Does it feel like 1978 to you, too?


In 1978, Jerry Brown was running for governor. In 2010, he’s running for governor again.

In 1978, Proposition 13 shook the political world beyond the borders of California and garnered many news reports. In 2010, numerous headlines and news stories attest to the continuing influence of Prop 13, such as the L.A. Times’ recent Sunday headline: “Prop 13 flexes its Political Muscle.”

In 1978, Roman Polanski skipped the country to avoid sentencing by a Los Angeles court on charges he had sex with an under-aged girl. In 2010, Polanski is fighting the L.A. authorities’ attempt to carry out a sentence in that case.

In 1978, a blizzard set records for dumping snow in the northeast United States. In 2010, blizzards again wreck havoc along the Eastern seaboard.

Sure feels like 1978, but as candidate Brown will tell you, this is not 1978. Jerry Brown says he is not the same man he once was. He has matured. His thinking has matured. Governor Moonbeam exists only in history books. Why, Brown even turned aside the notion of living in a Sacramento apartment if elected governor, as he did during his first turn in office, noting he owns a house in Oakland.

Fox and Hounds Daily’s Joe Mathews asked me if Howard Jarvis would be torn over Jerry Brown’s candidacy. After all, Jarvis was no fan of Brown’s politics, but Jarvis revealed in his autobiography, “I’m Mad as Hell,” that he voted for Brown in 1978 because of the way Brown implemented Prop 13.

Mathews wanted to know if Jarvis would vote for Brown in 2010.

As the new Jerry might say: That was then, this is now.

Jarvis and Brown mixed it up quite often after Proposition 13 passed when Brown led the fight to defeat Jarvis’ next initiative, Proposition 9, an income tax cut, in 1980. Jarvis sued Brown over a pay issue for public employees. He backed Pete Wilson over Brown in the 1982 U.S. Senate race.

When it comes to the vote for governor, forget 1978. It’s safe to say that Howard Jarvis would not be voting for Jerry Brown this time around.