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August 01, 2013 12:39 PM Jerry Brown’s Golden Years

By Ed Kilgore

One 2014 political contest on which there isn’t any buzz at all is right here in California. If Jerry Brown runs for a fourth (non-consecutive) term, on the fortieth anniversary of his first gubernatorial bid, he’s expected to win easily. Here’s a rare news bulletin about the race from Anthony York at the L.A. Times:

Gov. Jerry Brown has more than $10 million in the bank to aid his 2014 reelection bid, and an additional $3 million left over from the effort to pass Proposition 30 last fall.
Brown filed his fundraising reports for the first half of 2013 with the secretary of state’s office on Tuesday. It shows the governor in a strong position to finance a reelection campaign. Brown has not declared his intention to seek an unprecedented fourth term as governor, but would be a strong favorite to win reelection if he decides to run.

It sure doesn’t look like Jerry’s worried:

The records show the notoriously thrifty Brown does not have any political consultants on payroll.

And the opposition’s not exactly looking like a mass popular uprising, or the kind of Death Star money machine put together by eMeg Whitman in 2010:

If he runs for reelection, Brown is not expected to face a serious Democratic challenge. Republicans including former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and former Minuteman turned Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia) have formed committees as they explore a gubernatorial bid.

Maldonado is the guy who recovered from being the most hated figure in California conservative circles for splitting with the GOP on a key budget vote back in 2009, to getting appointed Lt. Gov. by Ah-nold in his waning days as governor, and then losing re-election in 2010 and losing a congressional race against Lois Capps last year (both losses were by double digits). His putative ‘14 campaign, under the direction of John Weaver, the “genius” who ran Jon Huntsman’s brilliant presidential campaign last year, seems to be staked on a Lee Atwaterish attack on Brown’s prison overcrowding initiative, which Maldonado is warning will unleash hordes of frightening non-violent drug offenders.

Donnelly, the former founder of the xenophobic Minuteman Party of California, is probably best known for being arrested by TSA last year after trying to board a plane with a loaded hand-cannon.

I don’t think Brown’s famous Zen detachment is in danger of crumbing against these kinds of political threats. If he wishes, he can continue to spend his Golden Years in the Golden State’s highest office.

UPDATE: Just ran across a hilarious item from the SacBee’s Jeremy White about Abel Maldanado’s gubernatorial campaign logo, which features a bear:

The use of bear imagery in a California gubernatorial campaign isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but the bear seems more contemplative than ferocious, like he’s a little too worried about conditions at county jails to go salmon hunting.
Jeff Corless, Maldonado’s campaign manager, said the unconventional image goes with what he expects to be an unconventional run.
“It’s going to be a campaign that you’ve never seen Republicans run before,” Corless said. “Republicans need to catch up with the times and find ways to market themselves better, and it starts with logos and branding, frankly.”
Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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