Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 – 12:00 am

At the very end of his State of the State address to the Legislature last week, Gov. Jerry Brown – almost as an afterthought – tersely declared, “We have too many struggling families …”

Well, yes, we do. In fact, according to an alternate Census Bureau method of calculating poverty that includes cost of living, nearly a quarter of Californians are mired in poverty, the highest rate of any state.

One would think that fact would have rated more than a throwaway line from the governor as he delivered a report on “the condition of the state.”

However, Brown was into election-year positivism, hailing what he called a “California comeback,” in a speech clearly aimed at setting the stage for his bid for another term. Dwelling on negatives, such as poverty, wasn’t on the agenda.

Nor, as Brown crowed about California’s gaining a million new jobs, would he talk about its million-plus still-unemployed workers and its unemployment rate, one of the nation’s highest.

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