California: Where It's Not Good Being the Governor

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TIME -- It's starting to look like this mission is too tough for anyone. Like his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Jerry Brown of California was elected on a pledge to erase the enormous deficit. Brown is trying hard. He's more hands-on with lawmakers than the "Governator" was, and he's determined to find a permanent rather than a temporary solution. He needs Republican votes to extend higher taxes, but they won't budge. So his hands are tied, just as Schwarzenegger's were. But he's not going down without a fight. And on Thursday, Brown's own Democrats passed a budget so unpalatable that he vetoed it.

The governor had brought a good measure of experience to the job. He was elected to his third term as governor last year, having served two previous terms from 1978 to '83. "Brown seems to be much more engaged and using personal levers more effectively, but that's not enough," says Gary Gray, a political-science professor who studies California politics at the University of San Diego. "It's this fundamental gridlock built in as part of the rules." (Full Story)

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