‘Less Liberal’ Is the New Conservative in State Capitol
SACRAMENTO — As the Democrats who control the Capitol congratulated themselves over this week’s state budget deal, another dynamic emerged: support from across the political divide for Gov. Jerry Brown’s thrifty ways.
Republicans who a few years ago had enough clout to hold up spending plans and block tax increases now rely on the governor, once the epitome of liberalism, to give them a voice in budget talks. They praised Brown as “conservative” and “restrained” — even if their support lacked a certain warmth — saying he at least attempted to put the brakes on the Legislature’s more generous Democratic leadership.
“In many ways, he’s the Republicans’ vehicle for budget negotiations,” said Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), vice-chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “It’s through his less liberal approach that Republicans are able to … participate in what’s going on.”