Foes of state attorney general Jerry Brown, leading the Democratic pack in the campaign for his old job as governor, have been unearthing radio shows the 71-year-old made during the ’90s, featuring controversial remarks calling capital punishment “state murder” and dissing Mexican trucks on U.S. roads.
But it’s his ties to San Diego that may become some of the most interesting to opposition researchers. Brown’s wife, Anne B. Gust, is on the board of Jack in the Box, Inc., the San Diego–based hamburger chain founded by the late Bob Peterson, who ran it in the early years with Dick Silberman, Brown’s onetime chief fund-raiser who later did prison time after falling for an FBI money-laundering sting. Also on the board is Mike Alpert, husband of ex-Democratic state senator Dede Alpert, Special Advisor for Public Policy and Strategic Planning for the Sacramento law and lobbying firm of Nielsen, Merksamer, who herself has a number of gigs around town. Last year, for instance, she was paid $5000 to sit on the board of the Girard Foundation, run by La Jolla philanthropist and investor Buzz Woolley. The nonprofit has given to such local causes as the Gompers Charter Middle School. It also contributed $10,000 to San Francisco’s Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank, raising big doubts about Barack Obama’s public health-care plan.