Brown, Newsom ace Napolitano

by John Seiler | January 29, 2015 12:50 pm

This now is Gov. Jerry Brown’s ninth decade in California politics. He was born in 1938 into his father’s ambitions in state politics, culminating in Pat Brown’s governorship from 1959-1966. From his website:

Jerry Brown seminarianJerry Brown has more experience, and success, than any statewide politician in history. His only rivals are former Gov. Pete Wilson, who beat Brown for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992; and former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. Neither has held office recently.

That’s why we at always have said he would prevail over University of California President Janet Napolitano in the tussle over her desire to raise tuition 28 percent over five years. Reports the Chronicle[1]:

After years of behind-the-scenes slights and stare-downs, Gov. Jerry Brown[2] and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom[3] are tag-teaming to knock the wind out of the University of California[4] establishment.

Most recently, the Gav and the Gov delivered a one-two punch to torpedo UC President Janet Napolitano’s very public plan to tie coaches’ bonuses to players’ academics — a plan they felt did not go far enough.

Newsom delivered the first slam when he told the regents at Thursday’s meeting in San Francisco that “we are doing almost nothing here under the illusion that we are doing something.”

Then Brown swooped into the meeting and, as the TV cameras rolled, called the academic targets so lenient as to “distort the fundamental essence of the university.” For added entertainment, he said as much in Latin: “Mens sana in corpore sano” — a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Then, in a low voice, he suggested to Newsom that he reiterate the message to the media during the break. 

As a result of the objections from Newsom, Brown and others, the regents put the new policy on hold.

As noted, this is Jerry Brown’s ninth decade in California politics. It’s Napolitano’s second year.

Gavin NewsomNewsom learnsome

This event also shows how Newsom has learned his place in California politics, which is not to challenge Gov. Brown, but to side with him. Newsom said last June[5]:

As Willie Brown reminded me in a (Chronicle) column, Jerry’s the governor, you’re not. I called Willie and I said, “Thank you. I needed to read that.”

With AG Kamala Harris now running to replace Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate, Newsom’s chances of being elected governor in 2018 have improved. More than three years is a long time. And anything can happen in politics.

But this being Super Bowl weekend, let’s say in the last month Newsom’s odds of be elected governor have improved from 1-3 to 1-2.






  1. Reports the Chronicle:
  2. Jerry Brown:
  3. Gavin Newsom:
  4. University of California:
  5. said last June:

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