As Governor Jerry Brown gets set to depart California’s highest held public position, he leaves office with a stash of nearly $15 million in leftover campaign funds.
Although Brown will be handing over the reins to current Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom on January 7th, this week Brown appeared at The Sacramento Press Club where he discussed and summarized his 16 year legacy as California’s longest serving Governor.
Brown hinted he has plans to stay well connected within the California Democratic Party. His strategy to remain an influencer remains ambiguous, but Brown did say he will continue to raise more money in addition to his already healthy reserve.
“People are always going to the ballot for one thing or another,” he said. “This is a way just to stay somewhat involved – keep my fingers a little bit on the rudder guiding the ship of state.”
Criminal justice reform and climate change have been some of Browns more general target initiatives as of his most recent term, however, specific projects such as the long-stagnated high-speed rail and the contentious Delta tunnels, have proved t be landmark representations of his approach to handling California’s highly complex issues.
Despite this, Brown worries much of his progress could be undermined as he says, “there will be initiatives to try to undo all that, to go back to the more Draconian regime.”
Directly referring to the high-speed rail, Brown told The Press Club, “a real leader can push it across the finish line.” While this may have been a subtle shot to motivate Newsom to finish the project, Brown says he intends to use his funds to stay involved from the sidelines.
Whether its local races or supporting specific candidates, Brown said, “there are many different areas of potential involvement.. and since I enjoy the practice of my craft, I want to continue doing that in several ways over the next several years.”
While Brown acknowledged that he will miss Sacramento and the joy he has had the pleasure of sharing, he will be retiring to his home in Colusa County and will serve as executive chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, fostering his interest in averting Climate Change.
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