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tv   Right This Minute  ABC  January 6, 2019 12:30pm-12:59pm PST

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really, note mental reservations. [laughter] adrienne: he was first elected at age 36, the youngest california governor in more than a century, succeeding ronald reagan and his father. jerry brown, and studied to be a jesuit priest, changed course solitics ing theearly 50 years he ran for psihree timesstate and for senate. brown took time out from
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politics volunteering with mother theresa. he was mayor of oak t terms. and eight years ago when he 39 governor, he faced the state with a $27 billion deficit. he leaves it was a surplus. his legacies of high-speed rail and the delta water projects are unfinished. between the camp and woolsey fires, california had its most destructive fire season which the governor says is the new normal. he sounded the alarm over global warming. gov. brown: climate change is real. it is a threat to human existence. adrienne: although he is 80 years old, no one is expecting jerry brown willf into the sunset for long. announcer: abc 7 presents "eyewitness newsmakers" with adrienne alpert. adrienne: hello. i am adrienne alpert. governor, thank you for joining me.
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here we are in sacramento in the governor's mansion built in 1877. in this historic place, what does this mansion mean to california and you? gov. brown: it means a great deal. the famous muckraking journalist was the second owner. albert gallatin was the first, a powerful merchant. in 12 governors including myself have lived here. a lot of history, meetings, and deals have occurred here. for me personally, my father came here in january of 1959 and i visited for one day from the seminary. my grandmother was born about the same time in 1878. where she was born, i am now going in a couple of days to a home my wife and i have completed. adrienne: we hear that gavin newsom, your successor, will be moving into this mansion. gov. brown: that will make it
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the 13th governor. adrienne: i read you did not offer your successor any advice. you said no one has ever sought your counsel, how can that possibly be? gov. brown: people do not go around seeking advice. people who need it think they don't. adrienne: you came in with a $26 billion deficit. and about a $10 billion surplus. we don't know quite what it is because it grows and changes over time. adrienne: it could be up to $15 million. gov. brown: it could be, but it could not be. it is a projection 18 months ahead because the new budget year starts july 1 and goes for 12 months. a lot can happen. we will certainly be in a recession at some time, so revenue that looks like it is they are now will disappear by then. adrienne: giving the new legislature and your successor
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, you have a super majority now in both houses to go after some of the excess money. what do you say about that? gov. brown: remember, governor davis was spending money with the legislature at the top of the business cycle. and then it goes away. there is a very important reason for it. at the end of the recovery when the business cycle is about to turn down into recession, you don't know that. they never predict recessions. but you have lots of revenue coming in just about to go away. like to say when you feel the best that's the time to be careful. >> but, you know, they say it's volatile because 1% of the wealthiest californians pay about half the taxes and maybe it should ptd be so. >> you can argue that but then the 99% to be paying more and that's a hard sell.
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i would say it would -- behoove the next legislation not to be adding more taxes on those at the top but the truth of the matter is those at the top have a disproportionate share of the wealth and of the income so has to be some way through inheritance taxes or luxury taxes or the income tax to equalize things where increasing unequal society and the progressive income tax, something that roosevelt was a great champion of, still has an important role to play. this is a function of what some people call late stage capitalism. it's kind of a blowout. very exciting. lots of innovation but lots of people who are getting the short end and the governor can do some of that. deal with it. so can the president. so must the leaders of the global economy. we got to find a way to make it more fair. >> let's turn to national head loons and one going on right
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now. president trump versus congress. the partial government shutdown over his demand for the $5 billion for a border wall. saying now that he could declare a national emergency at the border and get it done under presidential edict. you a governor today of california is there a national emergency at our border? >> no, no. and that is very dangerous to declare national emergency if there isn't one. and yes. if there's a fire, earthquake, some, you know, war, okay, but just to add a wall which is not needed, not talking about a wall in canada, with canada, besides the specter of not only locking people out but perhaps locking people in. i think we ought to have a good border patrol and security. we have to work on how to deal with these refugees. and that's something we have to
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work with mexico and latin america and just a tall, ugly wall becomes a symbol that does not show america at its best. i think mr. trump to shut down government and then to threaten virtual dictatorial power is ominous and totally unacceptable. >> how do you think this is going to resolve? he says it could go on months, years. >> i think president trump will give in because it's untenable and he's going to find his popularity erodes further than it has already. not a smart idea. >> moving on to another one of the topics which we could probably spend the rest of the conversation on but just briefly, crime and punishment. 2020 ballot amendment. you were rigid on sentencing first two terms. what are you going to do about efforts to up end some of the measures you have take snn.
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>> first of all, the ballot measure is a bad one and also illegal because it's attempting to modify a constitutional provision which proposition 57 embodied and it tries do that with a mere statute. you need constitutional amendment to change the constitution and that'sy i think the courts will take it f. but whatever happens, i would be fighting for sensible sentencing reform for improved rehabilitation and education in the prisons and jails with mental health and drug treatment, with more re-entry as the men and women come out of jail. very important. these prisons, you know, right now 10,000 people who if things don't change will die in prison. we have people in their 80s. we will have the largest
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gerentolgy ward in the prison. people should be able to earn a way into the society with a proper parole board to exercise judgment when someone is not dangerous. that was always the law before. and it's increasingly the law today. but we go en further assure pub reduce recidivism and give hope to people to transform their lives and m something even of the life behind bars. >> we'll talk about that, governor. but we'll take a quick break and be back with the governor right after this. >> the president has offered his direction, his leadership in trying to straighten out the problem. an i'm prepared to wait and see. i want to help california and the rest of the country because if california goes down in a recession that is going to ripple across the stock market, across the businessconfiden,end going do see a recession the likes of which we haven't seen
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in a long time.
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we are back, governor. we'll talk more about the crime and punishment. it's said you've given more communations and pardons than any governor since the '40s and a group you've been hard on are the manson followers. right now, one is recommended for parole and that's going to be on newsom if he wants to uphold that. you were not in favor of leslie van houten's possible early release. what is it about the manson people that -- >> it's a notorious trial and notorious event, horror, horrible set of murders. that really is engraved on the minds and hearts of californians. but, you know, i think hope should always be available. and i've rejected paroles that then i have approved in subsequent years. so each case has to be looked at on its own merits and it's a
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very difficult decision. when someone does something really horrible, what do we do t that person? if they kill, does the state kill them? do we lock them up forever? do we allow them to earn their way back into society? that's a troublesome question that people differ on. and i to think that everybody should have an opportunity for redemption and transformation. for the most, i think i have followed that and i would certainly hope that that continues to be the be autalking about the legacy question and one of the most important is the environment and what your role will be to whether or not stay active and do you really think california will launch its own satellite and track pollution -- >> well, yes, this will be in cooperation with some private satellite companies in the bay area. it will be to put satellites in
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the sky that can monitor environmental matters and the reason for that is that there's threats by the trump administration to not use the satellites that we have now or even to launch new ones and that -- monitoring from space is crucial to monitoring the oceans, the co2 emissions, the health of forests and soil. very crucial. so, california in cooperation with some private companies will do that and that's an idea i think i had earlier and we can realize it with a different even more efficient satellite technology. >> when you say earlier, you can talk your first terms when mike roy called you governor moonbeam with the satellite idea then. >> i had an idea then. it was before the space shuttle had been launched and we thought we could get it up in the air for $5 million. very important.
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we're in a global atmosphere. a global world. and you have to monitor from space and then in realtime know how we are. and in terms of climate change, california is figuratively burning up and literally. this is happening for too many people already. >> can we 2045? >> yes, we can. but it takes a massive mobilization and we need the president behind this and we need china and we need europe and south america. we need brazil, mexico. this is a problem. the co2 emissions from our way of life, the carbon emissions, from farming, from cement manufacturing, from cars, from planes, from ships. our whole way of life has to be made more compatible. in fact, made compatible with nature, with the environment. and that means renewable
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electricity. public transport. there's a lot we can do and we have to do. if we don't, we'll see the coasts of california erode. you will see forest fires even worse and more often than we have seen in the last year. so this is a matter that can't be ignored. we have to step up and certainly newsom understands that. trump has yet to wake up to our problem. >> we'll talk about the fires that we have had in the last year, 100 dead. 2 million acres as an aggregate the year before. 45 dead. do you -- some predict that this is the new normal. that's what you have said. do you believe it? >> the new abnormal. look. this is -- this is science. you can't deny it. as the temperatures rise, then things tend to dry out. they do dry out. we have. but then you get a drought for three years, five years. can be ten years or 15 and then when it's dry like that, and
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then the heat comes, the moisture evaporates. the humidity goes down to virtually zero. and then you get the winds and now everything's on fire. >> we are building homes in places that are prone to burn. >> they have -- >> that's local zoning. do you think that ought to change? >> has to change. has to change. the people don't realize what the scientists know. very hard. some of these nice, beautiful places with the trees and the mountains, it is great until it's burning and people are dying. so look. we got a lot of issues coming down the road avoiding fire, changing our land use regulations. all of that is just part of the new abnormal as i like to call it. >> finally, in a yes or no, do you think the state could take over local zoning? >> i wouldn't say take it over but the state has got to change direction. we can't let people build in ways or in places that are
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leading to catastrophic outcomes. >> all right, governor. we'll take another braeblg. we'll be back with governor jerry brown in his final formal sitdown interview right after this. >> donald trump and the climate deniers are dead wrong, dangerously wrong. what america needs today are not deniers but leaders. not division but common purpose. not bombast but bold action.
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we are back with governor brown. let me talk to you a little bit about your legacies. the twin tunnels. high-speed rail didn't get done during your tenure. some say they won't be. >> i think high-speed rail will be fresno, the federal government has to step up and provide billions needed to do the tunnels through and ass and then from the highe
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santa clara, you can go into k be be clean. runoff power from the sun and the wind. quiet, high-speed, makes a lot of sense and how many more cars can we put on the freeways? not that many more. so i think that's a anddi i caa is the placein t scaling back the tunnels perhaps to one. will that work? >> i think he has to take a look at what that means. some people in los angeles think that l.a. can live on rain water or recycling waste water. or desal nate the ocean. actually, those provide -- those are important sources. but the water that comes from the north is crucial. and a lot cheaper. so the aqueduct called the pat
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brown aqueduct needs to function and to do that you need what's called an alternate conveyance. they use pumps that's killing the fish and need another way that's environmentally friendly and that's what the tunnels are, it's been studied and studied and i think when the governor looks at it he'll conclude it makes sense. >> we can get more on that. let's get to some final thoughts. you were called a cent tryst, a doomsayer and a trail blazer. >> i say all of them. we're thing. it's -- life has a range, as a plentitude. yes, i like to be a pioneer and a pragmatist. i like to be a creator but i like to respect tradition. all of that. that's what it is to be human. we have a left hand. we have a right hand. we have two feet. that's the way we make it. if you try to do it on one side of your mind or soul it won't
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work. >> so you feel that have you evolved as far as your thinking? >> i hope i have -- the absence of evolution is death and extinction so yes. i'm evolving because i'm still alive and hopefully that will continue for a while, a while after this. >> talk about a while after this. is this really the end of 50 years of public life? you're leaving with a $15 million political action committee fund. will you spend it? >> i'll spend it and i can spend it for candidates or against candidates. in unlimited sums. i can do the same thing on ballot measures. state or local. so i'm going to judge carefully, consult with people but i think whether it's climate or prison reform or candidates, i've a role to play and i have an enormous amount of experience so whether it's national, state or local, i will be heard from. >> one quote that i remember from you and i wrote it down
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because it struck me about the thousands of bills you hav signed. when you signed assisted suicide, you said it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. but you were conflicted in signing it. >> well, you know, assisted suicide is not something that you should take lightly. because you take a little step and pretty soon this becomes more than you ever thought, becomes normal and dangerous for the way poor peoe te wilbel un. so, but having said all that, the ability to end the horrible pain and suffering that you may be in, that also seem that is the right the people ought to have and that's why i said that's not my decision. everyone ought to make that for themselves. >> got to ask the final question in the final minute, governor. in how you want to be spoken about. how do you want to be remembered? >> first of all, i want to be remembered and you are helping make that happen so i thank you for this.
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>> you're welcome. but going forward, what thing, whe what's the thing? >> there's not one thing. whatever sticks. we do a lot of things. most of what we do is forgotten. people don't remember earl warren when he was governor. i guess they remember reagan because he was president. probably the most important thing now that's a live topic is climate change. we are not headed in the right direction and that's something i strive to achieve. >> yes or no, will you miss it? >> you know, i don't know. i think i probably will. but i'll be glad to be entering a new and exciting chapter and it is new and it will be exciting. >> governor brown, thank you very much. >> okay. thanks. >> all right. we'll be back with a final thought right after this. >> the main crisis is the human energy crisis and if we can just mobilize the energy that has
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begun in this election, i think california once again is going to be a model and i want to be a governor not of the few but of the many, of the democrats, the republicans, the independents, everybody in this state. so people will once again look to this state to see how it can be done.
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edition of qult we'll look at s from life on the streets. i'm adrian albert. for all of us at eyewitness news, thanks for watching.
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