The Forgotten Years


“Republican attacks are without basis, but when the Democrats attack me they’re usually right.”

Jerry Brown (Long Beach Independent 10-9-76)

“We’ve put up with 19 months of Jerry Brown vetoing our bills and misleading us about all sorts of things he said he would support.  That man is like 500 pounds of Jello.”

Willie Brown, D-San Francisco

“I think the state is afloat.  There’s no leadership from the corner (Governor’s) office.”

Assemblywoman Pauline Davis, D-Portola (San Francisco Examiner 3-25-76)

“I’ve heard that goddamned sanctimonious speech too many times.  He (Brown) lectures everyone – people who know a lot more about public policy than he does in their particular ares of expertise.”

Assemblyman Bill Lockyer, D-San Leandro (San Francisco Chronicle 2-28-76)

“While women may be ‘turning on to Brown in Maryland’, . . . women are turning off in California.”

Gloria Allred, National Women’s Political Caucus (Los Angeles Herald Examiner 5-27-76)

“The insularity that has been a feature of Governor Brown and his people is not a new spirit at all, but a ghost of governments past.”

Assemblyman Art Torres and Richard Alatorre, D-Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times 1-8-75)

“His greatest weakness is as a manager of change.”

John Pincus, former Brown appointee to the State Board of Education (San Francisco Examiner 10-8-76)

Governor Jerry Brown deserves only “fair, status quo” ratings for trying to promote business in California.  Urging Brown to increase support for the State Commission for Economic Development, Brown’s Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally said “I feel we’re a poverty program.  We’ve been given just enough money to fail.

“I’d rather the governor tell me to hang it up than have it stay like this.  Look at our budget ($169,303) and then look at the Arts Council which gets $1.4 million.  I’m not against art, but where are our priorities?”

Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally, Democrat (Sacramento Bell 10-11-76)

“I simply don’t believe Gov. Brown is qualified to be president of this country.  I don’t believe that a record of accomplishment in California exists that would indicate that in fact he is ready for the White House.”

Former Democrat Assembly Speaker Bob Moretti (Sacramento Bee Undated)

Governor Brown’s tough air quality standards have told business that it is not desired in California, said Senator Holmdahl.  “Plainly, unless an industry is absolutely clean, there will be no more development.  That means there will be no permit for new development unless it is offset by a cutback in air emissions someplace else.

“So the unwelcome sign is out instead of the welcome sign.”

Senator John Holmdahl, D-Alameda County (Sacramento Bee Undated)

Giving Governor Brown a sharp rebuke for failing to help business in California, Secretary of State March Fong Eu said “State government is doing nothing about tourism.  This state is in an increasingly disadvantaged position in competing with other states for tourist dollars, or even with foreign countries.

Unhappy with Brown’s closing the State Department of Commerce, Eu said: “During the last 21 months (since Brown was inaugurated) the state has played a negative role toward economic development and in its role to help industry, commerce and agriculture in the state.

“$15,000 in tourist business means one job and $1 billion in exports means 72,000 jobs.  Instead, California is last in the seven western states in encouraging outside business interests and 47th of the 48 mainland states in providing a good business climate.  We are a backward state and competitively at a disadvantage.”

Secretary of State March Fong Eu, Democrat (Long Beach Independent Press Telegram 10-11-76)

Speaking of Governor Brown’s personal appearance in TV ads supporting of Proposition 14, Assemblyman Thurman called it a “betrayal of agriculture.  As he has done to education, the aged, the disabled, the mentally ill, the homeless and the unemployed, his promises have turned out to be nothing but words which are retracted and revised at will.”

Assemblyman John Thurman, D-Modesto

“California was literally chasing them (the film business) out with red tape.

“It took a year of constant pestering to get through to the Governor.  My wife finally wrote him a letter in Latin and that got through to him because he was the only person who could translate it.”

Senator Alan Robbins, D-Van Nuys (Sacramento Bee undated)

” I want to be able to go to Jerry Brown come July if this thing (Brown’s presidential campaign0 blows up and say, ‘Jerry, I want you to listen to what I have to say.  Don’t lecture me now.  Just sit down there for five minutes and listen to what I have to say.  The economy of California is in pretty bad shape.”

Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally, Democrat (Los Angeles Times 5-6-76)

Referring to Governor Brown’s frequent advice to “lower your expectation.”

“The lower your expectations bit is simply an admission of the lack of ability to think your way out of a problem.  Even if the public is wrong, it has the right to be wrong.”

Assemblyman Leroy Greene, D-Sacramento

“The philosophy of limited expectations will make it very difficult for them (people) to make a living.  It will lead to unemployment and much larger welfare rolls.”

Former Democrat Assembly Speaker Bob Moretti (Sacramento Bee undated)

“For a while it will be cronies from Yale, then he will name a succession of women, then for awhile it will be Chicanos, or Black.”

Brown insider (Sacramento Bee 3-21-76)

Criticizing Brown’s lack of action against unemployment, Brown’s Lt. Governor said “…I think the state government can and should use its resources to do more than it now does about unemployment which is 10% of the work force of this state.

“Government should not be saying, ‘Sorry friends, there is not much we can do for you.’  Rather, it should be saying, ‘If those old programs failed and are continuing to fail, then let’s try something new.  On this issue of jobs, I feel strongly we must take action.”

“these (unemployment) statistics when translated into human terms make clear how widespread a disaster we must reckon with (And) the state is not powerless to help eradicate unemployment.”

Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally, Democrat (Los Angeles Times 11-11-76)

“Governor Brown’s recent announcement to increase state hospital staffing by 1,000 positions is at best confusing, and may well mislead the public into believing that Brown, rather than the Legislature, has taken the initiative to resolve this situation.”  Criticizing the Governor for blocking  every legislative action to add staff in the state’s hospitals, Senator Gregorio said “Governor Brown has typically waited for the situation to reach the critical stage and then stepped in to receive whatever accolades are available.”

Senator Arlen Gregorio, D-Menlo Park (Press Release 12-6-76)

Governor Brown was “damn flaky” and “very, very dishonest.”

Assemblyman John Thurman, D-Modesto (Sacramento Bee 9-4-76)

On Brown’s gubernatorial campaign in 1974, “Jerry’s real ideas were dangerous , but we were generally successful in avoiding them.”

Tom Quinn, Brown’s 1974 Campaign Manger and Chairman of the Air Resources Board

“I think I was a better governor.”

Former Governor Edmund Brown, Sr., Democrat (S. F. Examiner & Chronicle 1-18-76)

“The weirdest son-of-a-bitch I’ve ever known.”

Anonymous Democrats (San Francisco Chronicle 7-6-76)

Source: The Sayings of Democrats about Governor Brown


Running for governor against Jerry Brown for the Democrat nomination, the former Speaker of the State Assembly said “My first wish is that I could get out and talk to every Democrat in California.  My second wish is that Jerry Brown could get out and talk to every Democrat in California.”

Former Speaker Bob Moretti, D (People Magazine June 14, 1976)

Jerry Brown’s incredible ambition has been characterized this way: “We understand Jerry Brown is running for president because he thinks it would be a good stepping stone.”

Sacramento Bee 3/25/76

“Unfortunately, Brown’s most significant contribution to California’s crime problem has been a negative, indeed, destructive one.  Brown’s numerous atrocious judicial appointments, especially to our higher courts, make a mockery of his professed desire for a stronger criminal justice system.  Judges do not just talk, they act, and the actions of Brown’s judicial appointees speak louder than 10,000 words uttered by him in favor of law enforcement.”

Assemblyman Alister McAlister, D-Milpitas

Jerry Brown Quotes:

“Inaction may be the biggest form of action.” (

“It doesn’t matter what I say as long as I sound different from other politicians.” (

“Prisons don’t rehabilitate, they don’t punish, they don’t protect, so what the hell do they do?” (

“The most important thing a governor does is appoint people.” (

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    This is the definitive independent site covering Governor Jerry Brown's time in public office and legacy. His appointments and staff, judicial appointments, statements, and policies and their impact on the State of California jobs, the State's economy and its people.
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