One year after protesters interrupted his speech at the California Democratic Party’s annual convention – and with no election of his own on the horizon – Gov. Jerry Brown will avoid speaking to the convention floor this weekend.
Brown, arriving at the convention hotel in Anaheim on Friday, briefly spoke at an opening reception but said he would not stay through the weekend.
The fourth-term governor declined to explain why he would not speak Saturday – when other statewide officials will address delegates – except to say last year’s protests were not the reason. He told reporters he was leaving for personal, not state, business.
Last year, activists opposed to Brown’s permissiveness of hydraulic fracturing chanted and held signs in front of the podium where Brown spoke. The demonstration highlighted differences between Brown, a relatively moderate Democrat, and the party’s liberal wing.
With no opportunity to confront Brown directly this year, anti-hydraulic fracturing protesters convened a news conference on Friday morning. It was sparsely attended, which organizers attributed to a rare rain.
In brief remarks Friday, Brown touted his budget proposal this week to increase state spending on education, as well as efforts to combat climate change. Brown said he attended a fundraiser for the party earlier in the day.
Brown said little to reporters, but he offered one thought about Colusa, his new puppy.
“Pretty interesting little animal, I’ll tell you that,” he told The Bee. “She’s alive, she’s curious. She’s not cynical.”
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 6:55 p.m. Friday to include Brown’s remarks at the opening reception.