Filed under: Estates
The battle for who will be the next governor is heating up. Jerry Brown has a history of service on his side while Meg Whitman has years of business experience. Brown offers a knowledge of government, Whitman, financial acumen. Brown paints a picture of frugality, while Whitman enjoys a $3 million house in pricey Atherton, California. But while Brown opted to live in a Sacramento rental instead of the governor's mansion during his first turn at the helm, he's got nicer digs now. The AP points out that Brown and his wife, former Gap executive Anne Gust enjoy a lovely five-level contemporary home in Oakland Hills. The Zen-inspired home is valued at $1.8 million and has bamboo floors, a sauna, a spiral staircase and views that stretch to the bay. A dumbwaiter services all the floors. Brown and Gust bought the home in 2007 when it was listed for $2.68 million.
This isn't the first cool home he has owned either. He also at one point owned a Pacific Heights converted firehouse that was listed for sale last year for $4.4 million. Brown does still live a frugal lifestyle, taking advantage of his senior discount in many instances. On the night he won the Democratic Party primary he touted his thrifty habits saying that he doesn't like to spend money whether it's his or the taxpayers'.
Meg Whitman also owns quite a bit of land in Colorado. The former CEO of eBay already owned Skyline Ranch near Telluride, Colorado (bought for around $20 million back in 2005) when, in February 2010 she picked up land near Alta Lakes, an approximately 800-acre swath of undeveloped high country land earmarked for development. She has no plans to develop the property. She bought it from Silver Mountain Industries which had planned to put a neighborhood of large and expensive houses on the land. It's not known exactly how many acres were sold or how much Whitman and her husband, neurosurgeon Griffith Harsh IV paid for the land.
Now there is no governor's mansion but the issue of personal frugality seems more important than ever to a state facing a $19 billion deficit. Whitman has said she's willing to pay $150 million of her own money to win the race but that she is a businesswoman who knows how balance a budget. Each candidate says that they are the one who will be more careful with the state's theadbare purse.