USC Bedrosian Center Recognizes Governors of California and Governor as January's Best and Worst

Expert panel applauds Gov. Brown’s fiscal leadership, questions Gov. Deal’s storm
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LOS ANGELES - Feb. 11, 2014 - PRLog -- The Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise (, a University of Southern California research center that promotes effective governance at all levels, has selected contrasting performances of two governors as January’s Best and Worst in Governance.

In last month’s state of the state speech (, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s words were a reminder of how far the state has come since he began his second go-round as governor. His leadership has eased the legislative gridlock and massive budget crisis that destabilized the entire state. The states $25 billion deficit is now a $5 billion surplus.

“Even with the advantage of a Democratic supermajority in Sacramento, I doubt anyone expected a state surplus this quickly – myself included. Gov. Brown deserves praise for his leadership during this crisis and willingness to make tough and often unpopular decisions because they were in the state’s best interest.”

The leadership exhibited by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal during a much different crisis – last month’s winter storms that paralyzed Georgia – has earned the dubious distinction of January’s Worst in Governance.

While other states acted with urgency to roll out disaster plans and pre-treat roadways, Georgia appeared completely surprised and unprepared as the storm crippled roadways, stranded motorists overnight and forced children to spend the night at school.

While the panel concedes that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s decision to not stagger his widespread closure of schools, public buildings and businesses overwhelmed Atlanta’s highway infrastructure, his bad decision was symptomatic of poor planning and a wait-and-see approach at the state level.

“There are around 60 mayors currently serving in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area whose job is to lead their cities and towns. During a disaster, they cannot operate in a vacuum. As the state’s CEO, it was crucial that Gov. Deal take charge and coordinate efforts to prepare for and recover from the storm,” Bostic said.

The Best and Worst in Governance is a monthly recognition of success and failure in the functioning of government at all levels. As a product of the USC Bedrosian Center, it is intended to raise the level of discussion and encourage effective governance. Bostic, who is also a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, pointed out that both governors’ performances are worthy of even deeper analysis and used as leadership case studies throughout the country.

Throughout each month, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the public will nominate activities at the global, federal, state and local levels by visiting Bostic then convenes a review panel to debate and select the month’s best and worst. Both receive automatic consideration for the year-end 2014 Best and Worst in Governance.

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