Published: Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

GOP leader vows ‘open mind’ with Brown despite past fight

Sen. Bob Dutton, the new Senate Republican leader, said last week that he would keep “an open mind” during a first meeting with Gov.-elect Jerry Brown – but does remember doing battle with him before.

As attorney general, Brown sued Dutton’s home turf of San Bernardino County back in 2007 over its land use and population-growth plans. The suit said the county needed to get in shape to follow AB 32, the state’s landmark greenhouse gas reduction law.

“He was suing my county, so I had to get involved,” said the Rancho Cucamonga Republican, who remains an ardent foe of AB 32 and wants it suspended.

Dutton said Brown, who eventually settled with the county, was “very professional” during negotiations over the lawsuit.

The two met in San Francisco on Friday afternoon.

Dutton said before the meeting that he would make the same case to Brown that he made after the election to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg – that the Legislature this year killed several business-backed bills to lift regulations that Republicans argue are stunting job growth and economic recovery in the state.

Dutton said the Democrats got what they wanted with passage of Proposition 25, giving legislators a simple majority vote to approve a budget. “But the people also said, ‘Stop nickel-and-diming us,’ ” Dutton said.

– Susan Ferriss

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