During his State of the State Address, Gov. Jerry Brown pledged to defend the gains California has made on health care and immigrant rights.
But he also gave an unusually forceful defense of science, facts and the truth, words he used about a dozen times each, which he said was motivated by the Trump administration.
He emphasized these words while describing what he called ‘disturbing signs’ from the President that threaten the nation’s core Democratic values.
"We have seen the bald assertion of 'alternative facts' — whatever those are, Brown says. "We have heard the blatant attacks on science. Familiar signposts of our democracy – truth, civility, working together – have been obscured or even swept aside."
Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University, says Brown’s previous speeches have not had such a forceful emphasis on the importance of truth and facts the way this one did.
She says his words are probably reassuring for many Californians.
“There is still a very powerful government entity — even though it’s not the federal government — that stands for those things and that is not going to lie to you,” Levinson says.
That’s not to say all Californians were reassured.
Several Republican state lawmakers criticized Brown’s speech.
Assemblymember Travis Allen described Brown’s list of accomplishments as including “blatant misrepresentations” and failures.
Allen added that he believes Brown asserted his own set of “alternative facts.”