Gov. Brown bids farewell to outgoing Senate, Assembly leaders

Darrell Steinberg, Jerry Brown, John Perez
State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), left, California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, and Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) listen to a reporter’s question during a press conference on the drought in February.
(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown made his way to both the Senate and Assembly floors Thursday to bid farewell, at times with tongue in cheek, to the departing leaders of those two bodies.

Brown joined other lawmakers in roasting former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, a Los Angeles Democrat, praising his “mushroom theory” of government.

“Your way of keeping everybody in the dark was a real winner. If they had known everything they were doing, they couldn’t accomplish half of what we accomplished,’’ Brown said with a dry grin. “I say that—if the press is listening—with some degree of irony. No, we’re for transparency, for the record. We love the FPPC  [Fair Political Practices Commission] — all the good things.’’

The governor then pivoted to a more serious tone, praising his fellow Democrat for his hard work for California.


“John, you made a hell of a contribution to California. It was great, great to work with you. And I’ve worked with a lot of speakers around here…. You got it done. You were a big presence for a big period and I think the people of California will long cherish what we’ve been able to do together.’’

Brown offered to help Perez on his future endeavours. Perez lost his bid for state controller in the June primary election.

In the Capitol’s other chamber, Brown offered kind words for outgoing Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who is leaving after six years leading the Senate, for providing leadership on the water bond compromise placed on the November ballot and other crucial measures facing California.

“It’s a pleasure to be with somebody who has such a faith in the process,” Brown said.


“You’ve got more damn vision than anybody else I’ve ever met.”

Both Perez and Steinberg will be leaving the Legislature because of term limits.

Get our Essential California newsletter