Brown flies solo to LA chamber speech

February 10, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown flew from Sacramento to Los Angeles Thursday morning to deliver a major speech before the Chamber of Commerce. That, in and of itself, is not news. But people are talking because the new California governor made the trip solo, without aides or security, in business class, on Southwest Airlines Flight 896. [LA Times]

And he wouldn’t even pay the extra $18 for a seat upgrade.

Brown took his seat in the fourth row with a white briefing binder on his lap -– a binder that remained closed for most of the flight. The governor spent the bulk of hourlong trip talking to Tianne Rios, an employee of the state Department of Corrections who teaches special education classes to incarcerated youth.

Brown shook hands with a couple of well-wishers, some of whom snapped shots of the governor with their cellphone cameras.

In his 11-minute speech Thursday night, Brown warned the Los Angeles business community of the dire straits facing California because of the $25 billion budget deficit. He urged a special election in June to let voters decide whether to extend current taxes.

In an era of political celebrity, Brown’s throwback style is a welcome change for some. Mark Pinkus, a senior vice president for Rhino Records, was also on the flight, and called Brown’s presence “refreshing. I think it’s great that he’s so accessible,” Pinkus said.



  1. bobfromsanluis says:

    Governor Brown, the most interesting governor in America; “Stay thrifty my friends”.

    (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
  2. whatisup says:

    I have said this before and I will say it again. I don’t think Gov. Brown was a very good Gov. the first time around. However, during the recent campaign the media virtually concentrated on his years as former Gov. and ignored his years as Mayor of Oakland after he was Gov.

    I was at first amused as I watched him have a reality check when he had to balance the Oakland budget by making cuts completely opposite of his campaign promises. However, as he worked his way through the financial problems of Oakland and made the difficult, but necessary cuts I realized he had matured into a true Executive.

    I did not vote for him because I don’t like either party having control of both the State Congress and Gov., but I do realize it may be easier to make the difficult cuts in the State budget when it comes from a Democratic Gov. I am sure Whitman would have been fought every step of the way. With Brown, the Democratic State Congress will capitulate to his cuts.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • brook says:

      “I was at first amused as I watched him have a reality check when he had to balance the Oakland budget by making cuts completely opposite of his campaign promises. However, as he worked his way through the financial problems of Oakland and made the difficult, but necessary cuts I realized he had matured into a true Executive.”

      You’ve described a “good politician”. Brown has both the background and philosophy that allows him to pursue a goal, recognize what concessions are necessary and achieve the goal with the least downside. That ability of his demonstrates why
      voting for a man like Brown over a wealthy gadfly or a ideological extremist is always the smarter vote.

      We won’t all be thrilled with everything Brown does, or achieves, but I think we will be better off when all is said and done because I think he intends to end the downward spiral the state has been experiencing.

      (12) 16 Total Votes - 14 up - 2 down
  3. Typoqueen says:

    When Brown was our gov. in the past he was way under rated. He was a fabulous governor then, he was a great mayor, very good attorney general and now once again he’s doing an outstanding job under extremely difficult circumstances.

    Cheers to Gov. Brown! Not perfect but darn good.

    (9) 21 Total Votes - 15 up - 6 down
    • hotdog says:

      None are perfect, only some are darn good. I join you.
      If the ‘opposition’ will give him a chance to operate we will see some good moves.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  4. danika says:

    Now if he could just put that principle in practice with the pensions! Thumbs up, Govnuh!

    (12) 20 Total Votes - 16 up - 4 down
    • SanSimeonSam says:

      Pensions and salaries. I haope there is a next step in the gov’s plan. But its a great first step. However, no way i would vote for a tax increase unless draconian steps are taken in both salary and pension for state employees.

      (3) 21 Total Votes - 12 up - 9 down
  5. unlisted says:

    Business class? When did Southwest add business class?

    (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      Southwest does not have assigned seating; you file onto the plane based on your boarding pass position. If you want to board the plane first, you pay extra (an upgrade they call “business class” to allow you to be first to walk onto the plane and choose where you sit. That is it, period. No extra “frills”, just the ability to sit closer to the exit if you want to be among the first to get off when you land. I don’t pay for “business class” either when I fly Southwest.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
      • unlisted says:

        Thanks, bob. I haven’t been on SW for awhile.

        I do remember entering it like a cattle car.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  6. bobfromsanluis says:

    Wow. Southwest Airlines. I knew he was frugal, but wow. Somehow I just can’t picture Meg Whitman doing this. Alone.

    (9) 27 Total Votes - 18 up - 9 down
    • unlisted says:

      Meg would probably buy the plane and redecorate before she would step inside.

      (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
      • Robert1 says:

        But unlike most democrats, she would use her own money!

        (-5) 19 Total Votes - 7 up - 12 down
        • hotdog says:

          Some people find fault with everything. If Meg had been successful in buying the position she would have used our money to fly, and enhance her corporate pals. This is so refreshing, getting back to Brown. Frugality, which should be our gospel in these trying times, will be ‘becked out’ by the disaffected. I suppose if the Gov allocated a special grant just to Robert1 he would criticize it.
          All Californians should imagine how much money (and pollution) was saved on this junket, and the example set. Remember when all the Auto execs all flew their own planes to DC to beg for a bail out? Strange, I didn’t hear any complaints from the ‘other side of the aisle’.

          (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
        • zaphod says:

          Her own money from the employee pension funds.

          (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  7. Vagabond says:

    Best Governor in history so far

    (3) 27 Total Votes - 15 up - 12 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      Aside from taking away some cell phones (starting in June – six months for this change) what has he done. I’m waiting! Other than threatening education, social programs, etc. if he doesn’t get his tax increase I have not seen anything materialize. Talk, talk, talk, threat, threat threat. Cut programs (good idea but not enough), increase taxes (not going to happen) and where is the long range cost saving ideas: reduce government costs (staffing, boards, unnecessary or combining of programs), pension reform, prison reform. etc. We are not going to see real change until we go bankrupt!

      (-8) 14 Total Votes - 3 up - 11 down
      • brook says:

        Heavens, you complain against him in something like 2 months in office?
        Republicans, of course, take swifter action. Just look at the speedsters in Congress, rocking right along, passing bills they know will never see the light of day. Speed over substance will really fix things up, huh?

        (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down

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