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SAN FRANCISCO -- While Gov. Jerry Brown attended a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge this morning, someone pointed out that his father, the late Gov. Pat Brown, had served on the bridge authority decades ago.

"I'm glad you reminded me ... but it took no reminding, because growing up as kids, we had a free pass," Brown said to laughter, "and every time we went across the bridge, we never had to pay the toll."

"I felt that was a little unreasonable," he added, "and that's where I first got my notions of political reform."

Brown helped create the Fair Political Practices Commission when he was governor before, from 1975 to 1983. He appeared to be conflicted, though, about the lifetime bridge pass.

"You know, it wasn't such a bad thing," he said. "We've lost a few of those good perks that stimulated a lot of good work."

Brown's older sister, Cynthia Kelly, was also in the audience. She walked across the bridge the day it opened in 1937.

"I wasn't born yet," the 74-year-old governor said, drawing chuckles from the crowd.

"Believe it or not," he said. "I wasn't."


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