Gov. Jerry Brown’s father complex

Darth VaderJune 5, 2013

By John Seiler

Calling Dr. Freud. Gov. Jerry Brown’s relationship with his later father, Gov. Pat Brown, is complex. It’s so complex it’s a father complex.

Our colleague Steven Greenhut writes about it on Bloomberg, “Who Will Pay for Jerry Brown’ Father Complex?

It’s full speed ahead for mammoth infrastructure projects in California — especially the ones designed to build a legacy for Governor Jerry Brown.

Officials last week released the final chapters of a draft plan that would divert water from the picturesque Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a vast Northern California estuary that has long been at the epicenter of the state’s battles over water resources.

The engineering and habitat-restoration project — now estimated to cost $24.5 billion, financed through forthcoming bond measures, federal subsidies and increased fees on water contractors and users — involves a lot of guesswork. Brown, a Democrat, has dismissed concerns, even from within his own administration, about whether this costly endeavor will increase water supplies and save habitat for endangered fish…

When Brown was running for governor in 2010, conservatives feared a return of the slow-growth environmentalism he espoused in his earlier terms as governor and as attorney general (he carried out the state’s anti-global-warming law by suing localities that didn’t conform to his smart-growth vision).

But Jerry Brown isn’t governing like the old Jerry Brown. He is governing like his father, Pat Brown, who was governor from the late 1950s through the mid-1960s, an era of gigantic infrastructure-building endeavors. Paradoxically, California conservatives have used Pat Brown as someone the current slow-growth legislators should be emulating. Put that in the “be careful what you wish for” category.

Read the rest here.


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  1. David in Irvine
    David in Irvine 5 June, 2013, 10:00

    A more complete assessment by William Voegeli in the Claremont Review on Brown father and son from a few years ago. Recommended reading.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 5 June, 2013, 15:43

    He is the first California govenor to be chiseled into Half Dome at Yosemite…like Obama will be in his glory at Mt. Rushmore!

    Reply this comment

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Jerry BrownJohn SeilerPat BrownSteven Greenhut

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