Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown hops private plane to Rome

Gov. Jerry Brown stands in a lobby at the Rome residence of John Phillips, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, on Monday.
Gov. Jerry Brown stands in a lobby at the Rome residence of John Phillips, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, on Monday. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

Gov. Jerry Brown arrived in Rome for climate talks this week with the smallest of entourages – three – and the most comfortable of accommodations.

Brown, who typically flies Southwest Airlines in California, flew to Italy with real estate developer George Marcus and his wife, Judy, in their private plane. Brown is combining his trip to a conference here with a vacation with those friends.

Brown has also found a free place to bunk, at the residence of John Phillips, the U.S. ambassador to Italy.

Both Marcus and Phillips, a former Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., lawyer, have contributed to Brown’s campaigns.

When the Democratic governor traveled to Mexico last year, he was accompanied by roughly 90 people with business ties. The fees they paid subsidized Brown’s expenses. A trip to China the previous year was of similar size and included a similar funding arrangement.

This year, other than his security, Brown is joined for business only by his wife, Anne Gust Brown, and two other people: Nancy McFadden and Evan Westrup, his executive secretary and press secretary, respectively.

They attended a private Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday.

“It’s always nice to have a Mass when you only have about six people,” Brown said.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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