Jerry Brown wraps a 5-decade history in California politics

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tags: politics, Jerry Brown, California

The son of Gov. Pat Brown, Jerry Brown became governor at 36 and built a reputation as an idealist who eschewed traditional trappings of wealth and power. During his first term, he earned the condescending nickname "Gov. Moonbeam" after proposing a state communications satellite.

Now 80, he's still an idealist but one who during the last eight years championed fiscal moderation, a position that sometimes put him at odds with fellow Democrats who wanted more social program spending. Yet Brown's popularity surged as he took the state from a deep budget deficit when he entered office to a surplus and $14.5 billion socked away in a rainy day fund.

He never gave up on the satellite idea. Last fall, at the end of a global conference on climate change that he organized, he announced California would launch its "own damn satellite" to track pollutants.

Read entire article at AP

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