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Open Letter To the Supercommittee: Listen Up! Are you Partisan or Patriot? Decide today.

Today, I did my usual Sunday routine. I visited my favorite breakfast spot and sat down with my child and with the paper. Normally, I expect to enjoy reading up on the quirky politics of San Francisco, read my guilty pleasure – Parade Magazine – and catch up with my son over eggs and pancakes. But not today.

I was set to write a short post on perspective and I will do that. First, let me share the crazy trio of stories that spell out the conundrum that is today’s political environment. No wonder people are taking to the streets! Pay attention, because I ask you– are you stuck in a partisan rut holding blindly to party politics? Or are you a patriot, ready to take a 360 view of the issues and represent the public interest for 100 percent of America’s people? Think about it. It’s a valid question.

Statewide Partisanship?

First, the Supreme Court has ordered California to reduce its prison population by 33,000 inmates by 2013. San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Marisa Lagos, writes that the Los Angeles District Attorney and Republican, Steve Cooley, (“Prison plan sways prosecutors in filing charges,” SFGate.com) adamantly “opposes the Democratic governor’s plan and is training his staffers to do everything they can to work around it.” This means they are working hard to put as many offenders into the state prison as possible. In addition, Cooley’s team is planning on going to other counties to train them on how to work around the system. Read the story, it’s clearly partisanship

I’m not an expert on prison management by any means, but attacking a statewide problem through the lens of Republican vs. Democrat is most likely not in the best interest of our citizens or the best use of our statewide resources, in my opinion.

National Partisanship?

Second, I read accounts that you – the supercommittee impaneled specifically to develop a plan to reduce our nation’s deficit – are ready to “throw in the towel” and admit defeat, (“Debt Panel Poised To Admit Failure,” SFGate.com). I wondered where we’d be if George Washington had given up so easily “back in the day.” I admit that I don’t have enough information to indict the committee. However, reports are that the Republicans are demanding wholesale cuts to Social Security and Medicare (wait a minute, haven’t I been paying into these programs for the last few decades?) while the Dems are pushing for the President’s jobs bill and that taxes be raised on those making over a million. One network news pundit posited that the Republicans want to wait until they capture the presidency and have control of Congress.  Are you kidding me? The stories state that each side is so strongly entrenched that there is no bridging. Forgive me folks, but again this smells of partisanship.

Lessons In Compromise

I then hit a bright spot and now believe we have a reason for hope. Here in California we have a committee called Think Long Committee for California (“Think Long panel proposes California tax overhaul,” SFGate.com). Let me simply share reporter Joe Garofoli’s paragraph that caught my eye:   “In an era of partisan political gridlock from Sacramento to Washington, [billionaire businessman Nicholas] Berggruen said the committee he recruited has ‘shown that difficult bipartisan compromise can be reached if politics is set aside and the public interest is put first.’ The panel’s recommendations were approved by consensus.”

Here’s my proposal. Instead of showing us that our leaders can’t lead and our two-party politics are forever broken, I suggest you send an S-O-S to Mr. Berggruen and team. You folks need to fix this budget mess with a real achievable plan, without political rancor and with a spirit of patriotism that we expect from American leadership. This is not a Republican issue that can wait until the next election. This is not a Democratic issue that is simply, as some critics have said, tax and spend. This is an American issue that demands a truly bipartisan focus. So put down your swords folks. Pull out your pencils. Get-to-Work! After all, isn’t that what we are paying you to do?

Happy compromise.

Jeanne — An American first

If you read this and agree, please send this post to your Congressional leaders, friends and social media cohorts.  Would love to hear your feedback.

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