The Tao of Moonbeam

By TIMOTHY EGAN - New York Times

Read the Opinion piece at the New York Times

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

In choosing the oldest man ever to run the young state of California, voters decided that a grumpy penny-pincher is just what they need at a time when the state is so broke it cannot fix park benches or investigate burglaries.

Jerry Brown - welcome back! The man who eschewed the governor's mansion to sleep on a mattress on his apartment floor when he ran California a long generation ago should feel right at home in the poorhouse of Sacramento 2010. Here's what your outgoing governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had to say while trying to keep the lights on and foreclosure buzzards at bay:

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Brown's green vision for California

Op Ed By Tom Hayden - Los Angeles Times

During the campaign season, it was easy to dismiss the idea of a green energy future for California as mere campaign rhetoric. But with the second coming of Jerry Brown, the reelection of Barbara Boxer and voter endorsement of state policies to curb global warming, California really is poised to lead the country to a greener future.

Why were California voters not carried away by the Republican wave? We have certainly had our conservative hiccups in the past. There was the 1978 election when voters passed Proposition 13, which cut property taxes but also damaged school funding and caused chronic budget crises. And in 1984, California had its Arizona moment when voters passed Proposition 187, which would have terminated many public services, including schooling, for undocumented immigrants had the courts not struck it down.

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Jerry Brown, then and now

Los Angeles Times Editorial

Most Californians will not remember Jerry Brown from his first two terms as governor. In those days, between 1975 and 1983, he was stunningly youthful, heir to his father's name yet slightly at odds with his legacy, brash, serious and intellectually adventurous. Brown could seem flighty - the futon, the tumble of ideas, the pugnacity, the make-it-up-on-the-fly daily schedule - but he mirrored California as it was. He was a young governor in a young state, energetic, optimistic, a little off-kilter.

Those who have only heard tell of those days will not fully comprehend the spectacle of Gov.-elect Brown. On stage Tuesday night, he was gentle, surrounded by children, a little clunky in his movements. He was happily, conspicuously and appreciatively married. Jerry Brown, of all people, was avuncular.

So what does the new Brown share with the old? As he transitions back to the office that has been so closely associated with his family, Brown has the opportunity to demonstrate that he has retained his shrewd ability to work the levers of powers while also proving that he has outgrown some of the excesses that marred his earlier service.

Read the entire editorial at the Los Angeles Times


Why I support Jerry Brown for governor


For California's Jewish voters, the gubernatorial contest represents a clear choice between a candidate, Jerry Brown, who has a proven track record of support for Israel and a robust commitment to the progressive Jewish values of tikkun olam, and his opponent, Meg Whitman, who has a thin public record that tells little about her views toward Israel or her commitment to the ethical values of tikkun olam.

I served in the Assembly during most of Jerry Brown's tenure as governor. As chair of the Subcommittee on Energy, I worked closely with Gov. Brown in his efforts to make California less dependent on imported foreign oil and to lead the country in innovations in renewable resources.

As governor, he was fresh, innovative, visionary and anti-bureaucratic. He shunned the trappings of his office - drove a Plymouth, ditched the Governor's Mansion - but he knew how to make things work, and he can do it again.

Brown's entire public career reflects a commitment to the values of tikkun olam. As governor, he passed America's toughest anti-pollution laws, added more than 700,000 acres to the state parks system and implemented innovative clean energy programs that led to the creation of 1.5 million jobs.

If elected, he will ensure the full implementation of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 25 percent over the next decade.

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San Jose Mercury News Endorses Jerry Brown for Governor

Brown for Governor Campaign

Jerry Brown offers California exactly what it needs in its next governor: a mature politician who can get things done in Sacramento and who brings good ideas, strong principles and a reputation for telling the truth.

It's popular in some circles to say we need an outsider with business experience to run government. We tried that. It didn't work. This is the time for a leader who can work the system and who will act in the best interests of the people of California. Capping his career with a second run for the office he held three decades ago, Brown, at 72, has no ax to grind, no simmering ambition that would lead him to trump the public good with pandering to special interests. He is motivated by his desire to leave a shining legacy after a lifetime of public service.

We enthusiastically recommend him for governor.

Read the entire editorial at the San Jose Mercury News

LA Times, SF Chronicle and Sacramento Bee Endorse Jerry Brown for Governor

Editorial Board

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Los Angeles Times

Jerry Brown for governor - "To a state desperate for leadership, he brings the seen-it-all-before wisdom of a political veteran."

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San Francisco Chronicle Recommends

Jerry Brown for Governor - "A vote for experience over a big leap of faith"

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Sacramento Bee

"Jerry Brown best pick for Governor - Jerry Brown offers a better road map."

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Gubernatorial candidate Brown says he can bring Californians together

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times

A fired-up Jerry Brown previewed his general election themes in two gubernatorial campaign stops Thursday, framing the state's present straits as a chance to bring Californians together for a common purpose.

Although he criticized Republican rival Meg Whitman for attempting to "buy" the election, the Democratic nominee's message was largely optimistic and centered on the argument that his decades of political life were not an albatross at a time when anti-incumbent sentiment has been tilting electoral races across the nation. Rather, Brown contended that his life experience could bring Sacramento partisans together for the betterment of the state.

"At this stage in my life, I don't have anything to prove, OK? I've done it all before," said California's last two-term governor and its current attorney general, speaking Thursday morning in the quad of Laney College in Oakland. "And I just want to go back to Sacramento and I want to do everything I can to pull Republicans and Democrats together. It's not a time for increasing the partisan divide. It's time for thinking as Californians first. I'm not saying it's easy, but we've had tough times before and we've always come out of it."

Read the entire story at the Los Angeles Times

Photo Credit Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press / September 2, 2010


Three former governors come together to support California Conservation Corps

Maeve Reston - Los Angeles Times

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown joined two fellow former governors Thursday night at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for a reception honoring the work of the California Conservation Corps, a program they have all supported. In a rare joint appearance, Brown, former GOP Gov. George Deukmejian and former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis mingled with guests for nearly an hour in an ornate ballroom over cocktails, sometimes a few feet from one another.

The three men, along with former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, joined forces more than a year ago, using their political clout to advocate for the Corps after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed eliminating its funding in the 2009-10 budget. After receiving a letter from the four former governors strongly supporting the Corps, Schwarzenegger restored funding for the program, which is modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps and employs 18- to 25-year-olds to do natural-resources work that includes emergency-response efforts to fires, floods and earthquakes.

In speeches Thursday night, the three former governors hailed the program as one both parties could get behind. "It's about service, it's about collaboration, it's about discipline, it's about acquiring skill in service to something bigger than yourself," said Brown, who signed the program into law when he was governor in 1976.

Read the entire story at the Los Angeles Times


Brown's low-key campaign confounds pundits who urged him to spend more

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times

Read the article at the Los Angeles Times

Democrat Jerry Brown is running for governor, but voters in California might not know it. Since winning the primary in June, he has spent almost nothing, has rarely appeared on the campaign trail and has yet to air a single ad against Republican rival Meg Whitman.

But as Labor Day, the traditional start of the general election season, approaches, polls show that Brown and Whitman are locked in a tight race, despite Whitman's putting $104 million of her personal wealth into her campaign and spending $20 million on television ads over the summer.

"It's a very important point that after Brown not running any campaign, the race is still tied," said GOP strategist Adam Mendelsohn. "People are now realizing that Jerry Brown is a tougher candidate than they anticipated and the fall is going to be a very difficult election. I think some Republicans thought because she had so much money and was running a very competent campaign, they could get themselves 10 or 15 points up" before he began campaigning.

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Jerry Brown's tax reform plan fixes 'perverse' incentive and would create jobs

Mercury News Editorial

We're finally seeing some serious talk in Sacramento about what should be the Legislature's No. 1 priority: job creation. Unfortunately -- just like in Washington -- partisan politics are preventing progress.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week unveiled a jobs plan made up of several bills making their way through the Legislature. He wants to close a $1 billion tax loophole that encourages companies to create jobs elsewhere, using the savings for tax changes to foster job creation here. It's exactly the kind of tax reform California needs.

Yet Republicans immediately labeled the plan a tax increase -- since presumably some out-of-state businesses would end up paying more -- even though it doesn't raise a penny for the general fund. (Two GOP votes are needed in each house for this plan.) So now, it seems, even revenue-neutral tax changes are "tax increases." Do Republicans believe current tax law was handed directly to Moses?

Read the entire editorial here -

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