Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Jerry Brown turned a little gray in the last week – as in Gray Davis, the onetime Brown underling who later became governor himself until recalled by voters.

Davis was the most risk-averse California governor of recent history, a political bean counter who avoided controversy; carefully, but minimally, paid his obligations to supporters; and insisted on full payments from those who owed him.

Brown seemed to be channeling Davis as he signed and vetoed hundreds of bills that a liberal Legislature passed in the final days of the 2012 session.

As one might expect, those bills largely represented the agendas of liberal interest groups – unions, environmentalists, immigrant rights groups, social welfare and health advocates, etc.

They had all supported Brown’s campaign to revive his governorship in 2010, so he had to give them something, and he did. But he didn’t give them everything they wanted.

Case in point: Brown signed a bill to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants who fall under the Obama administration’s de facto legalization decree, but vetoed a bill that would have, in effect, declared California to be a sanctuary state by barring local police from automatically holding illegal immigrants for federal authorities.

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