Hon. Jerry Brown
Governor of lhe Slate of Califom1a
Sacramento, CA 95814
September 15, 2015
When you were first running for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board, your Dad asked me to see what I could do to help you. I soon learned that I couldn’t do much because you had the campaign well in hand. I remember telling your Dad that you were busy learning what worked for you personally in a political sense and that it was best that you did that on your own and without any consultant Interference.
Your Dad and I began working together after his appointment to the Board of Investors Overseas Services. I remember taking him to Chile to meet the President and driving him to visit the Nixon Presidential Library. I captured part of that Chilean trip 1n a few paragraphs from a new book I have written on political euphemisms.
One of the first times I heard an original euphemism was on an airplane from Los Angles to Santiago, Chile. I was accompanying former California Governor Edmund C. (Pat) Brown to a meeting with Chilean President Eduardo Frei to discuss potential investments in the latter’s country. About two hours into the flight, Pat got up from his seat and announced: “I gotta go to cast a vote for Ronald Reagan.” Brown was dearly about to visit the airplane’s restroom.
But in using a colorful euphemism to mask the reality of his intended action, he was also making a
political statement about the events of 1966. That was the year Ronald Reagan — a mere Hollywood actor with no experience in public office or in major electoral politics — soundly defeated Brown in the latter’s bid for a third term. Pat was smarting because he had handily beaten Richard Nixon, a major national political figure, in California‘s 1962 gubernatorial election. Nixon had been US Vice President in the Eisenhower Administration and had barely lost to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 Presidential race. It was in fact, after that 1962 California election defeat by Brown that Nixon had famously, petulantly and, as it turned out, incorrectly told the press that he was leaving politics and that they wouldn’t have “Nixon to kick around anymore.”
The visit to Yorba Linda 1s memorialized in the accompanying collage containing a photo of your Dad and me and his kind thank you note.
All of this is background to my concerns about AB 96, an act that allegedly protects elephants but will do nothing of the kind. Instead, it kills a segment of California’s economy and discourages collectors without any actual evidence that it will save one elephant. My format statement of opposition is contained in the attached separate memo of Ivory Education Institute. This letter is a personal plea for you to do what you have always done so well: Put the anticipated, political, comfortable and often easiest course of action aside to consider alternative, politically tougher solutions that harbor a better chance of doing more good for the greatest number of people. Why not involve the Department of Fish and Wildlife, knowledgeable specialists in the State, and thoughtful members of the legislature 1n formulating a California-centric plan of action that has a chance of actually protecting endangered elephants. providing a reliable means of distinguishing the age and among the types of ivory and ivory substitutes, and addressing new measures to control the demand for ivory In est Asia.
Godfrey (Jeff) Harris
Harris / Ragan Management Group