When he leaves next week for Mexico for talks on trade and the environment, Gov. Jerry Brown will be accompanied by more than 100 administration officials, lawmakers and business delegates, including many of his political donors and a handful of old friends.
Of the roughly 90 businesspeople joining Brown, about one-third have donated to Brown’s political causes in recent years or represent companies that have, with contributions totaling about $750,000 since Brown ran for office in 2010.
Delegates paying a fee of $5,000 each for the four-day trip are subsidizing the cost of Brown’s travel. The delegation includes Sempra Energy, BP America and other representatives of the energy, tourism and agriculture industries, but also the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund.
The delegation includes about 10 members of Brown’s administration, five state senators and 10 Assembly members. All of the traveling lawmakers are Democrats but one, Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside.
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Also on the roster of attendees are retired Judge Frank Damrell Jr., the governor’s former college roommate, and Lucie Gikovich, a former aide at whose home Brown sometimes stays when visiting Washington, D.C. Brown's sister Kathleen Brown, the former state treasurer, is also going.
Brown is scheduled to hold three days of meetings in Mexico on trade and the environment, the latter his priority.
“I certainly think climate change is the overarching, existential threat to humanity,” the Democratic governor told reporters Wednesday at a luncheon previewing the trip. “I want to do something about that.”