Gov. Jerry Brown endures the occasional protest at the California Capitol, but he has largely avoided the inconvenience of any heckling-from-the-sidewalk, traveling demonstrations for nearly three years.
In recent weeks, however, the Democratic governor has been met at his events by a smattering of environmentalists protesting his support for hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking.
About 30 demonstrators were on hand for a function at the historic governor's mansion in Sacramento on Monday night, and they were loud enough that staff members moved Brown's podium to a side of the house farther from the street.
"We're going to have to yell really loud," one of the organizers, Zack Malitz, told fellow demonstrators.
Brown signed legislation this year establishing a permitting system in California for fracking. The measure has further strained his relationship with environmentalists, who already are upset with Brown for his efforts to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act. The discord comes as the Democratic governor holds his administration out as a national leader on environmental policies.
Brown acknowledged the protesters at the mansion Monday, saying it was "wonderful that this has now become a public square."
"Even though it's slightly loud," he said, "it's powerful, it's dynamic, and this house is still alive."
PHOTO: The California State Historic Governor's Mansion is bathed in the glow of a new LED lighting system after ceremonies to celebrate improvements of the 136-year-old mansion in Sacramento on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli