Gubernatorial Candidates Submit to Google Grilling

Attorney General Jerry Brown stopped by Google campus on Friday to chat with the company's CEO

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010  |  Updated 6:16 AM PDT
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Jerry Brown was grilled by Google CEO Eric Schmidt on his history as a lawmaker and plans for the state's future.

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On Friday, Attorney General Jerry Brown sat down with Google CEO Eric Schmidt for a wide-ranging discussion of California politics past, present and future.

It's the first of a series of talks by candidates to be held on the Google campus, though it's a relatively short series: Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is sitting down Tuesday, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman declined her invitation.

Brown was quick to point out that as governor he supported energy conservation and alternative energy when asked by Schmidt about whether Brown's progressive ideals from the era are still relevant today.

More interesting was how Brown managed to explain why he went to court to get a provision in his own law, 1974's Political Reform Act, overturned. Arguing that only later as Mayor of Oakland did he realize that the law tied his hands in efforts to encourage economic development.

“So I went to court and actually had part of the law that I wrote invalidated,” he said. “I think it’s a very salutary experience to both make laws and unmake them all in the same lifetime. Because, you see, every law has unintended consequences.”

Being able to clearly explain the nuances of something other candidates might use against him as an example of waffling on an issue certainly marks the aging but experienced Brown as one savvy politician.

Jackson West looked and looked but couldn't find video of the discussion. Little help, Google?

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