Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown - along with their dogs Sutter and Colusa - host Christmas dinner, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 in the Governor’s Mansion for about 30 family and friends. Lezlie Sterling lsterling@sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown - along with their dogs Sutter and Colusa - host Christmas dinner, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 in the Governor’s Mansion for about 30 family and friends. Lezlie Sterling lsterling@sacbee.com

Capitol Alert

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Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown’s gifts: $21,000 in travel, $125 night at Zen Center

By David Siders

dsiders@sacbee.com

March 01, 2016 06:35 PM

Of the nearly $21,000 that Gov. Jerry Brown accepted in travel-related gifts last year, the majority went to pay for his well-publicized trip to Paris for global climate talks, according to a financial disclosure filed Tuesday.

But the disclosure included this smaller, less expected line item, too: Hotel accommodations at the San Francisco Zen Center valued at $125. Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian, once studied Zen Buddhism in Japan. He used to visit the center on occasion, and according to the disclosure, he went back for one night last May.

$125 Accommodations at the San Francisco Zen Center for Gov. Jerry Brown

The California State Protocol Foundation, a group of private donors used by Brown and his predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to pay for travel on government business, provided travel funds of $13,440 for the Paris trip. The nonprofit Climate Action Reserve, which paid for a carbon offset for Brown, provided another $2,586.

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Earlier last year, Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, accepted a gift of travel funds of $2,293 from The Hamilton Project/The Brookings Institution. He spoke at the think tank.

Brown also accepted $1,168 in non-travel related gifts in 2015, including a dinner valued at $300 from The Washington Post. Brown was the newspaper’s guest at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington.

As in previous years, Brown reported sizable investments in real estate and retail interests. Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, reported more than $1 million in Madison Park Holdings Inc., a developer and real estate manager.

In May, Gust Brown acquired a new investment in Madison Park Opportunity Fund LLC, also a developer and manager of real estate. That investment was reported to be worth $10,001 to $100,000.

Gust Brown’s stock in Jack in the Box, the fast food company, was valued at between $100,000 and $1 million last year. Gust Brown, a former board member of the company, received gross income of more than $100,000 from the company.

The state does not require the disclosure of an investment’s exact value.

Brown’s other interests include investments of more than $100,000 in Health Fusion Inc., a medical office software company, and Edgewater Park Plaza LLC, a developer and manager of real estate.

Brown also reported gross rental income of more than $10,000 from a property he owns in Oakland. The source of rent was Oaklandish, an apparel and accessories company.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is running to succeed Brown in 2018, reported non-travel related gifts totaling slightly more than $3,000, including $200 in flowers from the California State Floral Association and a $180 jacket and $45 pair of gloves from Columbia Sportswear Co.

The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana gave Newsom a $275 skybox ticket to the racetrack and the California Nurses Association gave him a stethoscope valued at $187.

Volkswagen Group of America, embroiled in an emissions scandal, provided Newsom with a $27 lunch in July 2015 and gave him two hats and a model car valued at $31 and $22, respectively.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders