Berkeley students protested the hike, and some were arrested. But while Cal Berkeley students join the rest of their UC colleagues in paying more, the school’s football coach, Jeff Tedford, has a $2.5 million contract that makes him the highest paid state employee,” according to Beyond Chron.
“He earned $2,831,653.50 in 2007-08, and currently earns $2.3 million. He was given a contract extension at this exorbitant amount through 2015, despite not having taken Cal to a major bowl game in several years.
“While no state money is used for Tedford’s contract (it is paid by donations to the athletic department), it has no buyout provision; this means that Cal would have to use public funds — as much as $10 million — if they now fired him. The only hope for long suffering Cal football fans is that Tedford looks in the mirror, realize he’s taking advantage, and resigns.”
As a Cal graduate and lifelong fan I wanted to support the Tedford regime, but this shows how college sports is out of control at the expense of academics.
The extreme right keeps complaining about all the businesses that are exiting California. Why do we never hear from them when a business – Apple Computer, no less – decides to expand here?
From Mashable: “Apple has bought 98 acres of land in Cupertino from Hewlett-Packard, which is moving out of the city, Mercury News reports.
“As HP moves out of Cupertino to consolidate its operations in its headquarters in Palo Alto, its property is a perfect fit for Apple, which had already bought a 50-acre strip of land right across the street in 2006. Mercury News reports that the local real estate experts estimate HP’s asking price for the property at $300 million or more.
“These two sites are together several times bigger than Apple’s current headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, several blocks away. “We now occupy 57 buildings in Cupertino and our campus is bursting at the seams. These offices will give us more space for our employees as we continue to grow,” said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling.
“Apple’s move to expand its headquarters comes as no surprise given Apple’s business results in the past couple of years. Apple has been growing tremendously, reporting $20 billion in revenue in the last quarter, and it’s one of the few IT companies that are currently hiring.
“Apple, which has been at its current ultra-cool address — 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino — for more than 30 years, didn’t disclose what it plans to do with the freshly acquired property.”
Jerry Roberts, the political reporter whom I worked with at The Chronicle for many years, and his friend Phil Trounstein have an article in this morning’s L.A. Times that reiterates many of the points about politics I have made here in the past year. Both also run the website, Calbuzz, which I have pointed to often.
The GOP’s trouncing in the Nov. 2 election shows that the state’s voters aren’t interested in ‘tea party’ stances; Republicans should pursue a more centrist approach, according to the two longtime political journalists. I agree and have said so repeatedly. The article is here.
“The party’s fixation on opposing everything the Democrats propose is hurting Republicans more than it is their opponents. The GOP should take the lead in advocating an economic rebound strategy that relies on Silicon Valley innovation, green jobs and high-tech research and development. The party could integrate this with increased exports for a growing agricultural sector and a healthy and expanding service economy.”
“Republicans don’t have to continually serve the interests of the wealthiest 2% of California families; they can focus also on the struggling middle class. And they need to remember that California is not Kentucky or Alaska or any other state where the so-called tea party is a big deal. In California, tea party ideology has little appeal to the vast majority of voters.”
This is the Republican party that I’m familiar with (including pro-environment and pro-choice). It’s about Democrats and moderate Republicans working together. This is why bumping up against the “wingnuts,” in our area and elsewhere, has been foreign to me – like Kentucky or Alaska.
WE’RE NOT KENTUCKY
Judging from the latest statewide results, where moderate Republicans helped elect Democrats, I’m not alone. Prop. 23 lost. Carly Fiorina, who is pro-life, lost. The passage of Prop. 8, the ban on same sex marriage, apparently was not a “beacon” for where our state stands on social issues after all. I predict it will be overturned.
Being a “native” and long-term Californian in the more urban and suburban parts of the state, I’m confident that the GOP outlined by Roberts and Trounstein is the one that we need – and the one most people want.
Trouble is, the right-wing extremists keep pushing in the opposite direction. There’s a lot of intolerance, name calling and high-pitched rhetoric: just look at the extreme right in our neck of the woods. You hear from them regularly: still in denial about Prop.23 losing and wanting to label us all socialists.
Our Congressman, a “carpetbagger” and ideologue, is not interested in compromise. And his die-hard followers aren’t either.
The latest example: “Just wait to see what will happen in 2012 when California voters discover that newly elected governor Jerry Brown will be to California what President Obama is to the rest of the country – one big wake up call,” predicted Congressman McClintock on Neal Ashbury’s Truth for America.
McClintock proposed that Republicans have to get back to their core values of promoting individual freedom and limited government – you know, some of the same “core values” that lost in November.
McClintock lost in all his runs for statewide office, and now he’s hoping for a political “end around” as a Congressman in a small, rural district, embracing the tea party sentiment. But again, California is not Kentucky. I predict it will fail.
McClintock and Dan Logue have clout in our foothills. But let’s face it: They are largely irrelevant in the larger scheme of statewide politics. Prop. 23 was a case in point.
Sadly, they also make us irrelevant, an “island” in our state. And that’s the worst part of all. We are a net “importer,” not “exporter” of you name it, so we need outside help, including grant funding. We need to build bridges, not burn them down.
On the brighter side, our area’s demographics are changing. The foothills are “purple” politically. Most people who come here from urban and suburban areas are interested in more moderate politics. Redistricting could bring some relief too.
In our county, the moderates and nonpartisans largely are winning the local races (Greg Diaz and Tina Vernon, for example), while the extremists (John Spencer) are losing. We can expect more tea party candidates for local offices, however, as the Mark Meckler videos showed.
As for more open political dialogue, the internet also is allowing for independent voices to be heard, not the same old self-interested ones. We’ve had a communication bottleneck in our community for years.
More people need to “get off the fence” and speak out too. Some fear retaliation – like some unwanted magazine subscriptions or a sheep head on their doorstep. But there’s “safety in numbers,” so people need to speak out.
Don’t believe the spin about McClintock’s “stronghold”: There are big holes of opposition in his district. He lost in Truckee, Nevada City and other precincts. There also is quiet discussion going on about mounting a campaign against him in 2012, including from the GOP.
Listening to the extreme right wield their personal insults and attacks, rather than argue on the merits of an issue, is tiresome. But it’s what you expect in the face of change.
I’ve sometimes joked that our area should just throw in the towel and promote our area as “white,” “the home of the tea party co-founder,” and “home of an extreme right-wing Congressman” – an escape from the rest of the state.
But that’s not what people want: They want to come here for the outdoor lifestyle and not political extremism. They want a more diversified economy, including “green” jobs. They want to raise their family with values that mirror the rest of state, so their children can readily adapt in the real world.