tv KQED Newsroom PBS December 23, 2018 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
tonight on "kqed newsroom," as governor jerry brown prepares to leave office,e talk with him about his life, legacy, and his hopes for california's future. plus from a midterm election that altered the nation's power balance to troubling revelations about ig tech, a look back at some of the top stories of 2018. and comedian paula poundstone on politics, podcasts, and performing without a script. we'll hear how she got her in stand-up right here in san francisco. hel and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. we begin with governor jerry brown's farewell. he's leaving office january 7th, handing off the baton to governor elect gavin newsom. during his tenure, he reversed the state's fiscal woes and is leaving a surplus of he$30 billion. oversaw a broad overhaul of
the state's criminal justice system and fought for to combat climate change amid multiple challenges from the trump administration. p kqeditics and government senior editor scott shafer sat down with brown at the dpo governor's mansion. >> thank you for joining uson kqed. how are you feeling the final days in office? >> feel good. it's very engrossing. there's a lot to do. we have some regulatory issues. we've got some lawsuits. we have personnel questions. so i got plenty to do over the next almost three weeks. >> you camefi into , and it was a mess, right? there were questions about whether california was even governable. there was a $26 billion a big recession. and there's an expression, never let a good crisis go to .ste. >> ye >> i'm wondering do you feel like you used that crisis to do things you might not have otherwise been able to do?, >> we we got things. so without that fiscal crisis, we probably wouldn't have had
fund. we wouldn't have had the cuts we made. and we might not have hadx the increase that proposition 30 was. so those were allhings that responded to a clear problem tha presented real threats. but that's what government is. it's challenge and responst you challenge, and you got to respond. if there's no challenge, we'd all bea eep. there would be nothing to do. but that was a pticularly difficult period. millions of people lost their homes. millions of people lost their jobs. that was a very unusual period, and it did provide the stimulus for a lot of things we did later on. >> to what extent were there things that you did because you felt you had to, but you didn't necessarily want to?hi one i'm thinking of is gettige getting r of theredevelopment agents. were there things you would have liked not to do in terms - >> redevelopment siphoned money from the schools, and the
schools needed money. many people think they still need money.t teachers overly paid in any sense. redevelopment, there were plenty of abuses. a lot of people want to see it go, and it did free up almost $2 billion a year for schooifs. andpeople want to bring it back, they're going to take billions from the schools. i would assume those people who care about the california publio sc will fight that very hard. >> yeah. you have made, among other things, criminal justice reform really one of the hallmarks of your eight years in officf and part that was due to the federal court saying you've got to reduce the prison population. bu you went webeyond, i think, what needed to be done to do that, to accomplish that. i'm wondering why was that such a signature, important issue for you? >> well, first of all, because there are so damn many people locked up. aoupleears before i became governor, there were over 170,000 principally men,y principaw income men of color and not all that well
educated for the most part all locked up in cages. some people call it the gulag western-style. now, go back a f decades, and there were 20,000, 25,000, 28,000 locked up. we had 12 prisons. now we all of a sudden went on a prison building binge, w sure the legislature really didn't think through, and we go up to 35 prisons. yet the number of felonies isn't that much different from the '70s. so why would you more than doubleour prisons and more than quadruple the number of intes? so that tells me we need to reform. yes, there are very dngerous people. horrible things that have been dead. but human beings are capable of transformation, are capable of change. and we want to make that change more likely by havin the right kind of environment. in prisons, in jailn alternative programs, and having sentencing policy that makes
sense. >>nother big issue for you is the environment and climate change. do you feel like you accomplished everything you wanted to do as governor on that iss, or were the things undone? >> california has taken more intelligent action on climate change than any state or province in the western hemisphere, and more than almost all jurisdictions in the wholew d. so we've done a lot. is it enough to stop imate change? no. more, rld has to do much much quicker, and so does californi but that stepping it up requires public support. and as we see with macron, riots in the streets because of a carbon tax. we've seen in washington a carbon tax was handley defeated. we're on the road to disaster. we're going to g more drought, more fires, more destruction, and we better start krolli it. >> you are calirnia's younger
governor, and you're california's oldest governor. i think there were 30 years dtween. >> w have some younger governors in the 19th century. but in the 20 i centur the youngest and the oldest. eadest of all time. >> and so you had a lot of experiences in your life in between those tw terms. >> yeah. >> i won't go through them all, but there were public offices you held. you did the buddhist thing, the zen monastery. how do yo think all those things in between the two times you were governor made you different as governor the second time? >> well, we are different. you know, as y age, you get new -- things look back. you looon back your life, and you learn things hopefully. i've learned to work veryly cloith the legislature. but, again, it's easier to work with them when i'm older than most of them and i have more experience. the first ti i around, was younger, and i had less experience, and a lot of what they weres doing all new to me whereas now, most of what we're doing is familiar to me
.and new to th so that's allowed a more balancd relationship, which i don't think i've taken advantage of, but i'veully embraced to make a cooperative partnership. >> so jaouary 7th, and your wife, ann, are going to leave. you're going to go to caloosa county, which is a much quieter existence than you've been used to. what are you going to miss? >> i'm not sure. when i left the last time, i didn't miss too much. when i left, i don't think iok back, what was deukmejian doing or what was the legislature oing? you on about your life. be inuary 24th, i'll washington to unveil the clock that is put out atomic scientists and they will tell us how close to midnight are we on the doomsday clock,ich means how close are we to the end of the world. that's important. hat's important work to try to wake people up. i hope to me with members of
the senate and the house and get a greater awareness that we've got to deal with the nuclear threat.al and then i' going to be working on climate issues and thenon probably pr reform and sentencing. so just those three things alone, not to mention olive trees and making sure that the't emitters are plugged up or eaten by squirrels. i've got a lot to do. governor brown, thank you so much. lonope you have a retirement, long next chapter is probably a better way to say it. d good. n't think of retirement. i think of taking off in a new direction. now a look back at 2018. in politics, california a played key role in the midterm elections blue wave. democrats won congressional seats long held by republicans in central and southern california. at the state capitol, the me too movement and sexual harassmentg alletions forced lawmakers to resignea nwhile, refugees became the focus of aer bitt political debate as the trump
administration separated families and civil rights advocates went to court. and in the tech industry, a moment o reckoniamid rising anger over how companies like facebook, google, and twitter handle user ta and failo guard consumer privacy. here now with a year-end review ofthese and other top stories are three kqed reporters. from our politics and government desk, marisa lagos, co-host of the california report billy jamali, and silicon valley bureau chief, i big year for immigration. just today the u.s. supreme court ruled that the trump administration's ban on asylum for any immigrants who cross the u.s.-mexico border illegally, they ruled against it. marisa, what happens now, especially since the trump administration announcedeehis that immigrants seeking asylum would have to wait in mexico for their court ruling? thingll, i think like ever that's happened over the last two years, there's more confusion in someea
it maybe clarifies a little bit. this was basically the trump administration att kind of rewrite laws that congress had written pretty clearly, which says no matter rohow you the border, whether it's at a port of entry or illegally, you may apply for asylum. the court upheld a lower court's decision saying that congress really did spell that out in the statute. interestingly john roberts, the chief justice, did sidewith the more liberal justices. i think now you're going to see probably even more people applying for asylum, maybe people who hadli been ale deterred by some of this back and forth. but really what ihink the mexican government is figuring out what the new policy means in terms of peop waiting in line in mexico. and i think really forne ever it's just been -- you know, so many changes so quickly. i mean lily, you've bee down ere. >> i think there's a lot of frustration frankly on the mexican side of the border, both probably with refugees or migrants who are waiting to come
in, but also fromhe government. i spoke with someone at the mexican embassy yesterday after that decision to keep folks on the mexican side while they go through the asylum it's been reported as a deal that the u.s. and mexico struckh but i spoke to them, it was quite clear they were told by the trump administration at 8:00 yesterday morning that this was happening. iwas not a deal that was hatched by both sides from what i can tell. >> we've seen this right?, i mean the travel ban announced with very little tice. other immigration policies announced with very little notice. for immigrants, how confusing is this? you know, co ruling after court ruling, policy after policy. >> well, i d t't thiney are checking eve tit for tat thing that happens on this issue, on an issue that's verymportant tthem. they're not checking twitter every second the way a lot of ol reporters whow this beat closely are. and so ie think what we seeing is they are still going to the
border, and there are actually lawyers in some cases trying to receive them and telling them, don't leave. you know, if you're going to a border where we're hearing in otay mesa, for example, that they're being rerouted to another border entryin san diego at san ysidro. those lawyers are there to t receivem and say don't go anywhere. so, you know, there is some support for them in that regarde but t really a deluge of news, and i think the most that they can d is junderstand that this is really an asylum policy that is unde assault b the trump administration. i think most of them get that. >> also under asult are n only people currently seeking asylum but the trump administratio now is trying to also target vietnamese refugees for deportation, people who have been here for decades in the silicon valley, where your base of coverage i how is that playing out? >> it's a huge issue. we talkicbout s valley, san jose proper, and santa clara
county, wre talkingearly 200,000 residents who live there ho are vietnamese, and we' talking about generations of folks. the migration started happening inthe '70s, and the '80s. this is a huge community, and they're really watching it very closely and very concerned about the impact overall. is i think politically, i remember when troke out, i thought it was such a bizarre move for the trump administration toake because in california at least, first generation vietnamese have been a veryyal voting bloc for republicans historically. >> especially in orange coty. >> wher we just saw all of the congressional republicans lose. and so it just seems -- and you have already seen generational changes. i think kids of those immigrants are more likely to be independent or democratic anyway, but i do think this iso just one those things where you're going, okay, you're attacking everybody including people that a part of your base, and how is that going to play out in 2020? i mean it seems to m like it could be a bad miscalculation. >> all right. a bit of a head scratcher ere.
let's talk about tech as well, tanya. >> what a year. >> what a year for a lot of companies, but particularly for facebook and its users. what are we n learning about which companies facebook shared data with, and how manysers were affected? "the new york times" has been doing some amazing investigation>> of this. hat's right. de learn about new companies every single , it seems. i counted from february to today, we've hadda 21 sc over the course of this time. >> involving facebook? >> involving facebook and user data. and so right now we're just learning more and more about the policies,ay facebook works. i think that it was a hugeaw ening for regular people who aren't reporters to actually learn the inner o workin facebook and how facebook works, that they actuall receive money through advertising and through our data and through metadata so that's something that many people are now learning, and we're learning about more and more companies. you talked about "tes new york tand their investigations, their reporting.
we're now learning that many companies includingd apple spotify and netflix. >> microft, amazon. >> that's right. they received access tor data, and they were actually in proxy. g type of very confus way that they worked, but essentially they were working understand faceok's arm, so they were thought of as part of facebook when they received our data. >> earlier thisyear, the state legislature did pass a privacy law for california because the fcc h really refused to take this up in the way that some folks would like them to in rms ofrotecting consumers. and that is going into effect in the attorney general is going to be holding these hearings around the state to try to get consumer input on what they thin those privacy regulations should look like. so i would expect to see more on this fr the california legislature next year because i think that there's going to be some problems with thaey law re going to have to work out. >> they are. they'll be spending the next year working th it will look very different from what became an act in august. >> what about at the federal
level, though, because we have now a number of congressional lawmakers who are very concerned. i mean senator richardnt blumal of connecticut compared facebook's data privacy problems to the bp oispill. he said it's ongoing, uncontained and toxi b we wil paying the price for decades. how likely are we going to see titighter regu of tech companies in 2019? >> that's the big question, but al open e sev investigations on the federal level that we'll be following into january and february. so we'll see where this shakes out. but i think that we will see more push for there to be regulations overtime. >> and we had the other major story this year. it's so horrible, the camp fire. it was just so muchdevastation. the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in rcalifornia his lily, how are the survivors of this fire ping? it's been just over a month now since that fire ignited, and i think that, you know, emerowncy mode is over. people have caught their breath,
and you see a lot o people in the butte county complex doing things like trying to get their properties reassessed, taking care of their property taxes and trying to get them lowered. an you know, that all -- all alng, they were also trying to take care of their personal lives. a lot of them have kids, ang they're tryto make sure their kids are okay and understanding what is going on. so i think it's really that moment where we're kind of going to see what this community looke l are people going to stay? i know a lot of people have already thought about leaving or have. and so i think what happens in the coming weeks and certainly in the first part of this year really going to dictate how eais story looks, you know, two, three from now, ten years from now. are people going to bail on paradise, on butte county, or are they going to plant roots again and make it work? and what can we expect to see from mayor elect gavin nnsom this issue and from pg&e, that's under a lot of investigation?
that isthe $15 billion question, i think. i think this is an issue that ge newernor is going to have to tackle. i've heard speculation he could a special session about living with fire because i think that's something california has to grapple with, with climate cinge, with drought, the communities that do butt up against these rural areas. this isn't going away. but i don't think it's the first thing that newsom wanted to do, and i think he's going to under a microscope when it comes to his relationship withpg&e which is headquartered in san francisco. the executives there have a long relationship th him. >>de a mistake earlier. i referred to him as mayor elect. i do now he wasmayor of san francisco. i do now that he is now going to be our governor. >> was justoing to add to that, though, it's crises that like these can really make or break a pitician. d gavin newsom, i think, you know, he has a lot of things he
would lik toe his signature issue. climate change of course was a big o for his predecessor. i was thinking perhaps immigration might be one for gavin newsom. >> he's been stressing early childhood education as well. >> health care, yeah. >> my point is this might be the thing that defines how we view him when the history books are written. >> i agree. it's a challen because there are so many different groups that you are going t have to be sort of wading between when it comes to the insurance industry, the homeowners, the local governments. and i think it's going to take a lot of leadership to step back nd talk about ways that the state can realep in and make sure that we're not building -- sort of making the same mistake over and overa in. i think that's a really tough one, maybe tougher than the utility question because we l local control in california. >> let's talk quickly about the midterm election because we had the blue wav as part of that, we also had a pink wave. how has that affected lifornia? >> we have now three of the
seven constitutional offices, statewide offices held by women. we have, i think, an uptick in women in the legislature. still not complete sort of parity between men and women. i think there's a lot of excitement, and i think you're going to see some of that meeg o lation that came out last year continued purpose. we do have a leader of the state senate who is a woman and gavin newsom's chief of staff as well. the pink walso kind of extended to tech, right? we had the google walkout on sexual misconduct concerns. >> that's right. it real showed for the community at large and for women that they have the power. theyade google essentially undo forced arbitration for women in sexual harassments. ca so it shows that when communities galvanize, when they get togeth employees, 20,000 walked out, they can force change. >> they made a atement. we sort of have our own little pink wave here with our all women panel. thank you all.
>> thank you. let's swih gears to something lighter. paula poundstone is a starli pa on the npr quiz show, wait, wait, don't tell me, where she's knownor her offthe cuff humor. last year she published another heok, totally unscientific study of the search for human she's had her own tv variety show and she's on herco sd podcast called, nobody listens to paula poundstone. she refined hertand-up here in san francisco at tiny clubs in the 1980s. paula joins us now to reflect on her career and wrap up a wild ular. nice to have you here. >> thanks so much for having me. it's nice to be here. >> welcome back to san francisco. >> in cold, raw, san francisco. i've been shaivering since i've been here. >> you pretty much started your career here. how does the city seem to you coming ack? >> you know what everybody tells me is it's really expensive to live here now. >> oh, >> which is -- that's probably not a good idea on the pa
of -- i was just saying to somebody today, you know, the reason we could have such a creative, energetic stand-up comedy scene with a lot of peopleoming to town just to learn to do thisse job was bec you could live here cheaply. >> yeah. well, not anymore. >> not anymore. ut i mean it's going to hurt the arts at ain certain peven though i'm sure there will be a lot of good -- i bet you have a lot of stores that sell high-end kitch t things. y have that? >> we have stores that sell all kinds of high-end things, not just kitchen things. sauce pan i owned one when i lived here. but i picture it now being a place where everyone has a kitchen just full of things that you use just for one specific task in the kitchen. are you a cook? >no, but i have a kitchen full of things for one specific task. >> yeah. >> you know, i was looking back t some of yourld performances
here in san francisco, and you were here in theda h of comedy in the bay area. >> it was fun. >> what are some of your fondest memories from that time? >> there was a bunch of us went from club to club on open mikeht n together because nobody -- only one or two people had cars. and on a monday night, you could do three open mike nights a recall. there's a place called the holy city zoo back there. there was the other cafe, and there -- well, t punchline. the punchline is still there, isn't it? and there's anotherla called cobb's pub. >> robin williams became your during that time. >> yeah. robin was from here. he wasn't the same graduating class of stand-up comic that i was. he was already a big, huge star by the time that i showed up. but he was very -- what's the word -- paternal, i think, to lots of comics. he was a very generous man.
>> fast forwarou're now on the npr news quiz program, wait, wait, don't tellme. very popular. how do you prepare for something like that? do they tell you theopics in advance? >> no. we know the questions they're going to -- it's a weekly news quiz show, so know the questions are going to be about the week's news. i usealy unusual and wasteful method, and not really successful method of preparing or the show. i hold the record for losses on wait, wait, don'tell me. and people ask me all the time, th -- people ask me if i purposely throw thematches. and the answer to that is no. i'm trying to win. >> do you think the other contestants cheat? yes. no one ever talks about the doping, but 's there. yeah, i'm trying really hard to win. i read the -- or i skim anyway o week's wor -- and don't tell this to anybody, but new york posts. i get "the new york post."
here's why i get it. so it has the major news stories, just not well told, and it also has news of the weird. that's what kills you on wait, t wait, doell me is the news of the weird, youer know. >> s a lot of weirdness, even stuff that's not meant to be weutrd. talk a the government shutdown that was and wasn't but now may be again. what do you think about that? >> it's horrifying. the whe thing is horrifying. every day i try to figure out why? how did we get here? what happened? as near as i can ll, electing trump is to americans what beaching themselves is to whales. scientists dn't understand it. there appears to be -- the only difference is we don't have another species to shove us back in the water. >> you're changing with the times. yew now doing podcasts. ohere are a lo podcasts out there. >> there are tons of podcast. t how challenging is i come up with something different? >> well, ithe not easy at all
because at this point, the things that human beings have in common are that we breathe oxygen, we don't eat our young, andav we a podcast. so it is very difficult to sort of stand out in that crowd. but nobody listens to paula poundstone, it's just plain fun. that's what it. it's me and my partner adam, and we call it a comedcaadvice po. its number one job is to be funny, but we bring on people tsat are expn different topics, and topics that are -- we had a dy come talk about house mold. frankly it was very helpful. even if you go away and you didn't find it hysterically funny, which i hope that you will, but you at least come away with some good solid information about house mold. we try to make sure try to at least deliver information. >> paula poundstone, thanks for being with us. i know you're back in the bay area on december 31st. you'll be performi at 8:00 p.m. at the sydney goldstein at thr. >> new year's at the sidney
goldstein. >> what better way to spend new year's eve? >> it's the best way. it's the healthiest thing in the world. laughing out the old year and laughing in the new year is a great thing . >> paula poundstone, nice to have you with us. >> thanks for havingme. > that will do it for us. tune in next week for our show about the arts in the bay area. then our special stand up san quentin the followingek woo. we'll return on january 11th with our regular program. you can find more of our coverage kqed.org/newsroom. i'm thuy vu. have awonderful holiday season, and thank you for joining us. ♪
captioning sponsored by wnet >> thompson: on this edition for sunday, december 23: more fallout in the defense department over the withdrawal of u.s. troops from ria. day two of a partial government shutdown as the president hunkers down amid a stalemate with lawmakers. and a look behind the stories of some newshour weekend favorites. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> depbs newshour weekend is possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. iap. roy vagelos and t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutu