Following the pepper-spraying of protesters by police at UC Davis and the jabbing of students with batons at UC Berkeley, Gov. Jerry Brown said he was "seriously concerned" and asked the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training last month to review procedures for crowd control.
His concern was relayed in a letter. Forty years ago, he might have sent a team of commandos.
"I propose a statewide strike force to be under the charge of the governor, to be called out at the first sign of any violence, to prevent it if possible, to stop it once it starts," Brown, then a candidate for secretary of state, said in an interview - viewable here - with KPIX-TV in San Francisco in 1970. "I think a lot of the problem on the campus confrontations - oftentimes police are called in who are not adequately trained to deal with, with really the unique problems that we see today on the campus. Some of it is almost like guerrilla warfare, and I think we need a specially trained, well-motivated, well-screened force of men who know how to deal with the problem and are ready to go anywhere at any time under the command of the governor to really bring calm to the campus."
The video of the interview is part of the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive, a project of the J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University. Bee researcher Pete Basofin came across it the other day. The cache includes about 4,000 hours of film, mostly from before 1980.
Of course, circumstances were different when Brown was secretary of state, then governor, before. Politics were, too.
The Democratic governor, who is proposing next year to raise taxes, had a different opinion about tax increases in 1977, the year before passage of the property-tax limiting Proposition 13, according to this clip in the archive:
"There is a feeling that some citizens in California are not paying enough. My own view is that as you open the door to new taxation, that you encourage and expand an accelerating form of government that is already quite excessive," Brown said. "I am going to exert every effort I have to block the effort to increase taxes."
Come back to Capitol Alert on Tuesday for more from the video archive, including a clip of Brown's father, former Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, talking about his son's first gubernatorial campaign.