Jerry Brown

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Jerry Brown
39th Governor of California
From: January 3, 2011 – January 7, 2019
Predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Successor Gavin Newsom
34th Governor of California
From: January 6, 1975 – January 3, 1983
Predecessor Ronald Reagan
Successor George Deukmejian
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Anne Gust
Religion Roman Catholicism

Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is a former four-term Governor of the State of California. He served his second two terms in the office of Governor of California with the Progressive resurgence under Barack Obama. The first term being as its 34th governor from 1975 to 1983. Two weeks after his election to his second term in 1978, 909 members of the Peoples Temple committed mass suicide, creating a scandal in the California Democrat Party. He has also served as California Attorney General, and was the mayor of Oakland, California. He is a Democrat. His nickname, given to him in 1976 by the left-leaning columnist Mike Royko, is "Governor Moonbeam" due to Jerry Brown's New Age-like, occasionally off-the-wall style.[1]


Brown was born in San Francisco, California on April 7, 1938, the only son of Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr., a lawyer and politician who also became the governor and attorney general of California prior to his son. Pat Brown was defeated for reelection as governor of California in 1966 by Ronald Reagan.


Jerry Brown graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1955. He completed his freshman year at the Santa Clara University then attended Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit seminary from 1956 to 1960. He received a B.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961, and graduated from Yale Law School in 1964.

Presidential Elections

Brown unsuccessfully sought the Democrat Party nomination for President in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

Political Offices

  • 1971–1975 — California Secretary of State.
  • 1975–1983 — Governor of California.
  • 1998–2006 — Mayor of Oakland, California.
  • 2007–2011 — Attorney General of California.
  • 2011–2019 — Governor of California.

Tenure as governor

Gov. Jerry Brown campaigning with the Rev. Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple.[2]


See also: Progressivism and San Francisco values

It was Willie Brown who brought the California Democratic party and Jim Jones together.[3] Gov. Jerry Brown spoke at the People's Temple. At its peak, the Temple boasted 20,000 members. Jones "made his followers available to support progressive Democratic party candidates."[4] Of particular interest to politicians was the Temple's ability to produce 2,000 people for campaign work or attendance at an event with only six hours notice.[5]

Rosalynn Carter called Jones at candidate Jimmy Carter's behest. She held a private dinner with him and had the Peoples Temple leader introduce her at the 1976 grand opening of the San Francisco Democratic Party Headquarters. Jimmy Carter's running mate, Walter Mondale, met with Jones on the tarmac in San Francisco during the campaign.[6] After Carter was elected, Jones dined with Rosalynn Carter at the head table at the Democratic National Convention.[7] Jones wrote to Carter requesting aid for Fidel Castro, whom Jones had earlier met with in Cuba.[8] In a handwritten letter to Jones on White House stationery, the First Lady wrote "Your comments on Cuba have been helpful. I hope your suggestion can be acted on in the near future." Carter also wrote that "I enjoyed being with you during the campaign -- and do hope you can meet Ruth soon", referring to her sister-in-law, Ruth Carter Stapleton.[9] Mondale stated regarding the Temple that "knowing the congregations deep involvement in the major social and constitutional issues of our country . . . is a great inspiration to me."[10] Health and Human Services Secretary Joseph Califano stated "your humanitarian principles and your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity." President Carter sent a representative to a dinner at the Temple at which Jones and Gov. Jerry Brown spoke.[11] Gov. Brown was considering Jones for an appointment to the University of California Board of Regents.[12]

Jones procured land in Guyana where nearly 1,000 of his followers settled in Jonestown, clearing the land, planting crops, and listening to him preach the gospel according to Karl Marx. “I call capitalism the devil,” Jones said from the pulpit, “and socialism is God.” A former member of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission, Jones often quoted Marx's dictum, "From each as he is able, to each according to his need." One member said the Temple moved to Jonestown because "what we saw in the United States was creeping fascism. It was apparent that corporations, or the multinationals, were getting much larger, their influence was growing within the government, and the United States is a racist place."[13]

Socialist paradise in Guyana. Its leader, a community organizer named Jim Jones, was very active in Democratic party politics.

As reports seeped back of people who wanted to leave Guyana, Harvey Milk – the first openly gay elected official who was endorsed by the Temple for San Francisco city councilman – wrote a letter to President Jimmy Carter defending Jones "as a man of the highest character," and stating that Temple defectors were trying to "damage Rev. Jones' reputation" with "apparent bold-faced lies".[14] The Temple claimed that "reactionary forces were trying to destroy his [Jones] image because he is the most persistent fighter for social justice."[15]

Hearing allegations of abuse, Congressman Leo J. Ryan led a fact-finding mission to Jonestown which included in his group a staff member and future congresswoman, Jackie Speier. Ryan and four others were murdered when they attempted to leave. After the killings, Jones herded his followers into the camp's main pavilion and ordered them all to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. 909 bodies, including 304 children, were found by Guyana police in following days. Some of the bodies had gunshot wounds.


After the Progressive resurgence of Barack Obama and Jonestown faded in memory, Brown was elected governor again in 2010.[16]

Brown is a liberal. On September 30, 2016, he signed a bill into law that makes it illegal to distribute audio or video recordings with healthcare (aka abortion) providers without their consent, something which is potentially unconstitutional.[17][18] On the same day, he signed into law a bill that ordered all single-stall restrooms to be marked gender-neutral.[19] Also the same day, Brown signed SB 1146 into law, which at first caused great fear among Christians that it would restrict the religious freedom of Christians and Christian colleges and be adopted by other states as well.[20][21][22]


  2. Jim Jones, The Most Admired Democrat of The 1970s, Censored Info, youtube
  3. Reiterman, Tim, and John Jacobs. Raven (book)|Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People. Dutton, 1982. ISBN|978-0-525-24136-2. page 266.
  4. Los Angeles Herald Examiner, "The Political Pull of Jim Jones", November 21, 1978
  5. Lindsay, Robert. "How Rev. Jim Jones Gained His Power Over Followers." New York Times. 26 November 1978.
  6. When Deputy Minister Ptolemy Reid traveled to Washington, D.C. in September 1977 to sign the Panama Canal Treaties, Mondale asked him, "How's Jim?", which indicated to Reid that Mondale had a personal interest in Jones' well being, p. 173.
    Moore, Rebecca. American as Cherry Pie Template:Webarchive, Jonestown Institute, San Diego State University
  7. Layton, Deborah. Seductive Poison. Anchor, 1999. ISBN|978-0-385-48984-. p. 53.
  8. Reiterman, Tim, and John Jacobs. Raven (book)|Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People. Dutton, 1982. ISBN|978-0-525-24136-2. page 305.
  9. LA Times November 21, 1978
  10. "First Lady Among Cult's References" "First Lady Among Cult's References; Mondale and Califano also listed", Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1978. 
  11. Mehren, Elizabeth, "Politicians Defend Associations With Jones", Oakland Tribune, November 21, 1978
  13. Tim Carter. There was no choice in Jonestown that day... Template:Webarchive Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio interview. 9 April 2007. Archived copy. Archived from the original on 2019-01-30.
  14. Milk, Harvey Letter Addressed to President Jimmy Carter, Dated February 19, 1978 Template:Webarchive
  15. Peoples Temple, Victims of Conspiracy Brochure, Jonestown Alternative Considerations, San Diego State University Archived copy. Archived from the original on January 24, 2011. Retrieved on 2019-01-31.
  17. Berry, Susan (October 1, 2016). Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill Criminalizing Journalists Who Distribute Recordings of Abortion Providers. Breitbart. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  18. Richardson, Bradford (September 30, 2016). California enacts law penalizing secret recordings at Planned Parenthood. The Washington TImes. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  19. Gov. Jerry Brown Approves Gender-Neutral Restrooms. (from the Associated Press). September 30, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  20. SB-1146 Discrimination: postsecondary education.(2015-2016). Retrieved on December 27, 2016.
  21. Kew, Ben (June 22, 2016). Bill to Prevent LGBT Discrimination Would Restrict Christian Schools’ 1st Amendment Rights. Breitbart. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  22. Berry, Susan, Dr. (August 13, 2016). A Victory for Religious Freedom at Christian Universities in California. Breitbart. Retrieved December 27, 2016.