Capitol Alert

For donors, Jerry Brown wines but not dines

Gov. Jerry Brown, with wife Anne Gust Brown, speaks on election night outside the historic Governor's Mansion in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Gov. Jerry Brown, with wife Anne Gust Brown, speaks on election night outside the historic Governor's Mansion in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. AP

One advantage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s incumbency – and only faint opposition in his re-election bid – was a degree of flexibility in fundraiser scheduling: Donors, it turns out, care little whether contributions bring access before or after Election Day.

On Monday night, about 40 people gathered at Mulvaney’s B&L Next Door for a “private reception and sit down conversation” with Brown. They had been invited to the event – and cut checks – before Brown was re-elected earlier this month, donors and Brown’s campaign said.

The governor himself avoided reporters when he arrived, slipping in through a back entrance and mingling with his supporters over appetizers. Then Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown sat down with them around tables arranged in one big square.

The group included representatives of the lobbying firm Capitol Advocacy and some of its clients, including Pepsi, SolarCity and Fox Entertainment Group.

Brown spent little defeating his Republican opponent, Neel Kashkari, in this month’s election, expecting to carry millions of dollars over from his campaign for a possible ballot initiative in 2016 or 2018. The event Monday was a relatively low-dollar affair, with a suggested contribution of $5,000.

Most of the donors declined to discuss the event or to identify themselves as they left. One who did was Mark Webb, of Pacific Compensation Insurance Co.

When asked what he was expecting to get from the governor, Webb said he’d hoped for dinner.

But Brown is notoriously frugal, and all that was on the table was water and wine. Brown left through a back exit, and Webb went off in search of food.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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