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Excerpts from Brown's inaugural address:

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"With so many people out of work and so many families losing their homes in foreclosure it is not surprising that voters tell us they are worried and believe that California is on the wrong track. Yet, in the face of huge budget deficits year after year and the worst credit rating among the 50 states, our two political parties can't come close to agreeing on the right path forward. They remain in their respective comfort zones, rehearsing and rehashing old political positions."

In seeking the office of governor, I said I would be guided by three principles. First, speak the truth. No more smoke and mirrors on the budget. No empty promises. Second, no new taxes unless the people vote for them. Third, return - as much as possible - decisions and authority to cities, counties and schools, closer to the people. With your help, that is exactly what I intend to do.

At this stage of my life, I have not come here to embrace delay and denial.

By the way, those who are hankering after my job, it may be a while. God willing - the genes are good.

This is a time to honestly assess our financial condition and to make the tough choices. And as we do, we will put our public accounts in order, investments in the private sector will accelerate and our economy will produce new jobs just as it has after each of the other ten recessions since World War II.

One of our native sons, Josiah Royce, became for a time one of the most famous of American philosophers. He was born in 1855, in a mining camp that later became the town of Grass Valley. I mention him because his "philosophy of loyalty" is exactly what is called for. Loyalty to the community, to what is larger than our individual needs.

It's sobering and enlightening to read through the inaugural addresses of past governors - I don't imagine too many of you do that. They each start on a high note of grandeur and then focus on virtually the same recurring issues - education, crime, budgets, water.

I have thought a lot about this and it strikes me that what we face together as Californians are not so much problems but rather conditions, life's inherent difficulties. A problem can be solved or forgotten but a condition always remains. It remains to elicit the best from each of us and show us how we depend on one another and how we have to work together."

PHOTO: Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee



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