The Financial Times carries one of those “quiz” headlines: “Tycoon Offers to Help Debt-Laden California.”
Hallelujah-and-put-your-teeth-back-in- Ethel, right? But who the hell is “Nicolas Berggruen” and why does he care about California?
What? A tycoon finally ready to put his money where his mouth is and bail out the liberal spenders in Sacramento? What a dream come true for the Sacto Democrats…someone willing to spend his OWN money to help rather than tell us how to spend ours? How REFRESHING.
How wrong I was. Read the article and uh, oh, more budgetary buzz-kill.
Nicolas Berggruen, “the homeless billionaire”
Berggruen is just another aging billionaire snuff boy who apparently stands around at his own cocktails parties (for his 500 best friends on Oscar night – who the hell ARE those people???) and pontificates about how he can save California when he is in California. Since he’s footing the bar tab, apparently everyone coos and applauds and tells him how wonderful he is. Apparently, Nicolas (without the “h,” mind you) has decided in his own head to give California the benefit of his “advice.” He wants to spend $20 million of his own money between now and the 2012 election to make proposals from his “Think Long Committee for California.”
Nic hangs out at Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, where John Belushi died of a drug overdose in his own vomit
The members he has chosen for the Think Long Committee for California run the ideological gamut. Reaganite George Schultz and Bush administration veteran Condoleezza Rice will weigh in, as will Democrats Willie Brown and Gray Davis. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad will also serve on the committee. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be a guest at the first meeting.
“We need to be able to think much more long term,” Berggruen said in an interview. “We need to be able to prioritize things that may not be popular in the short term but are really helpful in the long term and have an administrative branch that is competitive and meritocratic.”
Nic (second from the left) at his Oscar party–These are not “Think Long” committee members because they realize Nic is short
It doesn’t take much Googling to figure out that Nicolas Berggruen is just another spoiled, foot-loose European living off Daddy’s bucks who presumes his bank account balance equates to brain cells. Nicolas’ “daddy” was Heinz Berggruen, a Jewish-German refugee who came to the U.S. and had the very good luck to marry the uber-wealthy Lillian Zellerbach. Elder Berggruen became a successful art dealer on the basis of some sort of, ahem, “personal “ relationship with Pablo Picasso and another fling with Frida Kahlo.
Heinz’ very-well-dressed and diminutive son Berggruen has net worth of $2.2 billion, according to Forbes. Nicolas is called “the homeless billionaire” for his very unconventional personal life which involved selling off his homes and car to “live in hotels.” Very nice to be able to avoid paying taxes, eh, Nic ?(without the “h”, mind you) And his “trusts” and “Think Long” are doubtless convenient ways to “expense” one’s life needs. Nice work if you can get it.
Scene from Nic Berggruen’s Oscar night party in Hollywood
From his article in May published by Forbes we get an idea of what Mr. Nic (without the “h,” mind you) has in store for California. Green jobs, another layer of government “regents” to oversee long-term development of the state (hello, this is ostensibly a DEMOCRACY here in the U.S. “Nic” not an oligarchy.) open primaries (already accomplished in spring primary so we are on our way to “one-party” Demcratic rule) and no term limits.
Judging from the people he has on his “committee,” Nicolas Berggruen is just another billionaire who wants to tell Californians to pay more taxes.
Laura Tyson, former Clinton and current Obama “economic” advisor barking from Berkeley, CA : Last we heard from Laura, she was guffing in the New York Times that we need to have another stimulus program.
Gray Davis: Thrown out of office on his keester by California voters in 2003 for being a crazen crony budget-buster.
Willie Brown: A career opportunist in Sacramento and San Francisco, but in his later years, the most bi-partisan and statesmanlike of the bunch, (which is scary.)
Google’s Eric Schmidt: Oily Obama-loving bucket boy and ooze-master. (see below)
George Schultz: When liberals want to appear bi-partisan, they add old “Tiger tattoo tushy ” to the list. George is happy to sign on as long as it involves parties in San Francisco , whizzing in the Bohemian Grove, and/or not doing much because he is in his 90s and hasn’t done jack since the 80s.
Bottom line: Let’s keep an eye on these billionaires like Nic, (without the “h,” mind you) puppet-master George Soros, and population-vaccinator Bill Gates. They will be jetting in here for the parties, the power and to tell the “little people” to pay more taxes.
And Nicolas, to spend $20 million on election in California over two years is nice, but really not significant. After all, Meg Whitman spent $140 million for the governor’s race and LOST. However, we are sure there will be PLENTY of California limousine liberals who will be happy to have cocktails over lunch with you ….as long as you are buying.