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Phil Matier: Gov. Brown Makes Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People List

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California Gov. Jerry Brown discusses pension reform during a news conference on August 28, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

California Gov. Jerry Brown discusses pension reform during a news conference on August 28, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

PhilMatier01-370 Phil Matier
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Time magazine has released its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People. Among the likes of Beyonce, the Pope and Edward Snowden, it includes several prominent Bay Area figures including Governor Jerry Brown.

What can I say? The Governor of California is out to break the Guinness Book of World Records for having held more offices than anybody else.

“Keep in mind, Jerry may be the most successful governor in the country,” said former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. “No other governor has managed to do the budget process, go to the voters, get authorization and then force the legislature to bow down to his limit on expenditures.”

The real trick of Jerry Brown is the perception that he’s doing all that. The governor is the master of symbolism. He drove around in a Plymouth. When he got in office this second time around, he made the staffers give back their cell phones and their cars. However, he still has a significant amount of debt that he’s not addressing and he’s ignored pensions.

Gov. Brown Makes Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People List

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“All the big things are left there for his successor,” Brown said. “Jerry has managed to have the highest rating at this time of any governor virtually in the history of the State of California. He’s kept the legislature from messing up the state again and for that, you’ve got to applaud him.”

Mayor Brown explained that pensions were expanded by the legislature under Gov. Gray Davis’ administration without consideration as to how to pay for it. He said that wouldn’t fly with the current governor.

“Jerry operates on the theory that there is no legislature,” Brown said.

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