What Brown says and did points to a way forward for those who serve us at New Britain City Hall, the State Capitol and the U.S. Capitol.
"It sold itself. The core reason it brought people together was a belief in schools and universities and the capacity of government to make wise investments that benefit all of us," Brown said on election night.
Brown, 74, is a former Oakland Mayor, Attorney General, Secretary of the State, two-term Governor and Presidential candidate. The son of former CA Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Brown took over from "The Gubernator" after the 2010 election; stepping into the biggest economic crisis since 1930s, massive layoffs and disinvestments and a gridlocked Legislature that needs two-thirds consent to get budgets done.
In his second coming as Governor, Brown's modus operandi (he's fond of Latin phrases from his seminarian days and Jesuit training) has been, he says, telling the unvarnished truth about the state budget and never using one-time revenue fixes and gimmicks that make matters worse in CA and everywhere.
Pragmatic progressive Brown will entertain plenty of cuts and austerity, but through Prop 30 he's now got a firewall against a Paul Ryan-style decimation of basic government services, especially to education.
In referendum-crazy California, Brown pledged not to raise any more taxes unless citizens approved them via the ballot initiative. The tax cutters got beat at their own game. At the same time, Brown campaigned vigorously for a plan that gives K-12 schools, community colleges and California's higher education system a new lease on life and keeps the books balanced.
Brown, according to the LA Times, says Prop 30 signals a national movement of taxpayer support for public investments and tax dollars spent prudently. He draws a parallel to the famous Prop 13 of 1978 property tax revolt that cut regressive local taxes and Prop 30 that will raise taxes progressively.
Said Brown: "I was here in 1978, when Howard Jarvis beat the entire establishment, Republican and Democrat, because the property taxes had just gotten out of control. Now the cutting, the cutting and the deficits are out of control.”