The Once & Future Governor Jerry Brown

Yesterday the 71 year old Jerry Brown made his formal entry into the California Governor’s race. In a three minute announcement posted on, he highlighted his experience as well as took some indirect shots at his opponents. What kind of a Governor Jerry Brown was, and what kind of a Governor he would make, are an interesting topic for discussion.

Jerry Brown first served as Governor of California in the years 1975 to 1983. Elected when he was only 36 years old, Brown inherited a State that was experiencing one of the best economies in its history. The first efflorescence of the high-tech boom happened during Brown’s years as Governor, it was also the heyday of the west-coast aerospace boom. Other sectors of the State’s economy, from housing to agriculture, and everything in between, had not yet fallen prey to the plague of over-regulation and environmentalist gridlock that has since diminished opportunities in the Golden State. Brown presided over some very good years for California.

Brown is still criticized by mainstream journalists for being Governor when Proposition 13 was passed. This is guilt by association at most, he campaigned hard against the initiative. But when Prop. 13 passed, something happened that is instructive about Jerry Brown – he implemented it with a vengeance. He respected the will of the voters. Something the critics ignore, however, is that Prop. 13 didn’t hinder California’s ability to balance its budget, it was something else Jerry Brown did that caused our […] Read More