CHICO, Calif. (AP) — With a down-in-the-dumps economy putting Californians in a sour mood, Democrat Jerry Brown is ending his bid for governor on a note of optimism, drawing on his family’s long roots in the state to recall the pioneering spirit that beckoned so many here and can lead it out of troubled times.

At a campaign stop Sunday in Chico, a college town 90 miles north of Sacramento, Brown told a gathering of some 500 supporters how his grandfather came across the plains from Missouri in 1852 seeking a better future.

Meg Whitman, Jerry Brown Try To Sway Voters, KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports.

“People came because California was the land of opportunity. It was a different kind of opportunity in 1852 than it is today, but there were challenges. They had courage, they were willing to take risks, they were going into the unknown,” Brown said at the Broadway Heights restaurant, where the crowd filled two stories of the building and spilled onto the street corner. “That pioneering spirit is exactly what will get us through again.”

The problems that bedevil California, from high unemployment to persistent budget problems to a polarized political establishment, have been the dominant themes of the race between Brown and Republican candidate Meg Whitman.

Underlying their campaigns is what kind of future Californians want for their state.

At their various campaign stops, Brown and Whitman have been pitching contrasting approaches on state spending and offering voters a preview of their governing styles. Brown, the state attorney general and a former governor, has been playing up the experience he has gained as a seasoned public servant and his deep ties to the state, while Whitman is promising to “take back California” from tax-dependent public employee unions, cut state spending and enact tax cuts that would primarily benefit the wealthy.

Whitman, a former chief executive of eBay, is running for the first time for political office.

She and her supporters said they believe the same energy behind Republicans nationwide will result in a GOP sweep in California, enough to overcome a 13 percentage point Democratic voter registration advantage. A Field Poll released Thursday showed Brown with a double-digit lead over Whitman among likely voters, 49 percent to 39 percent.

“We have a chance to put a proven job creator in office for the first time in many, many years,” Whitman said in rallying supporters on Saturday at the Orange County fairgrounds. “We have a chance to create real change in Sacramento. My bus, right there, it’s called the ‘Take Back Sac Express’ because we’re going to take back California for our children and our grandchildren.”

Whitman’s first scheduled campaign event on Sunday was an afternoon rally at a Burbank hotel, where she was met by members of the California Nurses Association. The union has been following her bus and protesting outside her campaign events, targeting Whitman’s plans to cut state spending even further.

California’s general fund budget already is about $15 billion less than it was three years ago, and nurses say more cuts will endanger public health programs and public schools.
Jill Furillo, 59, a registered nurse from Los Angeles who was protesting outside the Burbank hotel, said she was concerned about what a Whitman administration would mean to health care programs.

“We don’t trust she’s acting in the best interest of our patients and the people of our state,” Furillo said.

Brown said the deep recession and California’s persistent budget problems mean the next governor will face tough decisions immediately. He said he wants a “grand civic dialogue” that will include people from throughout the state and from all socio-economic backgrounds to talk about what they want California to be. Brown talked about unifying people rather than dividing them because he said every Californian has a stake in pulling the state out of its current tailspin.

He started his day on Sunday by telling a breakfast crowd of about 200 people gathered at the historic Samoa Cookhouse in the far North Coast near the hard-pressed lumber and fishing town of Eureka that although there are tough times ahead, he is optimistic about the state’s future because it attracts entrepreneurial and resilient people.

“California has been a place that attracts people because they have a future,” Brown said as he campaigns to return to the governor’s office, which he held from 1975 to 1983. “You know, it attracted Meg Whitman 30 years ago. It is still attracting people. And why is it? Because here’s a place, wherever you come from, you come to California and you’re welcome.”

Brown and Whitman have just two days to court voters ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Brown was spending most of Sunday in Northern California before ending at a bar-and-grill in Riverside. He was traveling throughout the state on a chartered turboprop.

Whitman remained in Southern California, where she is schedule to attend an afternoon rally at a hotel near the Burbank airport.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (15)
  1. Terry McCabe says:

    I was born in 1946, so by some peoples standards, I am old.

    So when Jerry Brown said “I also don’t like to throw out the old, because old people have a lot of good ideas” I would agree except for OLD POLITICANS. The older politicians, particularly older career politicians typically have control over their respective Democrat or Republican Party and the agenda. We are in this economic crisis and have high unemployment because of the failure of Politicians.

    The legislation and regulations that has been streaming out of Sacramento for many years is responsible for company’s leaving California at an alarming rate. In addition, many of the company’s that have remained in California have outsourced manufacturing and/or have sent jobs elsewhere because California is the most business unfriendly state in the nation.

    Until there is a major change in the make up and attitude of California’s government this state will continue in its economic death spiral and unemployment will continue to increase. Voters need to wake up and realize that as revenue from taxes and fee’s decrease, Politicians will continue to come up with Ponzi schemes to find ways to extract money from those who pay taxes to continue to fund the states government.

    Based upon statistics fewer and fewer people are paying taxes. So what should trouble everyone is the fact that our Politicians haven’t yet figured out that continue increased government spending and raising taxes works until you run out of other people’s money.

  2. Kevin says:


    Age is nothing but a number. I will tell you that I agree.

  3. RL says:

    With Jerry Brown in office, we sure will have more people here. If Jerry has his way, our floodgates will be open to all, including the hordes of illegals from down south, including the ones already here. Brown says we are a rich state….I say he’s been smoking too much marijuana.

  4. JJ says:

    Pioneering spirit?
    Guess we haven’t killed enough indigenous people and cultures

  5. ted56 says:

    “Rekindle Pioneering Spirit”…in other words, we have to dump our gas cars, no more oil air or coal power powerplants, and go green. while i think that this is where our future lies, i question the implimenting of these plans.

    we need to steer the economy towards the future, not shove it.
    i don’t like the idea of forcing people to change by regulations and laws. if there is a better way, let the market place show me. i don’t have the money to pay for expensive “new” when the old is more economical.

  6. World Citizen says:

    How can the problem be a solution? Brown is a loser…PERIOD.

  7. Clara says:

    The only think Brown wants to rekindle is higher taxes and more spending.
    The problem with California is the rich liberals (for whom higher taxes will hardly be felt), the 1/3 of the nations’ welfare cases that live here (who will, of course, vote for whoever promises them the most free stuff) and the public employee unions (who want the taxpayers to foot the bill for their retirement).
    It’s these people voting for Jerry Brown and for Prop 25–which will WITHOUT A DOUBT RAISE YOUR TAXES

  8. Clara says:

    The only think Brown wants to rekindle is higher taxes and more spending.
    The problem with California is the rich liberals (for whom higher taxes will hardly be felt), the 1/3 of the nations’ welfare cases that live here (who will, of course, vote for whoever promises them the most free stuff) and the public employee unions (who want the taxpayers to foot the bill for their retirement).
    It’s these people voting for Jerry Brown and for Prop 25–which will WITHOUT A DOUBT RAISE YOUR TAXES

  9. Sam W says:

    Let’s start by bringing back the Gas Chamber, electric chair, hanging, firing squad, lethal injection
    And…. Making it Public

  10. Mitch Cooper says:

    Brown was a loser as Governor once he will be again if he is elected. Govenor Moonbeam the sequel scares the heck out of me.

  11. wobbles says:

    How many pioneers got a government check supporting them their whole lives for doing nothing but sittinga round and doing crime and funded by the forced taxation of the pioneers who worked?

    How bout we rekindle that pioneering spirit by stopping the punishment of success and the rewarding of failure?

  12. PL says:

    List of Republican FAILURES
    Wilson, Swartznegger, Whitman

    1. rjsmitty says:

      Does PL stand for “Prostate Licker”?

  13. poorguy says:

    all our problems here in California, is due to our stupid present governor who plays god, he wanted to dictate everything, and he wants us to follow that’s the reason why we have a very high unemployment rate in our state. I am voting again but not for Arnold Jr. this what he said when he was campaigning before I am rich no one in Sacramento can afford to buy me, same here with Meg she in fact very very very rich so she will take care of the rich people, the poor she don’t care, the hell with the poor, that’s what Meg will say after election if she wins just like Arnold.

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