Great to speak with John Wildermuth of the San Francisco Chronicle for this one.
“For voters, 2008 is still in the public memory,” said Jessica Levinson, who teaches political ethics at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “They still remember the days of deep budget cuts and state IOUs.”
The governor can get away with issuing ultimatums and brushing aside legislators’ concerns because he’s, well, Jerry Brown, said Levinson. After decades as a high-visibility player in California politics, a record 13 years as governor and a reputation, deserved or not, for reversing the state’s financial woes, voters are far more comfortable with his plans for the state’s future than those of little-known, term-limited legislators.
Democrats, at least for now, can only make the best of what the governor gives them, she added.
Legislative leaders “can agree that they pushed for more programs, but you didn’t see them fight too hard for them,” Levinson said. “This is Jerry Brown’s budget.”