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Jerry Brown: California, Country Facing ‘Regime Crisis’ Similar To The Civil War

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Dave Bryan joined the KCAL9 news team in March, 1994, after ha...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — While Washington averted a government shutdown this week, California Governor Jerry Brown continues with his budget battles.

The governor may feel like he’s in a recurring nightmare these days. Everywhere he turns with a proposed budget fix it gets shot down.

“If we don’t get taxes, if we don’t get cuts, we’re gonna have a hard time balancing the budget,” Brown said. “Many of the Republicans told me, ‘We’re not taxing and we’re not cutting. It’s your job — you’re the governor.'”

But Republicans who show up to protest at many of the governor’s events these days say it’s Brown who’s not living up to his words.

“Fix it, Governor Brown, and I’ll be the first person that would be more than happy to give you money,” said Robert Ledbetter, who was protesting outside one of Brown’s events.

California Republican Party Vice Chair Steven Baric says Brown is not showing he’s much of a leader.

“He promised he would show true leadership and he’s failing to do that. And if he wants to show true leadership let’s have true pension reform,” Baric said.

In a wide-ranging interview at the Reagan State Office Building in downtown L.A. this weekend, CBS 2/KCAL 9 political reporter Dave Bryan asked Governor Brown about the criticisms:

DB: Many of the Republicans I talk to say that they’re not convinced that you’re serious about pension reform and about cutting the slack in government, cutting the bureaucracy down. They feel that you haven’t put forward, for example, a meaningful pension reform plan because of your connection to the unions.

JB: They have to say that to give cover to their position, which is ‘No’. Their position is ‘No, we’re not going to help you. We’re not going to do anything. Well, that’s unacceptable. I did propose 12 points of pension reform.

The governor tells Dave he believes the country hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War.

This week Brown has been using Civil War metaphors at his public events to describe the deep divisions in California, and the entire country for that matter, preaching with the passion of a born-again that the country is dangerously polarized.

“We are at a point of civil discord, and I would not minimize the risk to our country and to our state. It is not trivial. I’ve been around a long time, I’m a student of history, I’m a student of contemporary politics. We are facing what I would call a ‘regime crisis.’ The legitimacy of our very democratic institutions are in question,” he said.

Check back for more of the interview with Jerry Brown to be posted here on CBSLosAngeles.com.

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