Friday, April 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ascendant Gov. Jerry Brown faces challenges

Bob Huff, Darrell Steinberg, Jerry Brown, John Perez, Connie Conway

In this Sept. 9, 2013, file photo, Gov. Jerry Brown, center, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, left, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, second from left, Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, second from right and Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, talks with reporters outside his Capitol office in Sacramento, Calif. Brown enters the final year of his third term as governor with a 58 precent approval rating and has given every indication short of an official announcement that he will seek re-election this year.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

By
From page A6 | January 05, 2014 | 2 Comments

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown is sprinting into the final year of his third term as governor with a series of policy successes and powerful financial backers boosting his all-but-certain run for another term.

His voter-approved tax increases and relative restraint on state budgeting helped end years of deficits and have even led to projections of future surpluses.

He has given every indication that he will seek re-election and already has racked up more than $15 million in contributions for a potential campaign, far eclipsing the fundraising of any of his would-be Republican rivals.

“I’ve been down, and I’ve been up. And I’d much prefer to be up,” the 75-year-old Democrat said during a recent Atlantic magazine conference, referring to the approval of his job performance among registered voters (58 percent in one poll and 47 percent in another, both released in early December).

Yet he also faces a multitude of policy challenges that could potentially come to a head in 2014. They include his support for the $68 billion high-speed rail project, which is fast losing public favor and faces an uncertain future after a state judge ruled that current plans do not comply with the initiative approved by voters in 2008.

A $24 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels for shipping water from Northern California to Southern California has drawn opposition from the delta region and conservationists. And his landmark sentencing overhaul to address a federal court order on prison reduction is giving fodder to Republicans who raise the specter of a rising crime rate.

None of those concerns is likely to be enough to derail his path to re-election, though.

Brown has proven to be politically adept, persuading voters in 2012 to approve Proposition 30, which temporarily raises the state sales tax and income taxes on the wealthy. The infusion of an extra $6 billion a year helped the balance the state budget and allowed him to score points with the public by giving more money to schools.

He also had the good fortune to take office as the national economy was beginning to rebound and after voters approved an initiative allowing the state budget to pass with a majority vote in the Legislature rather than a two-thirds supermajority. With Brown’s fellow Democrats controlling the Legislature, the change ended the political gridlock faced by his predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Having two-thirds majorities of Democrats in the Assembly and Senate at various points in the past year also has made governing easier.

“How much credit he can really take, I’m not so sure. I give him Prop. 30; I give him that hands-down,” said Larry Gerston, a political scientist at San Jose State University.

But he said California has benefited from the larger rebound in the nation’s economy.

“And so, when things are rolling, the governor takes a disproportionate credit for what’s happened. And when things are foundering, the governor gets disproportionate blame. He deserves neither the credit nor the blame,” Gerston said.

The governor’s rosy rhetoric about the state’s ascendency also might be out of step with the experience of many Californians. A survey by the Public Policy Institute of California released in December found that two-thirds of Californians believe the state remains in a recession and is divided between the haves and have-nots.

The state also continues to face a “wall of debt” that Brown has talked about, which includes at least $300 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and retiree health care, and about $10 billion the state owes the federal government for unemployment insurance claims.

Paying it down will be a challenge, however. With the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office predicting budget surpluses for the first time in years, Brown will face mounting pressure from Democratic constituencies to increase spending.

Those knocking on the governor’s door include groups seeking the return of money borrowed from special funds to help balance the budget, such as $1 billion in gas taxes intended for road repairs and $500 million in cap-and-trade funds intended for environmental protection.

Prominent environmental groups recently sent Brown a letter calling on him to commit the cap-and-trade money to environmental preservation or risk “losing credibility” on the issue. He also has been dogged by those critical of his decision to allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of oil and natural gas in California.

Opponents hope to paint Brown next year as a product of the status quo who has failed to make necessary structural changes in state spending.

“He’s scratching the surface, checking a box and saying ‘Yep, I solved this problem, let’s move on to the next one,’ ” said Neel Kashkari, former U.S. Treasury official and potential GOP challenger to Brown. “But has he really addressed the unfunded pension liabilities? No. Has he really addressed education? No. Has he really addressed economic growth? No. But he can show a little bit of action on each of these, and then on to the next thing.”

A political spokesman for Brown, Dan Newman, called it “comical” that a candidate who helped lead the nation’s $700 billion bank bailout now is criticizing the governor who eliminated California’s massive deficit and put the state back on solid footing, “along with a litany of other accomplishments, which he seems to simultaneously acknowledge and dismiss.” The Troubled Asset Relief Program Kashkari helped lead eventually spent $422 billion.

In 2013, Brown signed legislation that raised the minimum wage for the first time in years, to $10 by 2016, and restructured the state’s school spending formula to direct more money to schools with the highest proportion of poor children and English-learners.

Brown has declined requests for an interview with The Associated Press.

In addition to Kashkari, two other Republicans are expected to challenge Brown: former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a tea party favorite from San Bernardino County.

The June primary is the first gubernatorial race under California’s top two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the November general election regardless of party, leaving the field wide open for the GOP contenders.

So far, polls have shown Brown’s three potential challengers have little name recognition and are not a serious threat if he chooses to run.

Those familiar with the governor know not to expect a formal announcement too far in advance of the March 7 deadline.

“I don’t jump into these things lightly, and that’s why I’ve not declared my intentions,” Brown told reporters at a Sacramento event in November, saying that he is concentrating on governing. “But at the same time, I am aware that in November of next year there will be an election, and I will make some decisions regarding that. I want to take the time that’s appropriate.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 8:13 am

    He has done what he said he would. I don’t like the train or the water ideas but the prison issue isn’t entirely on him he responded to Federal orders. If he runs he wins. Opposition would be best advised to stay home and donate to charity.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. PracticalJanuary 05, 2014 - 1:41 pm

    He's been a mixed bag. Not as bad as I thought. His politics are at issue. He stopped important reforms so he could get it on his re-election resume and he brokered a deal with the unions so they wouldn't take a higher minimum wage measure to the ballot. The train and the tunnels is more than enough to justify not voting for him, but he will win.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Concert master gets solo during Solano Symphony shows

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
So, where is that editor?

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B1

Suisun break ground on Walmart

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
District attorney candidates field questions at forum

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Open Studios May 3-4 in Benicia

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
‘Tonight Show’ comic stops in Vallejo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

The spy who went to Armijo High

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Cheating Daylight kicks off tour in hometown

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B2

Little Anthony joins line up at county fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B2

 
Notable Benicia homes, colorful gardens open for tour

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B2

Daily Republic seeks good news for column

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Sutter’s thank-you to children gets top marks

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Suisun Marsh plan gets federal signoff

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police promote 3 from within

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Machete-attack case goes to jury

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Tickets on sale for Denim and Diamonds fundraiser

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Spring book sales at Vacaville, Vallejo libraries

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Children battle in Suisun – using book knowledge

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Library fundraiser ‘BrewHaha’ on tap May 3

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Brown reappoints Vacaville man to post

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

Community meeting on Fairfield crime set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for Friday, April 25, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Chicago doctor among those killed in Afghanistan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Water picture improves for some California towns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Study links California drought to global warming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Gunman kills 3 Americans at Kabul hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Bill calls for enhanced lessons on Obama election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
100-year-old California woman gets diploma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California bill attacks growing corporate wage gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
NRA seeks universal gun law at national meeting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Senate report criticizes former DHS watchdog

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Measles off to a fast start, as cases trend up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Nevada rancher defends remarks, loses supporters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Management, safety cited for radiation release

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Gaga over gorillas? 2 babies arrive at Bronx Zoo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Senate’s newest class speaks out on foreign policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tiny Pacific nation sues 9 nuclear-armed powers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Everest climbing season in disarray after deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Vatican: Pope’s private calls don’t reflect policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Families of ferry’s lost confront SKorea officials

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Ukraine moves against insurgents in the east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Costa Rica is demanding US explain ‘Cuban Twitter’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

FDA OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Postal workers’ unions protest Staples program

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

11 kids, driver hurt in Calif. school bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Some diet news is tough to digest

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Has the militia movement re-emerged in American life?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Easily swayed voters on both sides

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for April 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
How can I renew my friendship with Ellie without looking desperate?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview April 25-May 1, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: Walker memorable in gritty ‘Mansions’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Review: ‘Quiet Ones’ is more creaky than creepy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar April 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Donaldson, Kazmir lead A’s past Astros 10-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Solano sweeps all-BVC softball postseason awards

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

Fishing: Bass Reapers to hold Berryessa tournament

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
Prep girls soccer: Vanden slips past AC for 3-2 SCAC victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
Prep baseball: Vanden’s LaGrand tosses shutout at Bethel

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
Clippers beat Warriors 98-96 for 2-1 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

LA Kings avoid elimination in 6-3 win over Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
JC baseball: Solano’s late rally falls short in 6-5 loss to Marin

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Fairfield Expos announce schedule for 2014 season

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B8

 
Silver: Premature to say union will opt out of CBA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Cal Poly baseball team is toast of the West Coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Northwestern players to cast historic union vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Pineda not only pitcher in majors to try pine tar

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Pineda banned 10 games for pine tar, won’t appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

4Runner keeps rugged charm

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Audi’s RS 7 is answer to Porsche, Mercedes

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C2

US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Google, Apple settle high-tech workers’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Amazon launches grocery service for Prime members

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jean Sophia Ruckdeschel

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Judith Catherine Brooks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9