The deed is done. Jerry Brown’s our governor — again.

The new old governor or old new governor did not start his inaugural address with “Do not ask what your state can do for you…no really, don’t ask.” But if you look at what he’s proposing, a combination of severe spending cuts plus voter-approved tax increases, he didn’t have to.

But today is for extremely caution optimism that someone will be able to get a handle on this thing, and tomorrow is for the daunting challenge of actually doing it. We’ll learn more about the proposed pain when Brown delivers his state of the state address, next week.

Read accounts of today’s inauguration at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee.

C-SPAN has a video replay of the ceremony and speech. And KQED News producer Lisa Pickoff-White put together the following slideshow paralleling Brown’s various inaugurals.

The Bee also provides a list of other state officeholders sworn in today and tomorrow.

From AP, reactions to Gov. Jerry Brown’s inaugural address Monday in Sacramento:

“California really lucked out this time. They have two of the best brains to try to solve the problems. Jerry has a phenomenal brain and then Anne, she’s something too. And they work perfectly together.” Connie Carlson, Brown’s 98-year-old aunt.

“He’s focused like a laser on this budget, which is really the blueprint for this state. … And he will lead. He will offer his program, he will engage with the legislators, and I think it’s an opportunity with the political capital he has from this resounding victory, to bring people together and put people to work.” Kathleen Brown, Brown’s sister.

“I expect him to do as much as he can possibly do in these trying times.” Cynthia Kelly, Brown’s older sister.

“I think the key word is when he said ‘at this stage in life.’ I don’t think he’s focused on getting re-elected. I don’t think he’s focused on making different interest groups happy. I think he’s interested in fixing the problems and seeing a better California.” Steve Westly, former state controller and Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

“I think his message was loud and clear. Today’s a day I think when everybody needs to think positively.” Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Bakersfield.

“Hopefully the Democrats will listen to him more about spending than they did to me.” Outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“No question, California is far more partisan than when he was governor the first time. But he’s already started early talking to leadership and rank-and-file and trying to get everyone to take ownership … After 60 or 90 days, I think he’ll have a pretty good feel for what kind of budget we need _ not what kind of budget we’d like, but what kind of budget we need.” Former Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, who was Brown’s chief of staff.

“I think Jerry Brown has made very clear about what we can expect, and that is a fiscal soundness, decisions based on values and what is important, our children’s education, the development of jobs and growing the economy for our state, and as he used the word loyalty _ loyalty to the idea as well as the state of California, an entrepreneurial spirit that will take us out of this.” Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“If the budget is going to be balanced, you have no choice. You either have to produce enough money to keep spending like drunken sailors, or you have to cut back as if you’re almost homeless. And he’s talking about doing both.” Former Assembly speaker and San Francisco mayor Willie Brown.

“The governor’s fired up. He’s clearly reaffirmed what he’d been saying since his election, and that is we’re going to have to sacrifice. There will be serious spending cuts while at the same time, identify the revenues, chart a middle ground. You can’t just do it decimating state services.” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“It’s going to be a hard thing for the Democratic party, it’s going to be a hard thing for the labor unions, and not just big business. Just because we have a Democrat in doesn’t mean that our party should feel that its ‘constituency’ is safe from the kinds of reforms that are necessary.” San Francisco Mayor and Lt. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

True to promise, Brown’s inauguration was also an informal affair, featuring hot dogs and chips.

Live blog of Brown’s speech:
11:36 a.m. Nice coda discussing inaugural addresses of former guvs. They always start out on “high notes of grandeur, then focus on the same recurring issues… “Life’s inherent difficulties exist” to be “solved or forgotten, but they remain to elicit the best from all of us,” he says.

Then…get this… Brown ends with “California here I come, right back where I started from!”

Whether you like him or not, that’s kinda genius…

11:36 a.m. Mention of his dad, former Calif Gov Pat Brown.

11:34 a.m. Wonder if Jello Biafra is taking notes in preparation for a “California Uber Alles” sequel.

11:32 a.m. John Myers of KQED tweets: “This a non teleprompter speech. Also not sent to press embargoed, as is the norm.”

11:30 a.m. Long passage on Browns’ California roots and ancestors. Speaking of the past, check out this video about Brown’s first go-round as chief exec.

11:28 a.m.“I have not come here to embrace delay and denial…”

11:25 a.m. “No more smoke and mirrors on the budget, no new taxes…(unless the people vote for them) he adds. That’s quite a qualifier. According to all reports, Brown will indeed go to the people to ask for tax hikes.

11:23 a.m. Brown talks about the low esteem that state government is held in by the people. Echoes of his 1975 inaugural, when he opened with a comment about the low voter turnout for the election.

11:22 a.m. Brown thanks Arnold for his “tireless efforts.”

11:20 a.m. Jerry takes the oath, cracks a trademark joke upon verbally stumbling. That’s it — he’s the guv. Arnold, you’re now excused.

11:18 a.m. Brown’s wife, Anne Gust Brown, is speaking. After the election, AP ran a profile of her.

11:12 a.m. I have to say, that’s a really nice rendition of the national anthem.

11:06 a.m. Presentation of the colors, by the Oakland Military Institute, the charter school created by Brown when he was the city’s mayor and which he mentioned so often during the campaign.

Earlier post:
Maybe Jerry Brown should start his inaugural address with, “Ask not what you can do for your state…no really, don’t ask.”

The Sacramento Bee today outlines the sweeping cuts, in conjunction with tax hikes, that Brown is proposing in order to corral the massive budget deficit. It’s the worst of both worlds: Higher taxes, less services. Just how long the public gives the past and present governor before it no longer blames the previous administration for the mess is a very open question (see Obama, Barack).

John Myers of KQED is tweeting

The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert blog is also posting updates as they come in.


Here’s an interesting sidebar from the Chronicle today, called Then and now, which compares, among other things, California during Brown’s first go-round to the state as it exists now. A couple of things that stand out:

California state population:

Then: 21.5 million
Now: 37.3 million

California Hispanic population:

Then: 2.7 million
Now: 13.6 million

Annual tuition for average in-state UC student:

Then: $647
Now: $11,279

Annual state budget (general fund spending):

Then: $8.2 billion
Now: $86.5 billion

Here’s Brown’s first inaugural address, delivered Jan 6, 1975. And here’s his second. Some interesting passages from the former:

First, I think we ought to put this whole thing into perspective. We have all come through an election, and what have we learned? More than half the people who could have voted, refused, apparently believing that what we do here has so little impact on their lives that they need not pass judgment on it. In other words, the biggest vote of all in November was a vote of no confidence. So our first order of business is to regain the trust and confidence of the people we serve…

But an honest government is not enough. We also have to be effective. Today, unemployment in this state is well above the national average. That is not just a statistic, it is a reality. Men and women whose futures are uncertain, whose families are anxious, look to us for answers. I know much of the solution lies at the federal level, but I also know that California is the most influential state in the nation. What we do here will not only help our own citizens, it will provide a model for the entire country…

We are going to use to the fullest the millions of dollars available to put Californians back to work. We are going to cooperate with local government and industry to create as many new jobs as humanly possible. And as we do we will not ignore the role of women in our work force and the special need for additional child care centers…

Avoiding a general tax increase will not be easy. Rising unemployment means reduced state revenues as well as escalating expenditures for health and welfare. But I’m determined to see this year through without asking the people for further sacrifices in the form of new taxes. This means that every branch and department of state government must re-examine itself with a view toward eliminating expenditures not absolutely essential to the well-being of the people. For my part, I propose a flat 7 per cent reduction in my own office budget…

It is a big job ahead. The rising cost of energy, the depletion of our resources, the threat to the environment, the uncertainty of our economy and the monetary system, the lack of faith in government, the drift in political and moral leadership—is not the work of one person, it is the work of all of us working together. I ask your help. We have lot of work to do. Let’s get to it. Thank you very much.


Watch Replay, Slideshow of Jerry Brown Inaugural Ceremony and Speech 3 January,2011Jon Brooks

  • Gerry

    What was he trying to say with “keep California the Great Exception that it is”?

  • Jon Brooks

    I missed that, I’m sorry to say.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. In 2014, he won a California Journalism Award for his coverage of ride services like Uber and Lyft and the taxi industry. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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