Jerry Brown: Wikis


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Edmund Gerald Brown, Jr.

Assumed office 
January 9, 2007
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Preceded by Bill Lockyer

In office
January 4, 1999 – January 8, 2007
Preceded by Elihu M. Harris
Succeeded by Ronald V. Dellums

In office
January 6, 1975 – January 3, 1983
Lieutenant Mervyn M. Dymally (1975–1979)
Michael Curb (1979–1983)
Preceded by Ronald Reagan
Succeeded by George Deukmejian

In office
January 4, 1971 – January 6, 1975
Governor Ronald Reagan
Preceded by H.P. Sullivan
Succeeded by March Fong Eu

Born April 7, 1938 (1938-04-07) (age 71)
San Francisco, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Gust
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Yale Law School
Profession Politician
Religion Roman Catholic

Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. (born April 7, 1938) is an American politician. He served as the 34th Governor of the State of California and is the current Attorney General. He is a candidate for Governor of California in the November 2010 election.

Brown has had a lengthy political career spanning terms on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees (1969–1971), as California Secretary of State (1971–1975), as Governor of California (1975–1983), as chair of the California Democratic Party (1989–1991), the Mayor of Oakland (1998–2006), and the Attorney General of California (2007–present). He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nominations for president in 1976, 1980, and 1992, and was an unsuccessful Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in 1982. Since Brown's terms in office are not covered by the term limits that came into effect in 1990, he is not barred from running for Governor again.[1]

Brown is the son of former California governor Pat Brown

He is a major supporter of The Venus Project[citation needed].


Early life and education

Brown was born in San Francisco, California, the only son of Bernice Layne Brown and former San Francisco lawyer, district attorney and later Democratic governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1956 and studied at Santa Clara University. In 1958, he entered Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit seminary, intending to become a Catholic priest. However, Brown left the seminary and entered the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics in 1961. Brown went on to Yale Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1964.

After law school, Brown worked as a law clerk for Supreme Court of California Justice Mathew Tobriner, and studied in Mexico and Latin America.

Legal career and entrance into politics

Brown returned to California but initially failed the state bar exam.[2] After passing the exam, Brown settled in Los Angeles, California and joined the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor. In the late 1960s, he entered politics by organizing migrant workers and anti-Vietnam War groups. In 1969, he ran for the newly created Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, which oversaw community colleges in the city, and placed first in a field of 124.

In 1970, Brown was elected California Secretary of State. Brown used the position, which was historically limited in power, to bring lawsuits against corporations such as Standard Oil of California, International Telephone and Telegraph, Gulf Oil, and Mobil for violation of campaign-finance laws and argued in person before the California Supreme Court.

Brown also enforced laws requiring members of the California State Legislature to disclose sources of campaign funds and investigated allegedly falsely-notarized documents that had allowed Richard Nixon to claim a large tax deduction. Brown also played an important role in the drafting and passage of the California Fair Political Practices Act.[3] These highly-publicized actions resulted in statewide acclaim, and led to his election as governor in the next statewide election.


Official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown[4]

In 1974, Brown was elected governor of California, succeeding the Republican Governor Ronald Reagan, who was retiring from office after serving two terms, and who, himself, had become governor after defeating Brown's father, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr., in the 1966 election. Jerry Brown took office on January 6, 1975.[5]

Opposed to the Vietnam War, Brown had a base of support from California's young liberals. Upon election, he refused many of the privileges and trappings of the office, forgoing the newly constructed governor's residence (which was sold in 1983) and instead renting a modest apartment at the corner of 14th and N Streets, adjacent to Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento.[6] Instead of riding as a passenger in chauffeured limousines as previous governors had done, Brown was driven to work in a compact sedan, a Plymouth Satellite.[7][8]

During his two-term, eight-year governorship, Brown had a strong interest in environmental issues. Brown appointed J. Baldwin to work in the newly-created California Office of Appropriate Technology, Sim Van der Ryn as State Architect, and Stewart Brand as Special Advisor. He appointed John Bryson, later the CEO of Southern California Edison Electric Company and a founding member of the Natural Resources Defense Council, chairman of the California State Water Board in 1976. Brown reorganized the California Arts Council, boosting its funding by 1300 percent and appointing artists to the council.[9]

In 1975, Brown obtained the repeal of the "depletion allowance", a tax break for the state's oil industry, despite the efforts of the lobbyist Joe Shell, a former intraparty rival to Richard M. Nixon. Brown aimed his fire at "big oil" in an era of popular environmental activism on the West Coast.[citation needed] The decisive vote against the allowance was cast in the California State Senate by the usually pro-business Republican Senator Robert S. Stevens. Shell claimed that Stevens had promised him that he would support keeping the allowance: "He had shaken my hand and told me he was with me."[citation needed] Brown later rewarded Stevens with a judicial appointment, but Stevens was driven from the bench for making salacious telephone calls.[10] In 1977, Brown proposed and later passed a landmark tax incentive for home-owners installing solar panels.[citation needed]

Brown appointed more women and minorities to office than any other previous California governor.[9]

In 1982, Brown unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate. He lost to then Mayor Pete Wilson, who later became Governor of California.

Like his father, Brown strongly opposed the death penalty and vetoed it as Governor, but the legislature overrode the veto in 1977. He also appointed judges who opposed capital punishment. In 1960, he lobbied his father, then Governor, to spare the life of Caryl Chessman and reportedly won a 60-day stay for him.[11][12] Currently, as Attorney General, he is obligated to represent the state in fighting death penalty appeals and stated that he will follow the law, regardless of his personal beliefs.[11]

Brown was succeeded as governor by George Deukmejian, then the Attorney General of California, in 1982.

Electoral history

1976 presidential campaign

While serving as governor, Brown twice ran for the Democratic nomination for president. The first time, in 1976, Brown entered the race in March after the primary season had begun, and over a year after some candidates had started campaigning. Citing his record of having curbed his state's spending and balanced its budget while expanding services in the area of welfare, employment, and consumer and environmental protection, Brown proclaimed his belief that there would soon be a voter backlash against expansive and costly government policies. "This is an era of limits, and we had all better get used to it," he declared. Brown was viewed as more socially liberal than most candidates.

Brown's name began appearing on primary ballots in May and he won a big victory in Maryland, followed by Nevada, and his home state of California. Brown missed the deadline in Oregon, but he ran as a write in candidate and finished a strong third behind Carter and Senator Frank Church of Idaho, another late candidate. Brown is often credited with winning the New Jersey and Rhode Island primaries, but in reality, uncommitted slates of delegates that Brown advocated in those states finished first. With support from Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards Brown won a majority of delegates at the Louisiana delegate selection convention, thus Louisiana was the only southern state to not support Southerners Carter or Alabama Governor George Wallace. Despite this success, he was unable to stall Carter's momentum, and his rival was nominated on the first ballot at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Brown finished third with roughly 300 delegate votes, narrowly behind Congressman Morris Udall and well behind Carter. Brown's name was placed in nomination by United Farm Workers President, Cesar Chavez.

1980 presidential campaign

In 1980, Brown challenged Carter for renomination. His candidacy had been anticipated by the press ever since he won reelection in 1978 over the Republican Evelle Younger by the biggest margin in California history, 1.3 million votes, but he had trouble gaining traction in both fundraising and polling. This was widely believed to be the result of the more prominent candidacy of liberal icon Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Brown's 1980 platform, which he declared to be the natural result of combining Buckminster Fuller's visions of the future and E.F. Schumacher's theory of "Buddhist economics", was much expanded from 1976. Gone was his "era of limits" slogan, replaced by a promise to, in his words, "Protect the Earth, serve the people, and explore the universe." Three main planks of his platform were a call for a constitutional convention to ratify the Balanced Budget Amendment, a promise to increase funds for the space program, and, in the wake of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, opposition to nuclear power.

On the subject of the 1979 energy crisis, Brown decried the "Faustian bargain" that he claimed Carter had entered into with the oil industry, and declared that he would greatly increase federal funding of research into solar power. He endorsed the idea of mandatory non-military national service for the nation's youth, and suggested that the Defense Department cut back on support troops while beefing-up the number of combat troops. He described the health care industry as a "high priesthood" engaged in a "medical arms race" and called for a market-oriented system of universal health care.

As his campaign began to attract more and more members of what some more conservative commentators described as "the fringe", including activists like Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and Jesse Jackson, Brown's polling numbers began to suffer. He received only 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary and he was soon forced to announce that his decision to remain in the race would hinge on a good showing in the Wisconsin primary. Although he had polled well there throughout the primary season, a disastrous and bizarre attempt at filming a live, special effects-filled, thirty-minute commercial (produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola) led to the melt-down of his candidacy. He received just 12% of the vote in the primary. He withdrew from the race the next day, having spent $2 million, won no primaries, and received exactly one delegate to the convention.

Defeat and return

In 1982, Brown chose not to seek a third term as Governor. Instead, he ran for the U.S. Senate for the seat being vacated by Republican S.I. Hayakawa. That year, his alleged mishandling of a medfly infestation of the state's fruit farms sent his approval ratings into a nosedive, and he was defeated by Republican San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson by a margin of 52% to 45%. Republican George Deukmejian, a Brown critic, narrowly won the governorship in 1982, succeeding Brown, and was reelected overwhelmingly in 1986. After his Senate defeat in 1982, many considered Brown's political career to be over. During the 1980s, Brown traveled to Japan to study Buddhism, studying with Christian/Zen practitioner Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle under Yamada Koun-roshi. He also visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, where he ministered to the sick in one of her hospices.

Upon his return from abroad in 1988, he announced that he would stand as a candidate to become chairman of the California Democratic Party. Brown won the position in 1989 against the less experienced Steve Westly, who criticized Brown as the candidate of monied interests.

Brown experienced an abbreviated tenure that could best be described as controversial. He greatly expanded the party's donor base and enlarged its coffers, with a focus on grassroots organizing and get out the vote drives, but was criticized for not spending enough money on TV ads, which was felt to have contributed to Democratic losses in several close races in 1990. In early 1991, Brown abruptly resigned his post and announced that he would run for the Senate seat held by the retiring Alan Cranston. Although Brown consistently led in the polls for both the nomination and the general election, he quickly abandoned the campaign, deciding instead to run for the presidency for a third time.

1992 presidential campaign

When he announced his intention to run for president against President George H.W. Bush, many in the media and his own party dismissed his campaign as an ego-trip with little chance of gaining significant support. Ignoring them, Brown embarked on an ultra-grassroots campaign to, in his words, "take back America from the confederacy of corruption, careerism, and campaign consulting in Washington". To the surprise of many, Brown was able to tap a populist streak in the Democratic Party.

In his stump speech, first used while officially announcing his candidacy on the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Brown told listeners that he would only be accepting campaign contributions from individuals and that he would accept no contribution over 100 dollars. Continuing with his populist reform theme, he assailed what he dubbed "the bipartisan Incumbent Party in Washington" and called for term limits for members of Congress. Citing various recent scandals on Capitol Hill, particularly the recent House banking scandal and the large congressional pay-raises from 1990, he promised to put an end to Congress being a "Stop-and-Shop for the monied special interests".

As he campaigned in various primary states, Brown would eventually expand his platform beyond a policy of strict campaign finance reform. Although he would focus on a variety of issues throughout the campaign, most especially his endorsement of living wage laws and his opposition to free trade agreements such as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he mostly concentrated on his tax policy, which had been created specifically for him by Arthur Laffer, the famous supporter of supply-side economics who created the Laffer curve. This plan, which called for the replacement of the progressive income tax with a flat tax and a value added tax, both at a fixed 13% rate, was decried by his opponents as regressive. Nevertheless, it was endorsed by The New York Times, The New Republic, and Forbes, and its raising of taxes on corporations and elimination of various loopholes, which tended to favor the very wealthy, proved to be popular with voters. This was, perhaps, not surprising, as various opinion polls taken at the time found that as many as three-quarters of all Americans believed the current tax code to be unfairly biased toward the wealthy.

Quickly realizing that his campaign's limited budget meant that he could not afford to engage in conventional advertising, Brown began to use a mixture of alternative media and unusual fundraising techniques. Unable to pay for actual commercials, Brown used frequent cable television and talk radio interviews as a form of free media to get his message to the voters. In order to raise funds, he purchased a toll-free telephone number, (the same number is still in use by Brown) which adorned all of his campaign paraphernalia. During the campaign, Brown's constant repetition of this number (at rallies, during interviews, and in the middle of debates), combined with the ultra-moralistic language he used, led some to describe him as a "political televangelist".

Despite poor showings in the Iowa caucus (1.6%) and the New Hampshire primary (8.0%), Brown soon managed to win narrow victories in Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Alaska, and Vermont, but he continued to be considered an also-ran for much of the campaign. It was not until shortly after Super Tuesday, when the field had been narrowed to Brown, former Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, and frontrunning Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas, that Brown began to emerge as a major contender in the eyes of the press.

On March 17, Brown forced Tsongas from the race when he received a strong third-place showing in the Illinois primary and then defeated the senator for second place in the Michigan primary by a wide margin. Exactly one week later, he cemented his position as a major threat to Clinton when he eked out a narrow win in the bitterly-fought Connecticut primary.

As the press now focused on the primaries in New York and Wisconsin, which were both to be held on the same day, Brown, who had taken the lead in polls in both states, made a serious gaffe: he announced to an audience of various leaders of New York City's Jewish community that, if nominated, he would consider the Reverend Jesse Jackson as a vice-presidential candidate. Jackson, who had made a pair of anti-Semitic comments about Jews in general and New York City's Jews in particular while running for president in 1984, was still a widely hated figure in that community and Brown's polling numbers suffered. On April 7, he lost narrowly to Bill Clinton in Wisconsin (37–34), and dramatically in New York (41–26).

Although Brown continued to campaign in a number of states, he won no further primaries. Despite this, he still had a sizable number of delegates, and a big win in his home state of California would deprive Clinton of sufficient support to win the nomination, possibly bringing about a brokered convention. After nearly a month of intense campaigning and multiple debates between the two candidates, Clinton managed to defeat Brown in this final primary by a margin of 48% to 41%. Although he did not win the nomination, Brown was able to boast of one accomplishment: At the following month's Democratic National Convention, he received the votes of 596 delegates on the first ballot, more than any other candidate but Clinton. He spoke at the convention and to the nation without endorsing Clinton by seconding his own nomination.

Jerry Brown was the first political figure to criticize Bill Clinton over the Whitewater controversy during the 1992 Democratic Presidential primary season.[13]

Radio show host

Beginning in 1995, Brown hosted a daily call-in talk show on the local Pacifica Radio station, KPFA-FM, in Berkeley. Both the radio program and Brown's political action organization, based in Oakland, were called We the People. His programs, usually featuring invited guests, generally explored alternative views on a wide range of social and political issues, from education and health care to spirituality and the death penalty. He strongly critiqued both the Democratic and Republican parties, often referring to himself as a "recovering politician" (a phrase intended as an analogy to the term "recovering alcoholic").

Oakland mayoral campaign

In early 1998, Brown announced that he was leaving the Democratic Party and changed his party registration to "Decline to State". He terminated his radio show that same year in order to run for the nonpartisan office of Mayor of Oakland. All municipal and county offices in California are by law nonpartisan, but candidates can be registered with any party they wish.

Prior to taking office, Brown also campaigned to get the approval of the electorate to convert Oakland's weak mayor political structure, which structured the mayor as chairman of the city council and official greeter, to a strong mayor structure, where the mayor would act as chief executive over the nonpolitical city manager and thus the various city departments, and break tie votes on the Oakland City Council.

Mayor of Oakland

Senator Dianne Feinstein (middle) meets with then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (left) and then-San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom (right) in her Washington Office. Both were considered possible challengers for Brown in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Within a few weeks of Brown's January, 1999 inauguration, one of his first acts as Mayor of Oakland was to invite the United States Marine Corps to stage war games titled "Urban Warrior" in the defunct Oakland Army Base and on the closed grounds of the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital after access to the Presidio of San Francisco was rescinded due to the protests of bay area residents and Presidio caretakers.[14] At least one hundred bay-area citizens and anti-military activists rallied against the exercise.[15]

Other efforts included acquiring millions of dollars in state and federal funding to open two charter schools, one of which was a charter military school.

As Mayor of Oakland Brown took on a new centrist ideology. He explained this shift was necessary due to the realities of being a big-city mayor with real problems. After having left the Democratic Party because he felt that it no longer stood up for progressive ideals, Brown re-registered as a Democrat shortly thereafter. In 2000, Brown endorsed Al Gore for President shortly before the California primary.[16]

10K redevelopment doctrine

Brown continued his predecessor Elihu Harris's public policy of supporting downtown housing development in the area defined as the Central Business District in Oakland's 1998 General Plan.[17] Since Brown worked toward the stated goal of bringing an additional 10,000 residents to Downtown Oakland, his plan was known as "10K." It has resulted in redevelopment projects in the Jack London District, where Brown purchased and later sold an industrial warehouse which he used as a personal residence, and in the Lakeside Apartments District near Lake Merritt. The 10k plan has touched the historic Old Oakland district, the Chinatown district, the Uptown district, and Downtown.

Attorney General


In early 2004, Brown expressed his interest to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of California in the 2006 election. On May 18, 2004, he formally filed the necessary papers to begin his campaign for the nomination, including a sworn declaration with the statement "I meet the statutory and constitutional qualifications for this office (including, but not limited to, citizenship, residency, and party affiliation, if required)".

Brown had an active Democratic primary opponent, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. Delgadillo put most of his money into TV ads attacking Brown and spent $4.1 million on the primary campaign. Brown defeated Delgadillo, 63% to 37%. In the general election, Brown defeated Republican State Senator Charles Poochigian 56.3% to 38.2%, which was the largest margin of victory in any statewide California race except the US Senate in which Dianne Feinstein's opponent did not mount a strong challenge.[18]

In the final weeks leading up to Election Day, Brown's eligibility to run for Attorney General was challenged in what Brown called a "political stunt by a Republican office seeker" (Contra Costa County Republican Central Committee chairman and state GOP vice-chair candidate Tom Del Beccaro). Republican plaintiffs claimed Brown did not meet California's eligibility requirements for the office of Attorney General: according to California Government Code §12503, "No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General unless he shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment to such office." Legal analysts called the lawsuit frivolous because Brown was admitted to practice law in the State of California on June 14, 1965, and had been so admitted to practice ever since. Although ineligible to practice law because of his voluntary inactive status in the State Bar of California from January 1, 1997 to May 1, 2003, he was nevertheless still admitted to practice. Because of this difference the case was eventually thrown out.[19][20]

Norman Hsu affair

Attorney General Brown's office played a role in events surrounding prominent Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu in 2007. Hsu had voluntarily returned to California in response to a 1992 warrant for failing to appear for sentencing in a fraud conviction.[21] Brown's office negotiated a 50% reduction in bail with Hsu's attorneys, but the court did not accept the agreement and imposed the full $2 million bail specified in the arrest warrant.[22][23] Additionally, Brown's office did not challenge releasing Hsu on bail without turning in his passport. After being released on bail, Hsu fled the state with his passport.[24] Hsu was quickly apprehended by federal authorities in Colorado.[25]

Brown received a $3,000 political contribution from an associate of Norman Hsu in 2005,[26] and a lawsuit filed against Hsu by an Orange County investment company alleged that Brown praised Hsu at a 2006 Democratic Party event.[27] Brown's spokesman stated that Brown may have stopped briefly at the event but did not praise Hsu "or in any way vouch for him."[27]

Proposition 8

The State Attorney General normally argues in support of laws that have been passed by the electorate. Brown took an unusual step by declining to defend Proposition 8, a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution that banned same-sex marriage. (As he himself opposed the amendment.)[28] On May 26, 2009 the California Supreme Court voted 6–1 to uphold Proposition 8.[29]

2010 gubernatorial campaign

Jerry Brown at 2008 California State Democratic Convention, San Jose, California, March 2008

Brown announced his candidacy for governor on March 2, 2010.[30] He is the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

First indicating his interest in early 2008, Brown formed an exploratory committee in order to seek a third term as Governor in 2010, following the expiration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's current term.[31] The fact that he has served two terms already does not affect him because Proposition 140 does not apply to those who served as Governor before the law passed in 1990.

Brown waited a long time before formally entering the California Democratic primary, for strategic as well as financial reasons. Initially it seemed he would be challenged by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and perhaps even Senator Dianne Feinstein, but both challengers eventually backed out, making Brown the defacto nomineee for lengthy period even prior to his formal declaration.

Should Brown be re-elected, it will mark the longest period (nearly 26 years) one person has elapsed between serving two non-consecutive periods as governor in California or in any other U.S. state.

Personal life

A bachelor as governor and mayor, Brown achieved some prominence in gossip columns for dating high-profile women, the most notable of whom was the singer Linda Ronstadt.

Brown has a long term friendship with Jacques Barzaghi, his aide-de-camp, whom he met in the early 1970s and put on his payroll. Author Roger Rapaport wrote in his 1982 Brown biography California Dreaming: The Political Odyssey of Pat & Jerry Brown, "this combination clerk, chauffeur, fashion consultant, decorator and trusted friend had no discernible powers. Yet late at night, after everyone had gone home to their families and TV consoles, it was Jacques who lingered in the Secretary (of state's) office." Barzaghi lived with Brown in the warehouse in Jack London Square and was brought into Oakland city government upon Brown's election as mayor, where Barzaghi first acted as the mayor's armed bodyguard. Brown later rewarded Barzaghi with high-paying city jobs, including "Arts Director." Brown dismissed Barzaghi in July 2004.[32]

In March 2005, Brown announced his engagement to his girlfriend since 1990, Anne Gust, former chief counsel for The Gap. They were married on June 18 in a ceremony officiated by Senator Dianne Feinstein in the Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland. They had a second, religious ceremony later in the day in the Roman Catholic church in San Francisco where Brown's parents had been married. Brown and Gust live near downtown Oakland, at the former Sears Roebuck Building, with their black Labrador, Dharma.

Political criticism of Brown

As Governor, Brown proposed the establishment of a state space academy and the purchasing of a satellite that would be launched into orbit to provide emergency communications for the state—a proposal similar to one that would indeed eventually be adopted by the state. In 1978 an out-of-state columnist, Mike Royko, then at the Chicago Sun-Times, nicknamed Brown "Governor Moonbeam" because of the latter idea. In 1992, almost 15 years later, Royko would disavow the nickname, proclaiming Brown to be "just as serious" as any other politician.[33]

Voters passed Proposition 13 during Brown's tenure as governor, and Brown was criticized for not decreasing the state's surplus by cutting property taxes and thereby paving the way for the success of the proposition. Wrote Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post, "As incomes and property values rose, Sacramento's tax revenue soared—but the parsimonious Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, neither spent those funds nor rebated them. With the state sitting on a $5 billion surplus, frustrated Californians grumped to the polls and passed Proposition 13, which rolled back and then froze property taxes—effectively destroying the funding base of local governments and school districts, which thereafter depended largely on Sacramento for their revenue. Ranked fifth among the states in per-pupil spending during the 1950s and '60s, California sank to the mid-40s by the 1990s.[34]

In 2006, the murder rate in Oakland in the first two months was triple the same period in 2005,[35] leading some critics to suggest that Brown had failed to make the city safer.[36] Violent crime decreased by a third during his tenure,[citation needed] however, and he attempted to enact several anti-crime programs, including a night curfew for convicted felons which was not implemented. His campaigns to fix the schools, fill downtown with residents, create an "arts" city and curb crime have had mixed success.

The song "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys is sung from the perspective of Jerry Brown during his tenure as Governor. The song has Brown painting a picture of a hippie-fascist state, satirizing what they considered his mandating of liberal ideas in a fascist manner. Lyricist Jello Biafra later said in an interview with Nardwuar that he now feels different about Brown, as it turned out he wasn't as bad as he thought he would be.[37]

The 1979 movie Americathon told the comedic (hypothetical) story of a liberal legacy former California Governor who was dating a rock star, Chet Roosevelt (a character inspired by Jerry Brown) who had become President of a bankrupt, oil depleted America[38]

In 2008, the First Amendment Coalition requested access to Brown's gubernatorial records. After leaving the governorship, Brown helped seal his records and those of future governors for a 50-year secrecy period. He has been urged to release his records before the election and to help shorten or eliminate the secrecy period.[39] [40] [41]


  1. ^ Finnegan, Michael (2 February 2009). "34 years later, Jerry Brown runs for governor again". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Dolan, Maura (21 February 2006). "A High Bar for Lawyers". Los Angeles Times: p. 3. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Marinucci, Carla (29 July 2009), "Jerry Brown's favorite charities get millions", San Francisco Chronicle,, retrieved 11 March 2010 
  4. ^ "Official portrait of Jerry Brown as Governor of California". California State Capitol Museum. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  5. ^ Brown, Jerry (1975-01-06). "Inaugural Address". Governors of California. State of California. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  6. ^ Bachelis 1986, p. 68
  7. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (December 5, 2009). "4 Ex-Governors Craving Jobs of Yore". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Jerry Brown Meets Sgt. York & Flavor Flav". CalBuzz. December 10, 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Edmund G. Brown, Jr.". California Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  10. ^ Walters, Dan (2008-04-08). "For Joe Shell, character trumped ideology in California politics". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. 
  11. ^ a b Zamora, Jim Herron (2006-06-02). [ "Brown's rivals question commitment to death penalty"]. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  12. ^ Lewis, Anthony (1989-08-20). "He Was Their Last Resort". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  13. ^ Bradley, William (25 May 2008). "The OTHER Big Problem With Hillary's Notorious Remarks". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  14. ^ Brazil, Eric; Hatfield, Larry (15 March 1999). "Marines open war". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Marines launch controversial military exercises in California". Kingman Daily Miner. 14 March 1999.,980296. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  16. ^ Pear, Robert; Dao, James (26 February 2000), "THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE DEMOCRATS; Jerry Brown Backs Gore; Rivals Attack G.O.P.", The New York Times,, retrieved 11 March 2010 
  17. ^ Robert Gammon (3 January 2007). [ "Inflating the Numbers, The Brown administration came very close on the 10K Plan. So why the grade inflation?"]. East Bay Express. 
  18. ^ McPherson, Bruce. ""Statement of Vote", 2006" (PDF). Elections & Voter Information. California Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  19. ^ "Editorial: GOP Volunteers Disgrace Party by Opposition to Kennard, Suit Against Brown". Metropolitan News-Enterprise: p. 6. October 23, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  20. ^ Richman, Josh (February 10, 2007). "Judge dismisses suit against Brown". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  21. ^ Chuck Neubauer, Robin Fields (2007-08-29). "Democratic fundraiser is a fugitive in plain sight". Los Angeles Times.,1,6341933.story. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  22. ^ "Top Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu in custody after turning himself in". Associated Press. 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  23. ^ John Wildermuth (2007-09-01). "Hsu what? Big-time Democratic donor faces prison after surrender". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  24. ^ Dan Morain, Chuck Neubauer (2007-09-06). "Democratic donor skips day in court". Los Angeles Times.,1,7156003.story. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  25. ^ Joseph M. Schadler (2007-09-06). "Fugitive Fraudster Norman Hsu Arrested by the FBI". U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  26. ^ Office of California Secretary of State, documentation of contribution by Winkle Paw to Jerry Brown (2005-11-23). "Contributor Search page". Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  27. ^ a b Robin Fields, Dan Morain, Chuck Neubauer (2007-09-22). "O.C. suit accuses fundraiser Hsu of $23-million fraud". Los Angeles Times.,1,4809710.story. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  28. ^ "Calif. Sup. Ct. arguments on Prop. 8, at a glance". San Jose Mercury News. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  29. ^ "California high court upholds same-sex marriage ban". May 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  30. ^ Kernis, Jay (March 2, 2010). "Intriguing people for March 2, 2010". CNN (Turner Broadcasting). Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  31. ^ "The Anti-Governator: Jerry Brown wants to be governor of California again". The Economist. 12 June 2008. 
  32. ^ Steve Rubenstein and Janine DeFeo, "Barzaghi Departs Jerry Brown Staff", San Francisco Chronicle (July 20, 2004)
  33. ^ McKinley, Jesse (March 7, 2010). "How Jerry Brown Became ‘Governor Moonbeam’". The New York Times: p. WK5. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  34. ^ Meyerson, Harold (May 28, 2009) "How the Golden State Got Tarnished." Washington Post. (Retrieved 7-22-09.)
  35. ^ Lee, Vic (July 11, 2006). "Oakland's Murder Rate Is Soaring". ABC7 (KGO-TV). Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  36. ^ Johnson, Chip (November 25, 2002). "Killings take big toll on Oakland". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  37. ^ Ruskin, John (2002). "Nardwuar the Human Serviette vs Jello Biafra". Nardwuar. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  38. ^ "Americathon (1979)". Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  39. ^ Allen-Taylor, Douglas (28 January 2010), "Undercurrents: Brown’s Record on Public Records Speaks Volumes", The Berkeley Daily Planet,, retrieved 11 March 2010 
  40. ^ Harmon, Steven (23 January 2010), "Little-known law is blocking path to Jerry Brown's papers", Contra Costa Times,, retrieved 11 March 2010 
  41. ^ Mathews, Joe (25 November 2009), "The time lock Jerry Brown put on governors' papers", Los Angeles Times,, retrieved 11 March 2010 


  • Bollens, John C. and G. Robert Williams. Jerry Brown: In a Plain Brown Wrapper (Pacific Palisades, California: Palisades Publishers, 1978). ISBN 0-913530-12-3
  • Brown, Governor Jerry. Thoughts (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1976)
  • Brown, Jerry. Dialogues (Berkeley, California: Berkeley Hills Books, 1998). ISBN 0-9653774-9-0
  • Bachelis, Faren Maree (1986), The Pelican Guide to Sacramento and the Gold Country, Pelican, ISBN 0882894978, 
  • Lorenz, J. D. Jerry Brown: The Man on the White Horse (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1978). ISBN 0-395-25767-0
  • McDonald, Heather. "Jerry Brown’s No-Nonsense New Age for Oakland", City Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, Autumn 1999.
  • Pack, Robert. Jerry Brown, The Philosopher-Prince (New York: Stein and Day, 1978). ISBN 0-8128-2437-7
  • Rapoport, Roger. California Dreaming: The Political Odyssey of Pat & Jerry Brown (Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 1982) ISBN 0-917316-48-7
  • Schell, Orville. Brown (New York: Random House, 1978). ISBN 0-394-41043-2

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
H.P. Sullivan
California Secretary of State
Succeeded by
March Fong Eu
Preceded by
Ronald Reagan
Governor of California
Succeeded by
George Deukmejian
Preceded by
Elihu Harris
Mayor of Oakland, California
Succeeded by
Ronald V. Dellums
Legal offices
Preceded by
Bill Lockyer
California Attorney General


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jerry Brown (born 7 April 1938) was formerly Governor of California, ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, was currently Mayor of Oakland, California, and is currently Attorney General of California.



  • We are in a degenerate state of self-government. In fact, even to use the words self-government, is not only an exaggeration, it's a lie. It's a big lie!
  • I'd shrink government in a minute, if I could shrink GM, Bank of America, and all these immoral corporations that operate by an undemocratic code, with no soul and no conscience.
    • From an unspecified KPFA-FM radio show program
    • Waldman, Peter, "Back to Earth: Jerry Brown, the Voice of New-Age Populism, Gets Down to Business", Wall Street Journal, 10 August 1999.
  • The U.S. incarceration binge is not tied to crime. It's a strategy to control the surplus population in a capitalist system that is breaking down.

About Brown

  • Jerry Brown was just a nut.
    • James Carville, All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President (1994), pp. 89-90


  • Clinton is not going to get the nomination. […] You can put that in your tape recorders and ask me about it in a couple months.
  • The power of the individual to be free of government influence should include preventing intrusions in our bedrooms, our blood-stream, our hair and our urine.
  • A high-class casino would bring in a lot of money a billion and a half goes to South Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area and we could capture a significant amount of that money, and much of it could go to Oakland.
  • A little vagueness goes a long way in this business.
  • Vitriol can irritate, but it is often the price of freewheeling discussion and the discovery of important stuff.
    • from his blog
  • Protect the Earth, serve the people, and explore the universe
    • Campaign slogan in the 1980 U.S. presidential primary campaign
  • There is a refreshing note to all of this.
    • Reflecting on the recall election that ousted Governor Gray Davis
  • [Schwarzenegger] ran against special interests, said he'll do right by the people and has shown unprecedented goodwill with bi-partisan appointments to his transition team.
  • Reelection upon reelection of the same incumbents occurs at the expense of new ideas, new energy, and honest representation.

We the People programs

The following quotes are supposedly from the archives of We the People Radio Network, but the site no longer seems to include these programs.

  • Look at the whole criminal correction game, which is a big piece of our economy. It's just an invention. Crime is being invented to put people to work.
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out on Welfare Reform", We the People Radio Network archives, February/March 1995
  • We're being ripped off and screwed by a bunch of liars, thieves, crooks, and criminals, and they're not the folks below. Don't look in the streets; look in the corporate suites!
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out on Welfare Reform", We the People Radio Network archives, February/March 1995
  • The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs.
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out on Welfare Reform", We the People Radio Network archives, February/March 1995
  • Here the system is creating an industry around the drug issue when it does nothing to stop the corrupt military that moves the drugs, and the big banks that are all in cahoots with the President and the big shots in the Congress.
    • "Jerry Brown on Drugs and State Power", We the People Radio Network archives, August/September 1995
  • When I say the U.S. Government is taking another step down the road to totalitarianism, I'm not just saying that for rhetorical effect. There is a systematic movement to extinguish the liberties of the American people.
    • "Jerry Brown on Drugs and State Power", We the People Radio Network archives, August/September 1995
  • The big lock-up is about drugs. Here's the real scam. The drug war is one of the games to get more convictions and prisoners.
    • "Jerry Brown on Crime Control", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1995
  • But the dark evil geniuses who run this country have figured out another use for these surplus people — arrest them in the war on drugs or the war on crime and put them into prison, adding to the gross domestic product!
    • "Jerry Brown on Crime Control", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1995
  • So we are being systematically trained to fear this false ‘rising crime' tide. This is all part of a system to lock up more people, and impose more control and surveillance.
    • "Jerry Brown on Crime Control", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1995
  • A lot of street crime is horrible, but in terms of the dislocation, the undermining of the family — the corporate criminals, many of whom reside in Congress and the White House — are getting away literally with murder.
    • "Jerry Brown on Crime Control", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1995
  • That's another step forward in creating a nation of sheep in a totalitarian state, saying, "Yes sir, yes sir! Is that what you want? Do it to me again!" By the time they graduate, kids won't even know they have rights. They'll be little stooges for a fascist state.
    • "Paolo Soleri interviewed by Jerry Brown", We the People Radio Network archives, 8 December 1995
  • Okay, so what we really have to recognize and own as Americans is that our way of being is itself perhaps the greatest threat to the continuation of civilization.
    • "Paolo Soleri interviewed by Jerry Brown", We the People Radio Network archives, 8 December 1995
  • The corporation is an out-of–control Frankenstein.
    • "Jerry Brown on Corporations and Jobs", We the People Radio Network archives, December 1995/January 1996
  • The corporation is not a person; it is a legal fiction backed up by guns and police and jail cells and taxing authorities and the regulators called government.
    • "Jerry Brown on Corporations and Jobs", We the People Radio Network archives, December 1995/January 1996
  • The sovereignty of America has just been eroded in plain daylight by Clinton and the Congress, who take an oath to the Constitution. Those criminals continue to destroy this country and the world itself.
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out on Corporate Power", We the People Radio Network archives, February/March 1996
  • The execution of William Bonin was not the traditional gas chamber of the past. That has been ruled cruel and unusual. Instead, we have something that seems very kind and benign and technical; the injection of chemicals, Nazi-style.
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out: That's the Way I See It", We the People Radio Network archives, April/May 1996
  • The great danger of humane punishment is that people will come to accept state murder as something sanitary. I don't think bureaucracy should ever be entrusted with that kind of power.
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out: That's the Way I See It", We the People Radio Network archives, April/May 1996
  • Let's draw the boundary early not wait until it's obvious like Hitler's Germany and insist that the state shall never, never, take the life of a person!
    • "Jerry Brown Speaks Out: That's the Way I See It", We the People Radio Network archives, April/May 1996
  • …not to mention the CIA which should be, I think, dissolved, it's of no use — a great source of mischief — I don't see any point to the FBI…
    • "Gore Vidal: We the People Radio Interview with Jerry Brown", We the People Radio Network archives, 8 July 1996
  • The war on drugs is really no war at all — it's a business!
    • "Jerry Brown on the Drug War and Government", We the People Radio Network archives, April/May 1997
  • The drug war isn't what purports to be. If you look at the whole operation and the tie-in between the American intelligence agencies, these so-called "assets", the spies on the payroll of the CIA, and drug dealers. Don't let members of Congress and the media get away with this complacency and distortion!
    • "Jerry Brown on the Drug War and Government", We the People Radio Network archives, April/May 1997
  • The CIA was revealed to be spying in France, not for military purposes, but for corporate purposes. So this $30 billion spook agency is now at the disposal of these oligarchic corporate structures run by the 1%.
    • "Jerry Brown and Charles Reich Discuss 'The System'", We the People Radio Network archives, May 1997
  • That's why we have to look at the death penalty as part of a larger pattern that is inhuman.
    • "Jerry Brown and Mike Farrell on the Death Penalty", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1997
  • We've got to back up here and say it's not okay. It's not okay even to kill guilty people.
    • "Jerry Brown and Mike Farrell on the Death Penalty", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1997
  • Banning capital punishment takes us to a higher state of consciousness.
    • "Jerry Brown and Mike Farrell on the Death Penalty", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1997
  • Some of the same rhetoric used by the law-and-order crowd has been used by authoritarian states over and over again.
    • "Jerry Brown and Mike Farrell on the Death Penalty", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1997
  • Then once you get people locked up, it's an incredibly inhuman system.
    • "Jerry Brown and Mike Farrell on the Death Penalty", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1997
  • The way people are treated in them [prisons] is very similar to gulags.
    • "Jerry Brown and Mike Farrell on the Death Penalty", We the People Radio Network archives, October/November 1997

About Jerry Brown

  • That man [Jerry] is like 500 pounds of Jello.
    • Willie Brown, former Speaker of the California State Assembly, former Mayor of San Francisco
    • The San Francisco Chronicle, unspecified article/page, 6 July 1976
  • [Jerry Brown] is the most self-serving, inept politician that I have ever met in my 35 years in politics.
    • John Burton, former President Pro Tem of the California State Senate
    • Los Angeles Times, unspecified article/page, 17 November 1990
  • I don't think you can take much of what he says seriously.
  • He is by an order of magnitude the most self-absorbed politician I have ever dealt with.
    • John Emerson, Brown counsel in 1982 U.S. Senate race
    • New York Times, unspecified article/page, 2 April 1992
  • I do not believe he believes what he is saying.
    • John Emerson, New York Times, unspecified article/page, 2 April 1992
  • I listened, and I've come to the conclusion I just don't trust him.
    • Marcela Howell, former Chair of the National Abortion Rights Action League
    • The Los Angeles Times, unspecified article/page, 31 January 1989
  • Jerry has given hypocrisy a bad name.
    • Mickey Kantor, manager of Brown's 1976 Presidential and 1982 U.S. Senate campaigns
    • Los Angeles Times, unspecified article/page, 17 March 1992
  • Oftentimes Jerry will run for an office and not want to do the things that are part of that office.
    • Richard Katz, former State Assemblyman
    • New York Times, unspecified article/page, 2 April 1992
  • He's totally into power.
    • Richard Maullin, Brown's campaign finance director for 1974 Gubernatorial campaign
    • The San Francisco Chronicle, unspecified article/page, 24 March 1992
  • Jerry is perceived by most legislators as very selfish.
    • Leo McCarthy, former Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the California State Assembly
    • United Press International, unspecified article, unspecified date, 1978
  • The governor is the worst administrator ever to come down the pike.
    • Lou Papan, former State Assemblyman
    • The Sacramento Union, unspecified article/page, 26 December 1982
  • He's very ambitious and will do anything to be in power.
    • Stanley Sheinbaum, former Brown appointee to the University of California Regents
    • New York Times 2 April 1992
  • I don't know who Jerry Brown is anymore. There's been so many evolvements.
    • Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party
    • The Sacramento Bee, unspecified article/page, 28 March 1998
  • I don't like to talk about Jerry Brown. I don't like him.
    • Carmen Warshaw, former Democratic National Committee member
    • New York Times, unspecified article/page, 2 April 1992
  • I don't think Jerry Brown is committed to anything but Jerry Brown.
    • Shirley Wechsler, former Vice President of Americans for Democratic Action
    • Penthouse, unspecified article/page, October 1979

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|150px|Jerry Brown]] Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. (born April 7, 1938) is the governor of California. He was also the governor of California from 1975 to 1983[1] before again being elected governor in 2010. Brown is a member of the Democratic Party. He has also been California's Secretary of State, Attorney General of California, and was the mayor of Oakland for eight years.[2] He ran for President of the United States several times, but did not win his primary.


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