Should Brown Have Taken His Own Advice?

August 7, 2011 · Filed Under CA Politics, The Governor · 2 Comments 

Getty/Justin Sullivan

It's impossible to resist taking Governor Jerry Brown's Sunday network news interview, and the advice he offered a fellow Democrat in the White House, and viewing it through the prism of the campaign he ran for governor in 2010.

And when doing so, it becomes clear that Brown is urging President Barack Obama to do pretty much exactly the opposite of what he himself did on the campaign trail just a few months ago: be specific.
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Voters More Diverse... and Confused... Than Ever

Getty/Kevork Djansezian

In politics, there's often a danger in relying too much on conventional wisdom. And a just released statewide poll on the November election confirms that danger, as it seems California's electorate is starting to look and act differently than expected.

In a nutshell: white voters and partisans lost, the generation gap is growing, and a wide swath of voters seem ready for change... though admitting they're also confused.
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Podcast: Transition Blues

November 19, 2010 · Filed Under Podcasts, The Governor · Comments Off 

For political junkies, it's a great scene out of a great flick. Newly elected (fictional) Senator Bill McKay, overwhelmed by it all at the end of the 1972 movie The Candidate, asks his top adviser: "What do we do now?"

Good question.

This week's Capital Notes Podcast looks at a similar challenge now faced by Governor-elect Jerry Brown (whose own life story seemed to track the fictional McKay, portrayed by Robert Redford).

Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I discuss Brown's transition process to date, which is focused on the biggest problem of all: the looming $25.4 billion deficit faced by the state.

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NOTE: The podcast will be on hiatus for the holiday next week.

Podcast: Jerry on Jerry

November 12, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, The Governor · Comments Off 

Sometimes, archived interviews are worth listening to again. Especially when the person's word take on a greater meaning after the passage of time and major events.

This week's Capital Notes Podcast is a dip into the not-too-distant archives for my springtime conversation with now Governor-elect Jerry Brown. The chat, one of many he had with political reporters during the week he announced he was seeking his old job, was no doubt an overview; but given that he's now just weeks away from taking office, you kind of catch some nuance to things that wasn't so clear at the time. Like the idea of taking budget issues to the people via an election, or the admission that nothing in California governance can be sacrosanct in these dire times, even the political shock felt 'round the world in 1978.

I should note that Brown and his campaign never agreed to another sit-down conversation during the general election campaign; perhaps, though, chances will arise again to draw him out on how all of this will actually work.

And yes, we'll make sure to return to the studio banter of our normal podcast routine soon.

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Brown's Challenges, Whitman's Adieu

November 7, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, The Governor · 7 Comments 

Every election finds the gap between the winner and loser widening at an exponential rate after the results come in; winners become leaders-in-waiting, losers find themselves knee deep in the muck of criticism and post-game analysis.

So no one should be surprised how fast the worlds of Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are moving in opposite directions.
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Podcast: Brown and Blue

November 5, 2010 · Filed Under Podcasts · 3 Comments 

It was a color rich day for California politics this week, and both are hues that are instantly familiar. Much to the chagrin, though, of those who prefer red.

This week, a special Capital Notes Podcast -- some insight into the victories of Governor-elect Jerry Brown and his fellow Democrats offered by a daylong event featuring some of the state's sharpest political minds. The event was held Thursday in Sacramento, sponsored by Capitol Weekly and the UC Sacramento Center.

Anthony York and I chat briefly at the beginning of this podcast, and then you'll hear some excerpts from the thoughts of political analyst Tony Quinn, Democratic political consultant Garry South, former GOP legislator Jim Brulte, and gubernatorial chief of staff Susan Kennedy.

We'll likely be back to our humdrum studio environs next week...

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Call the Coroner: The Election Post-Mortem

November 3, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Politics, Elections, The Governor · 1 Comment 

Getty/Kevork Djansezian

Happy Democrats. Angry Republicans. Mixed messages from the voters. Three admittedly obvious but major stories this morning from California's 2010 elections.
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And Now, Vote!

November 2, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections · Comments Off 

Photo: Getty Images

After being bombarded with hundreds of mailers, fliers stuck in the door, automated phone calls from the 202 area code, and more TV ads than possibly be fast forwarded through on a DVR, it'll all be over in a matter of hours.

The election, that is. The really ugly stuff -- the governing -- is next.

And as the returns start to roll in, here are some of the side stories, stories behind the stories, and trends that might be worth watching.
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Jerry, Meg: The Wee Small Hours

October 31, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections · Comments Off 

Getty/Justin Sullivan

Jerry Brown was making his way out of a packed diner in downtown Chico. He'd just given a thorough, though a bit rambling, defense of why he is asking voters to again elect him as governor. And now, he was shaking hands and thanking the final throng of folks who had waited outside and listened on a loudspeaker to his remarks inside.

"Go get 'em!" yelled a supporter.

To which Brown replied, "Well, they're gonna get me, too." Maybe, if things go his way.

The undeniable fact about this long, bitter, and expensive race for governor is this: like it or not, someone's getting this job come daybreak on Wednesday.
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Campaign Check: The Final Analysis

October 31, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections · Comments Off 

KQED/John Myers

The long, ugly, and unbelievably expensive race for governor is almost over. And now, the tough question: have the voters really learned what they need to know to make an informed choice?

Our final Campaign Check segment on this weekend's newsmagazine edition of The California Report takes a look at that issue, as well as one of the most unusual moments you're likely to see in a political campaign.
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