The California Channel has posted the full video — Part 1 and Part 2 — of the extraordinary exchange in Sacramento between Gov. Jerry Brown and the Budget Conference Committee yesterday.

The video in Part 1 starts at 9:10. Jerry Brown starts speaking at 11:15.

KQED’s John Myers was at the meeting and wrote up this report on his Capital Notes blog.

The governor clearly seemed to arrive ready to mix it up, and while he did spend a little time insisting that Democrats, too, need to come out of their comfort zone, he saved most of his quips… his jabs… and his exhortations for legislative Republicans. Though they insist that Dems are also leery of the Guv’s plan (though for different reasons), it’s Republicans — more every day — who are opposing a June statewide election on Brown’s plan to extend soon-to-expire taxes.

The governor’s early comments incorporated a line a few other Dems have used in recent days: he won the election promising to do just this…

The governor went on to urge legislators to, in a sense, find solace in asking the public for input, saying otherwise that “it’s too painful.”

The event…felt almost like the British Parliament’s ‘Question Time…’

Watch the video:

For Brown’s opening statement only, listen below. Adopting a rather lecturing tone, Brown calls again for an election on his budget plan, and chastises Rebublicans for balking at the idea. Some extracts:

Voters should give us permission for the cuts or the tax extensions. Because this is drastic stuff. This is not garden variety…Let’s check in with the people, let’s hear what they have to say…At some point you have to restore legitimacy to the process…When you’re gonna make some big moves, that’s very appropriate to consult the electorate…

When you folks (talking to Republicans) say no, no vote, no plan, that’s not American… I expect you to honestly say I want to cut this: I want four weeks out of school, or don’t cut that. Let’s cut the university, or mental health. Or find some tax extensions. but come up with a balanced plan. That’s what the oath of office entails…”

I play all the games you all play, and I tell you time is running out for California and this country if politicians just keep squabbling all the time…just saying no does a disservice to your constituents.”

Brown opening statement[audio:]

In this next cut, Brown threatens that if the GOP won’t put tax extensions on the ballot, he will enact an all-cuts budget. Meaning he won’t engage in what he’s called “gimmickry” to balance it. As John Myers told me, Brown here is effectively asserting that even Republicans won’t have the stomach to just about double the severe cuts that he’s already put on the table.

Brown: I’ll enact a budget that’s all cuts[audio:]

And to be fair, Republicans got some shots in of their own. As John Myers recounts:

Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar)… lamented what he counts as a deficit package now of more taxes and borrowing than actual cuts. “It’s not exactly a balance between cuts and taxes,” he said, then asking whether Brown supports the Democratic legislative package. Brown simply said that some legislative solutions are not as “permanent” has he would like.

Way more to come, I’m sure. But as for yesterday, it was just another crazy day in California-budget land.

Video: Jerry Brown Confronts Republicans on Budget 25 February,2011Jon Brooks


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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