Mystery Solved: Jerry Brown’s Fortress of Solitude


Nobody begrudges Gov. Jerry Brown a vacation. But the people of California, who elected him to govern, have a right to know where he’s off to and for how long. So in the absence of any information about where Jerry and Anne went, we asked our Calbuzz Advisory Board of the World’s Leading Authorities on Practically Everything where they think he went and what he was doing.

Two suggested he was hanging out with accused sexual-harasser Jacques Barzaghi, his former confidant and aide de camp, in either Morocco or some remote village in France. A few said the governor went wherever First Lady Anne Gust Brown told him to go and was doing whatever she told him to do. And two suggested he had found a fortress of solitude: one even enclosed a photo of “the secret lair of the League of Shadows, where Bruce Wayne sought solitude and training as a spiritual warrior so that he might return to Gotham to fight evil and right past wrongs.”

One of our panelists made this trenchant critique:

I don’t give a shit where Brown went, as long as he’s not hiking the Appalachian Trail.  But it is irresponsible and cavalier for a governor of the largest state to leave the state clouded in mystery and with the citizens left clueless about where their chief executive is.  Arnold used to take jaunts to vacation spots unknown, too, but he was also a widely recognizable, world-famous movie star who presumably had security concerns wherever he went.  What’s Brown’s excuse?

A couple of panelists suggested Brown went to see his sister Kathleen in Chicago (and one said no, the family would have to come to him). Here are some other responses from the Calbuzz California Consultanate. As you’ll see, a few of our Republican panelists used the occasion to take a whack or two at Governor Absentius.

— I have no idea but maybe he’ll come back ready to actually govern.

— He was spotted at the LA Coliseum last Saturday night watching the UCLA/USC game, which explains the fact that UCLA fired Coach Rick Neuheisel on Monday.  The Governor realizes that you cannot raise UC fees and not score a point against the local private university.  

— He went to Hawaii to check out that resort where all those legislators went with powerful special interests. Or he went to Washington to thank CMS for approving those Medi-Cal cuts. Or he went to an undisclosed location to meet with top liberals who are looking for an alternative presidential candidate to Obama.

— He went to New Jersey to ask Chris Christie how to stand up to the unions.

— I’m hoping he was visiting New York State and studying under a fellow liberal Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who actually is willing to take on the unions/other Dem special interests and challenge liberal orthodoxy in order to revive/reform his state

— He went to Greece for vacation.  He wanted to see the only politicians on Earth that are worse at handling a budget than the California Legislature.

 —  He and Anne were among the first people in a tent outside of Toys R Us waiting and successfully securing an Angry Birds toy of their very own.  After proceeding to other Black Friday sales (we know how thrifty he is) he proceeded to Small Business Saturday and did his early shopping from his trusty home laptop for Black Sunday/Monday. 

—  Two of the last three Democratic presidents had to run against Jerry Brown, no reason it shouldn’t be three of three. The governor was meeting secretly with Democrats in New Hampshire.

Two of our panelists said Brown was in Mexico, reading and relaxing. We don’t know if they actually knew something or if it was just a lucky guess, but according to an alert Calbuzzer who contacted us (not a Consultanate member),  Jerry and Anne were at Rancho La Puerta, a spa resort, just outside of Tecate, Mexico, about an hour’s drive southeast of San Diego.

“My aunt stayed there and saw him and Anne there all of last week,” said our intrepid Calbuzz crowdsourcer.

Our source’s info is confirmed by photographer Don Paulson, who taught a course at the spa and “rubbed shoulders” with the gov. Nor was this the first time Jerry and Anne hung out at the spa’s “guilt-free zone.”

Rancho La Puerta, according to its web site was founded in 1940 by Edmond and Deborah Szekely as the world’s first destination fitness resort and spa. The 3,000-acre property “offers world-class landscaped gardens, an organic farm, internationally known cooking school, and mountainsides and meadows of great hiking and walking experiences.”

The resort offers hiking, workouts, cooking classes, arts and crafts, jewelry making, gardening and lectures and “discussions on wide-ranging philosophies, archaeo-theosophy, cosmology, and history each afternoon beneath the oak trees.”

Rates start at $2,985 per person per week for a cozy casita with private bath up to $4,510 per person for a two-bedroom villa suite — not too shabby since rates include all meals, guided hikes and walks, fitness classes, use of the fitness facilities, evening programs, lectures, and scheduled transportation to/from the San Diego International Airport on Saturdays. However, spa services (facials, massages, etc.) and cooking classes/demos are a la carte.

The governor’s office – in the person of the officious and high-handed Elizabeth Ashford – informed Calbuzz that Brown’s vacation plans were private, that no state funds were used to pay for airfare and that she would not discuss whether the governor’s protective detail was with him.

We asked who looked after Sutter, but got no response.


Here’s a shot posted on Facebook by Angelino Mark Fleischman of himself, his wife Mimi and California’s first couple, taken last week at Rancho La Puerta:

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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. avatar sky3 says:

    Still kinda new to Calbuzz but just curious: How many days do you normally kick an unchanged headlilne/story with “Latest Story”?

  2. avatar pjhackenflack says:

    Fair question, Sky — Calbuzz posted news, analysis and commentary just about every day during the 2010 election year but scaled back in 2011 to about three times a week — usually on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Posting in 2012 will depend on the news flow.

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