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Jerry Brown

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Jerry Brown strangling deficits with the power of the Force.
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Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, better known as Moonbeam, is (since 2011) the current Governor of California. His aura smiles and never frowns.

From a son of a Governor, to Secretary of State of Cali, to Governor himself. Then he had a failed Senate bid, followed by numerous and failed Presidential campaigns. After that comes a cool-down period, before being elected Mayor of Oakland, then Attorney General, then back to Governor again. There aren't many people you can point to today who would accept a downgrade in politics. (Maybe Nixon trying for Cali governor and losing that.) He replaced Der Governator who left the state a bit of a mess to clean up.

He has a past reputation for New Age flakery, advocating "Buddhist economics," Buckminster Fuller's futurism,[1] and holistic medicine, endorsing the likes of the Peoples Temple[2] and Synanon, and travelling to Asia to separately volunteer for Mother Teresa[3] and study Zen.[1]

Unlike Rick Perry, he knows the difference between a burp and a fart.

Presidential bid and lone wolf status[edit]

Brown was the Bernie Sanders to Clinton's 92 run—albeit a crank given his New Age nonsense. He made Whitewater the scandal it became. He was also one of the few Dems who openly mocked Bill over the Lewinsky scandal.

During his Presidential campaigns he ran to the right on a tax revolt scheme theme (a flat tax[4] and Balanced Budget Amendment),[5] but otherwise ran to the left on his New Age reputation.

It's only in the last few years that Brown has started to mellow out. Even his endorsement of Hillary is a backhanded one, as he's only going as far to say Clinton is a better option than Trump.


He talks a good populist game when out of office, but tends to swing rightward as soon as elected (this list is not all-inclusive):

  • He claimed to have balanced the state budget, but in reality he did so only by counting funds the state had won in court meant to help families facing foreclosures;
  • In 1982, he pardoned National Health Federation (NHF) governor James Privitera, M.D., when he was arrested for a laetrile-related offense, after the NHF started a letter campaign and got 10,000 letters;[6]
  • Like his predecessor, Brown has been very keen to deal with climate change, although many would argue he hasn't gone far enough, namely allowing fracking to continue, refusing to ban fossil fuels, and allowing the agricultural industry to use a ton of water during a historic drought.

He's currently defying that sentiment during his second two terms. He eventually released many prisoners, mainly to county jails, to fulfill a Supreme Court order to reduce overcrowding in California's prisons.[7][8]

Brown was a supporter of High speed rail in the eighties, which in part led to the creation of a state HSR authority in 1996 that finally managed to get a state high speed rail system on the ballot, which passed by a narrow margin in 2008. As chance would have it, Brown is now responsible for building the system, using cap and trade money as well as federal funds to pay for it.

Brown is also notable as his father already was a governor of the state in the fifties and he is both one of the youngest (in his first term) and one of the oldest (in his fourth term) California ever had. Once he completes his fourth term he will have set an unbeatable record for longest time as California governor, as the current limit is two terms in total.

See also[edit]