California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. flew east yesterday for what he apparently had hoped would be an unpublicized meeting with federal officials he described as fundamentally dissatisfied with Carter administration energy policy.
Both the governor and his presidential campaign manager, Tom Quinn, refused to identify those who were to attend the meeting at a private home in Virginia.
"Some of these people might not want it known that they're talking to the opposition," said Brown, who would say only that some of those attending the meeting worked at the Department of Energy.
Brown's campaign staff went to unusual lengths to discourage the press from accompanying the governor and encouraged reporters planning to cover his five-day New England trip this week to meet Brown in Boston.
When asked late last week where Brown would be before he joined the traveling party in Boston, his campaign press office said the governor would be attending "private fund-raising events" in Washington yesterday.
A plainclothes state policeman, apparently unaware that he was standing right next to a reporter waiting to board Brown's flight in Los Angeles, radioed to the governor's arriving car that: "It's all clear. There are no media here."
Brown and Quinn later contradicted campaign press aides, saying there would be no fund-raising events in Washington. The reason for their trip to Washington yesterday, they said, was the private meeting in Virginia.