For months (if not years) we've been reading that the State of California is broke. Each week it seems like more teachers and state employees are furloughed. Two possible solutions occurred to me after reading today's Los Angeles Times:
1. Auction off the Governor's seat on eBay to raise money for California. Shane Goldmacher's article, "Meg Whitman's campaign spending is causing a stir," in the 11/4/09 edition of the Los Angeles Times reported that Gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman has already spent $19 million of her personal fortune on the California Governor's race. "Whitman has publicly floated the notion of a record-shattering $150-million campaign budget," reports Goldmacher.
Instead of giving that money to ad agencies and broadcasters, how about injecting that $150 million into the State of California's piggy bank? The extra dough might help the state immunize more health care workers against the H1N1 flu virus.
2. Lease California for four years to Warren Buffett. He just invested $44 billion in the Burlington Northern railroad. Wouldn't California be worth at least a billion? If Buffet took over, he might make the California economy viable again, beginning with a requirement for a balanced budget.
I'm no legislator, just an ordinary American with a recurring nightmare of our forefathers doing somersaults in their graves over how far America has strayed from its stated purpose of being a government by the people, for the people. Today, it's primarily a rusty bureaucracy whose gears only move after a lobbyist greases them out of gridlock.
I was sorry to see Mayor Gavin Newsom drop out due to lack of funds. I hope Jerry Brown will raise enough money to compete with Meg Whitman if she becomes the Republican nominee.
But if Brown does raise a lot of money, won't it just get thrown away on advertisements? Why shouldn't we lease the Governor's Mansion to Whitman or Buffett for four years via eBay? We survived eight years as a nation under George W. Bush; how bad could either be?
Of course in the Governor's seat auction, California would stipulate that the winning bidder pays his or her own gubernatorial expenses. Although Buffett would likely keep his expenses low -- since he's a guy who turns troubled companies around -- Whitman apparently spends quite lavishly on catering, charter jet and advisor expenses.
Bottom line: California could use $150 million or more. Let the ad agencies write about milk and margarine.
Meg used to run eBay, maybe she can help us write up our auction. Here's what I have so far:
"One of a Kind Collector's Item: Keys to the Sacramento Governor's Mansion and all the trappings of office. The winning BIDDER will serve a four-year term from 2011 to 2015. Possible four year renewal option if winning bidder balances the state budget."
The alleged attempt by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell Barack Obama's senate seat could have been a good idea if it would have benefitted the State of Illinois rather than Rod Blagojevich.