01/06/2010 07:02 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Jerry Brown Gets a Big GOP Name Behind Him

I spent the afternoon of Boxing Day, December 26, talking with Rick Caruso. He's the creator of the Grove and the Americana developments in Southern California, a billionaire philanthropist and a man whose name is still bruited about as a possible contender for mayor of L.A.

A version of a Schwarzenegger Republican, is how he regards himself -- a pragmatist, not a party guy.

How pragmatic? He's endorsing Jerry Brown for governor. It was Brown's performance as Oakland mayor that got Caruso's attention:

"That's what really got me focusing on the importance a mayor can make in a city. I think Jerry did a great job in Oakland. Great job. And that's why I'm going to support him as governor. And I'm going to probably piss off a lot of my Republican friends, which is fine. But Jerry -- I'm eager to see him have a chance. He's a great guy. He's a fun guy. Very smart."

You can read my ''Patt Morrison Asks'' Q and A with Rick Caruso in the op-ed pages of Saturday's Los Angeles Times.