Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Jerry Brown challenges Chris Christie to race, chin-up contest, as you do

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown, not actually calling out Chris Christie in real time, but we like to pretend.

Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to take the high ground in response to cross-country smacktalk about his being an "old retread" from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Meaning he's challenged the Republican to a fitness contest.

"I hereby challenge Gov. Christie to a three-mile race, a push-up contest and a chin-up contest," he said in a speech to the Local 770 chapter of workers' union UCFW. "And whatever he wants to bet. I have no doubt of the outcome."

(He also added that being old just meant he knew "a hell of a lot more than" Christie).

The L.A. Times reports that Christie office spokesman Kevin Roberts shot back at Brown via e-mail:

"Defensive much?" Roberts wrote. "This is what it looks like when you're out of ideas I guess. Except, of course, raising taxes."

Meanwhile, YouTube commenter cindiloohoo has already placed her bets: "Not exactly fair, Jerry. Of course you would beat him in a chin-up contest - he has three chins and you only have one."


That's My Issue: The environment

Demonstrators outside the White House ch

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 

My wonderful sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Station, first made me aware of the impact human beings have on the environment. She educated us about the dangers of over consumption, pollution, and deforestation. She taught us the importance of recycling, reducing global warming, and conservation. She made me realize that our planet is precious and that our actions have consequences.

Sadly, some 20+ years later, I'm frightened to see the environmental changes about which she warned us start to come true in the form of chaotic weather patterns and extreme temperatures, such as the drought in the Midwest. Yet, neither candidate has spent much time, if any, addressing the issue in their campaigns.


Ever wonder what happens to all those balloons?

Balloons at the Republican National Convention.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

A shot of all the balloons left on the floor at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Republican National Convention balloon popper

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Balloon popper Dana Lemare at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Republican National Convention

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Balloons left on the floor at the 2012 Republican National Convention, soon to meet a loud fate

Thousands of red, white and blue balloons fell on the Republican National Convention Thursday night after GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave "the speech of his political life." Well, that's what all the pundits called it.

One little boy literally got lost in the sea of globes. A woman in heels nearly broke her ankle as she navigated the helium-inflated obstacles littering the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

It's become a poltical tradition that'll be repeated at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week. Yes, the balloons there will be red, white and blue too.

But what becomes of the balloons when all of the speechifying and celebrating ends?  Listen here and find out.





Terrified KPCC producer mistaken for RNC heckler

Republican National Convention

Lauren Osen/KPCC

A man shouts back at a heckler sitting next to AirTalk producer Lauren Osen at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

At last night’s acceptance speech, I had the serendipitous luck of sitting right next to an undercover heckler.

The KPCC crew got separated and I spent most of surprise speaker Clint Eastwood’s stage time waiting for the freight elevator to take me up to the press box where KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze was watching.

I never made it, so when I heard the applause for Mitt Romney, I ducked into the nearest section and found an empty aisle seat in the nosebleed section. I noticed most of the people around me texting — the young Latino guy in front of me: "Should have been a Ryan-Rubio ticket,” the older woman next to me: “I’m way up in the top section, where are you?”

About a quarter of the way through Romney’s acceptance speech, the woman next to me yelled out, “People, not profits!” I didn’t think much of it at first and neither did our neighbors, but as she continued yelling, everyone angrily turned around and began shouting back at her.


California Democratic Party chairman takes a swing at Chris Christie's weight, Mitt Romney's wealth

California Governor-elect Arnold Schwarz


California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton, right, has taken exception with the state's treatment at the Republican National Convention

Who says Californians are a bunch of Chardonnay-sipping, cheese-eaters?

As the Republican National Convention came to a close Thursday night, California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton decided he'd heard enough of what a press release called "incessant California bashing by Republican party leaders at the RNC."

Burton, a longtime politician from the state capital of Chardonnay-and-cheese — San Francisco — did learn how to play hardball over the years, and he threw a couple of brushback pitches at some prominent Republicans:

"I saw Chris Christie on television the other day and noticed he and the rest of the RNC attendees can't seem to stop talking about California. Christie's time would be better spent taking up First Lady Michelle Obama's White House Fitness Challenge than bashing our great state," Burton wrote.