He's back! Thirty-six years after California voters first elected him governor, Jerry Brown has won the Democratic nomination for the job again. It will be his third run for the state's top office. KPCC's Brian Watt was at Brown's celebration Tuesday night in downtown Los Angeles.
For a 72-year-old man first elected governor half a lifetime ago, Jerry Brown was focused and feisty. He took a swat at his new Republican rival Meg Whitman and current governor Arnold Schwarzenegger without even saying their names.
"It's not enough for someone rich and restless to look in the mirror one morning and say, 'Hey, it's time to be governor of California.'" The crowd laughed and cheered. "We tried that, and it didn't work."
Brown said he knows how Sacramento works, and more importantly, how it should work. Right now, he said, the State Capitol is in crisis and he's ready to bring legislators from both parties together to fix it. That starts, according to Brown, with leveling with Californians about the budget mess.
"If we have $85, we can't spend $100," said Brown. "It's just that simple. Now I know how to live with limits. I got rid of the governor's limousine, his private jet. Instead of the governor's mansion, I rented an apartment across from the Capitol and paid for it myself."
The former secretary of state, mayor of Oakland, current attorney general and once and maybe future governor heads into the general election having raised more than $16 million while spending less than a half a million. Brown called his campaign an example of frugality – and the Republican primary a billion dollar demolition derby.