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CEO Whitman Attacks 'Special Interests' Brown

Laura Cueva |
August 4, 2010 | 3:28 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman (Creative Commons)
Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman (Creative Commons)
Looks like Meg Whitman is on the attack. Again.

In her latest campaign ad, Whitman goes after the unions and special interests that are backing Jerry Brown for governor. And it’s no surprise she’s twisted the facts. Again.  

As horrid black-and-white pictures of Jerry Brown flash across the screen, a voiceover begins, “Meg Whitman says she'll run California like her company. Seen this attack on Meg Whitman? Who are these people? They are the unions and special interests behind Jerry Brown.”

Fair enough. A number of unions and special interests have backed Jerry Brown, including California Working Families 2010, Laborers' International Union of North America, and the Democratic Governors Association. The California Working Families 2010 coalition has put out ads against Whitman, funding them and saving Brown millions of dollars in campaign money.

But then the voiceover continues, “They want Jerry Brown because he won't rock the boat in Sacramento. He'll be the same as he ever was--high taxes, lost jobs and big pensions for state employees.”

According to FactCheck, none of that is true. Brown decreased taxes on Californians by $16 billion while in office, he created 1.9 million jobs, and the increases in pension benefits were a result of legislation signed in 1999 by Gray Davis, not by Jerry Brown.

So why are these unions backing Jerry Brown? And is that a bad thing?

Not really. Unions represent working Californians and aren’t looking for individual gain; they fight for better working conditions, fair pay, benefit packages and workplace safety for all of their members. Workers that aren’t in unions are often taken advantage of by their employers, being underpaid and working without basic benefits, like health care.

And they’re backing Jerry Brown because, in the past, he granted state workers bargaining rights, allowing them to negotiate their contracts.

Though the unions have spent millions airing ads in Brown’s defense, it’s little compared to the money spent by billionaire Meg Whitman, now somewhere in the range of $91 million.

Her ad ends with a voiceover saying, “The special interests have chosen their governor. How about you?”

Considering politicians tend to back their supporters, then at least Brown will be looking out for state workers. Whitman, who isn’t backed by anyone, won’t be looking out for anyone but herself.


To reach staff reporter Laura Cueva, click here.



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