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Brown talks rocket ships, housekeepers at San Francisco fundraiser

October 6, 2010 | 11:14 pm

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown channelled his inner Obama on Wednesday night, preaching post-partisanship and unity at a small-dollar fundraiser in San Francisco.

More than 100  young supporters gathered at Orson, a chic bar and restaurant, for an event dubbed “The Brown Bash.” Organizers said it was aimed at attracting younger voters to Brown’s campaign, which had run a bare-bones operation until going up with TV ads last month.

For his part, Brown was brief, reminding the crowd of California’s potential and its position as the world’s eighth-largest economy.

“It’s the state of imagination,” he said. “This is the place of Hollywood movies. This is the place of rocket ships. It’s the place of wind machines. It’s the place of all sorts of ideas. It’s the place of gay marriage.”

He also delivered on his reputation for salty language. “We’ve been in California a long time and there’s a pioneering spirit, and what we face today is a very screwed up state of politics,” Brown said.

“It’s broken. It's a breakdown. But if we can summon up the spontaneity and the creativity of California, we can transform what is a breakdown into a breakthrough.”

Then Brown launched into a rant that seemed to meld dialogue from the movie “Scarface” with Obama’s best moments on the presidential campaign trail.

“We have the money. We got the people. We got the water. We got the ports and the environment. So we have it all. We just gotta come together as Californians first , not as Republicans or Democrats but as people who care about the future, who care about one another.”

Brown was not above taking shots at Republican rival Meg Whitman though, alluding to recent news that she had employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper for nine years.

Whitman has said she did not know the housekeeper was undocumented and fired her upon learning of her status.

“Whether you’re in a car wash or you’re a maid or you’re a billionaire, we gotta all treat everybody as brothers and sisters in California,” he said.

“In that spirit, we’ll make it work.”

With that, he wrapped up his remarks, which clocked in at just over six minutes.

“I know you want to go back to drinking and talking and picking up people,” he said. “Less is more.”

--Michael J. Mishak in San Francisco