PolitiCal Flashback: Jerry Brown emerges from the political shadows
With the California governor's race in its final hours, PolitiCal will look back throughout the day at some of the key moments in this year's historic contest for governor and some of the other races on the November ballot.
The summer of 2010 was a proxy war, with Meg Whitman blanketing the airwaves with campaign ads, and labor unions selectively counterpunching with roughly $8 million in radio and television spots throughout the summer months. At long last, Jerry Brown emerged over Labor Day weekend launching his first campaign ads and making his first public campaign appearances in months. Brown's first ad was a reintroduction of the former two-term governor. As Seema Mehta reported:
The ad ... says that during his prior two terms as governor, Brown eliminated waste and luxuries, balanced budgets, cut taxes and created 1.9 million jobs. “California was working,” says the announcer. Brown them introduces himself and names three priorities that keep in mind voters’ frustration with government –- frugality, local control and only raising taxes if voters agree. “California needs major change,” he said. “We have to live within our means, we have to return power and decision-making to the local level, closer to the people, and no new taxes without voter approval.”
At a Labor Day rally in Sacramento, Brown spoke to the union faithful in his trademark off-the-cuff style:
Californians face "tough choices" and "shared sacrifice" in the months and years ahead. "It's going to mean doing stuff out of our comfort zone -- all of us." Brown accused the campaign of the GOP's gubernatorial nominee, Meg Whitman, of "trying to create fear and loathing on the campaign trail." "It's not a time to scapegoat illegal immigrants or scapegoat public employees," he said. Brown said that Sacramento "is a little screwed-up," but vowed to focus on solving the state's budget problems. "We're going to bring in groups -- business, labor -- and we're going to talk about it. It's like a big collective bargaining" session.
And the battle was officially joined.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: California attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown prepares to vote on November 2, 2010 in Oakland, California. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images