Local News

May 17, 2010 11:02 PM by Ariel Wesler

Jerry Brown campaigns to lower student fees

California Attorney General, Jerry Brown pays a visit to UC Santa Barbara as part of his campaign for California Governor.

A survey conducted last week by "Survey U.S.A." finds Republican candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are neck-and-neck to grab their party's spot. 39 percent are in favor of Whitman while 37 percent say they'd vote for Poizner. That's within the survey's margin of error.

In the meantime, Brown has a big lead over the other candidates in his party. 66 percent say they'd vote for him and more people are undecided than are in favor of any other candidate.

More than 100 people showed up to hear from Democratic Candidate Jerry Brown at UCSB.

"Ever since Hillary Clinton came, we haven't had a candidate this big here," said Ryan Hirschler, President of the Campus Democrats, who organized the rally.

Many were student curious to know more about the man leading the democratic charge for the Governor's race.

"We saw in the '08 elections with Obama that students provided huge huge support," said Michael Citron, a UCSB student.

Brown was quick to strike at his Republican opponents for their media blitz.

"They buy those commercials and they point. That one's a liberal. That one's something else. It's completely intellectually embarassing," Brown said.

Students say fee increases of more than 30 percent have taken their toll.

"My friends are dropping out. You can't get classes. it's just impossible right now," said Alyssa Hanou, a UCSB student.

"It's a mortgage on your future that kids 10 years ago never had and I'm going to do everything i can to keep it down," Brown said, referring to those fees.

He also spoke out against giving big business a free ride and criticized his opponents for advocating lower taxes on the wealthy.

"Start focusing on the budget in detail. Have public meetings around the state, so that Californians can really think through what we want from our state government going forward," Brown explained.

He acknowledged going forward will require regulation, but not over-regulation and students are eagerly awaiting the changes.

"We are just getting hit so hard by the budget right now, that we are really the most important voices that need to be heard in California, as the future of California," Hanou said.

Opponents have criticized brown for overspending while he was governor in the 1970s. Meanwhile, Brown has challenged the two Republican candidates to a debate. Steve Poizner accepted, but Meg Whitman's campaign did not, saying Brown should debate candidates in his own party.

There are 23 people from five parties vying to be California's next governor. The state primary is June 8.

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