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Jerry Brown relies on old friends in first wave of appointments

Gov. Jerry Brown reached out to a series of advisers from his former administration as he announced a series of Cabinet posts and appointments to the state Board of Education.

Among Brown’s appointments announced Wednesday was Bill Honig to the state Board of Education. Honig, 73, was elected three times as the state’s superintendent of public instruction but resigned in 1993 after he was convicted on four felony counts stemming from conflict-of-interest charges.

Honig sparred mightily with Republican Gov. George Deukmejian during Honig's tenure as state superintendent. Before being elected to the post in 1982, he served as Brown’s appointee to the state Board of Education, the same job he was named to Wednesday.

Brown named six others to the state Board of Education, all Democrats. Among them is Michael Kirst, a Stanford professor who also served on the state board with Honig during Brown’s first term.

Brown also announced a series of environmental and labor-related appointments, for which he also relied on past advisers. He reappointed Mary Nichols to the state Air Resources Board. Like Honig, it was a post Nichols held during Brown’s first stint as governor. She also served in that capacity under Gov.  Schwarzenegger. Former Brown appointee Marty Morgenstern, who had been vetting candidates to head the Labor and Workforce Agency, was appointed to the post himself Wednesday. Morgenstern served as Brown’s chief labor negotiator in the 1970s.

John Laird, the former Democratic Assesmblyman from Santa Cruz, was named secretary of the Resources Agency, which oversees the state’s water and parks agencies.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

 
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