Now, they've got something on which to base their opposition: a study by CalPERS that suggests such a system may not be all it's cracked up to be.
The report released late Tuesday concludes that Brown's plan (at least in as much as a work-in-progress could be analyzed) would "lower retirement benefits for new employees and shift the risk from employers to employees."
You don't get many political multi-tasking days like this one: heated debate over legislation down to its final day to survive, a new alarm over the state's finances, and public disclosure of all the campaign cash raised by candidates and campaigns in 2011.
Now, it looks as though the white knight has ridden in... on his own jet.
The reform group assembled and underwritten by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, the Think Long Committee for California, today endorsed and pledged its support to the wide-ranging initiative drafted by another reform group, California Forward.
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told reporters this morning that he's not closing the door on pleas to postpone the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies.
But let's admit it: the door is on one of those automatic arms that closes by itself, and Steinberg isn't jumping up to prop it open.
As such, the conversation inside the state Capitol is likely soon to turn to what California's post-redevelopment world will look like... and Steinberg is cooking up an interesting idea.
And so the headlines from an interview with Assembly Speaker John Perez in his Capitol office: shrink November's massive state water bond, keep high speed rail on track, be cautious on the budget, find an alternative to local redevelopment agencies.
A new year has arrived and, now that we've closed the book on 2011, here's a glimpse into the crystal ball at what might be some of the interesting things around the bend in California politics for 2012.
Yes, some of them are more likely than others. But foresight isn't 20/20, so take this with all of the appropriate caveats.
As it turns out, the comment made during last month's court hearing by the attorney representing the state. "The redevelopment agencies took a gamble on this lawsuit," said deputy state attorney Ross Moody.
And it's a gamble they lost.
As supporters push forward on plans to break ground on construction by year's end, critics are demanding a second look and... perhaps... a scrapping of the project altogether. And both camps have the political firepower to wage an epic battle.
But as he's proved before, Brown often seems to believe that when it comes to explaining his ideas... he's best the guy for the job.