AG Brown plots potential return as Calif. governor |

AG Brown plots potential return as Calif. governor

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. ” Attorney General Jerry Brown isn’t an official candidate for governor, but he’s doing more than thinking about a return to the office he’s won twice.

“In my spare time, late at night, I do a little plotting,” Brown said at an annual meeting of the California Newspaper Publishers Association on Wednesday.

Brown said he is focused on his current job and refused to say definitely whether he will enter the 2010 race. Several people are considering a run to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The term-limits law that won’t let Schwarzenegger run again doesn’t apply to Brown because his first run for governor ” in 1974 ” predates the law.

In a Democratic primary, the 70-year-old Brown could face San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has not ruled out a run, and state Treasurer Bill Lockyer is a possibility.

Former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner are exploring the Republican nomination.

Brown told The Associated Press he would bring innovation and an understanding of the complexities of state government. He said the state’s ongoing budget problems stem from its residents and politicians spending money they don’t have or will not be able to count on in the future.

“The philosophy has been you want a country based on buying what it doesn’t need with money it doesn’t have,” Brown said. “That’s why the Congress, the president, the Legislature and the governor are having a hard time.”

California’s budget shortfall is projected at $42 billion through June 2010. Democrats and Republicans have been unable for months to produce a deal that satisfies enough lawmakers to reach the two-thirds threshold required to pass a budget.

After his speech, Brown said changing the requirement to lower the threshold to a super majority of 55 percent or 60 percent should be considered.