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Jerry Brown Profiled In Businessweek As 'Scaring California Straight'

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JERRY BROWN BUSINESSWEEK
Joel Stein spent time with California Governor Jerry Brown for his piece, "THE REAL TERMINATOR: How Jerry Brown Scared California Straight," appearing on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek Friday. | Alamy

California Governor Jerry Brown doesn't employ a chief of staff or a speechwriter. His office is empty except for two photographs, some books, a couch, a coffee table and a thick wooden table with a monastic bench.

These are just a few of the details that Joel Stein, who spent time with Brown, included in his piece, "THE REAL TERMINATOR: How Jerry Brown Scared California Straight." It will appear on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek Friday.

Ever since Brown became governor in 2011, he's made similarly pragmatic, unsentimental decisions for California. He did the impossible -- turn California's infamous $27 billion deficit into a $850 million surplus -- by taxing the wealthy and making so many cuts that he “scared the crap out of people,” according to Stein.

Without the charm and salesmanship of a politician, he accomplished this feat with persistence and pragmatism. He also wasn’t afraid of making enemies, Stein notes.

Brown explained his own philosophy to Businessweek by quoting a Marxist, Antonio Gramsci: “I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.”

Perhaps it's that intelligence + will equation -- however monk-like it seems in public -- that benefited him romantically. His bachelor life included relationships with Linda Rondstadt, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Wood, Stevie Nicks, Liv Ulman and Arianna Huffington.

For the entire story, click over to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Sh*t Jerry Brown Says
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