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Jerry Brown's legacy in California: From 'Moonbeam' to mainstream




MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - MARCH 05:  California governor Jerry Brown looks on as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Computer History Museum on March 5, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined California governor Jerry Brown to sign a historic agreement that expands California's partnership with Israel on economic development, research and trade.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - MARCH 05: California governor Jerry Brown looks on as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Computer History Museum on March 5, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined California governor Jerry Brown to sign a historic agreement that expands California's partnership with Israel on economic development, research and trade. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Governor Jerry Brown has won many fans over the years. He's also gained a fair share of critics. But regardless of how Californians might feel about Brown in his final year, one thing rings true: California's never seen a governor like Brown, and it isn't likely to see one again anytime soon. 

So how will California historians remember Edmund Gerald Brown Jr.?

Jack Pitney, the Roy P. Crocker professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, puts it in three words: 

Restraint. Recovery. Stability. Some of that is the product of circumstances, and some of that is Jerry Brown's doing. In general, he's been a very good, competent governor, and to use the words that Reagan used to describe his own tenure: "Not bad, not bad at all."

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