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I'm Gonna Run for Gov'ner!
August 19, 2003
By Gerald Plessner

I've decided to run for governor! I've looked at the field and I think I can do a better job.

"But Gerald..."

Hear me out. I've got a plan. When I am elected, the first thing I will do is have all the locks in the Capitol changed. That way every legislator - Republican and Democrat - will have to come to my office to get a new key.

We will sit down and I will reason with them. I will explain the new reality, that the people elected me to get things moving and I have a mandate. Within 30 days I will present a plan for getting California moving in the right direction and I will need their help and participation to get the job done.

If they don't sign on, they can set up their office on a bench on the Capitol lawn and use their own cell phones. Tough times require tough solutions.

"But Honey..."

Not now, I'm just getting started. And another thing. During the debate on the next budget, if the legislature doesn't get the job done on schedule, then all pay, benefits and expense reimbursements will be suspended until the budget is adopted.

The next thing I will do is build a new team for California. I like Leon Panetta for chief of staff. He knows how Sacramento works and he did a good job as chief of staff for Bill Clinton. And he and I can have some of those late night talks like Martin Sheen and John Spencer have on The West Wing. Intellectual stuff about freedom and democracy . . . and the Dodgers.

"Gerald, you can't..."

Listen, Honey. I'm not done yet. I have to talk to Cruz Bustamante. He's Lieutenant governor and he has to shepherd our program through the Legislature. This won't be like previous administrations where the Governor never talked to the Lieutenant governor. Cruz wants to be governor. I need Cruz and he needs me. We have to work together. And if he isn't enthusiastic, it's locksmith time!

The next thing I will do is fill my administration with the best people from among the other candidates I defeated. I will appoint them to key jobs in my administration. Peter Ueberroth is my choice for reorganizing state government and cost-cutting to meet the new fiscal reality. We need to make some brutal cuts and he is the man to do the job.

For business development, I want Larry Flynt.


Hear me out. He calls himself a pornographer. But the stuff he makes is probably not much worse than those reality television shows. And at least he is honest about what he does. He made a fortune starting from nothing, a true Horatio Alger type. I think he could convince the movie industry to move back to Southern California. I'll bet he has a lot of friends in Asia. Maybe he could get them to give us some of those jobs back.

The next thing I have to do is get the New York banks to go easy on us for about the next ten years. I'll need Arnold for that. Every East Coast Republican will want to meet the Terminator. If Maria goes along, the Democrats will even talk to him. The exposure will help him get ready to run for governor in 2004 or whenever, and he should love that idea.

Now what do I do with Arianna?

"Gerald, listen to me! The deadline was Saturday! You can't run for governor!"

Oh really? . . . Damn!

Gerald Plessner is a Southern California businessman who promises never to run for anything. He would be pleased to hear from you and may be contacted at

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