Gov. Jerry Brown had been plowing through the hundreds of bills on his desk, many involving what he calls the "vast tracts of unknown" in state bureaucracy, when one caught his eye.
It was the "Google Car" bill to regulate driverless vehicles. "I said, 'Wow. This sounds kind of Moonbeam," Brown recalled. "I want to look at this a little more carefully.'"
These days, the man tagged "Gov. Moonbeam" nearly four decades ago for his plan to launch state satellites doesn't have the luxury of playing the wide-eyed futurist. He's got his hands full with a state in constant budgetary crisis.
But he still retains some of the old eccentricity. He attends legislative meetings with his dog, eats food from others' plates and refuses to replace the stained carpet in his office. He uses Latin. He has no use for an entourage and has been known to ask his physician for advice on legislation.
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