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Brown V. Whitman: Today In The California Governor's Race, Oct. 8

Paresh Dave |
October 8, 2010 | 1:53 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The candidates seemed to be living up to their characters Thursday as news trickled out that Meg Whitman poured more of her own money into her campaign and that Jerry Brown's camp had made an insensitive verbal gaffe.

Whitman injected another $2.5 million into her campaign this week, bringing her total tab to $121.5 million. Part of that money may go toward broadcasting an ad released Thursday telling viewers to hide their wallets because Brown supports bumping up taxes.

Last month, Brown thought he had hung up the phone after leaving a voicemail for the L.A. Police Protective League, the L.A. Times reports (with audio). He actually hadn't. The voicemail caught one of Brown's "associates" calling Whitman a "whore" for agreeing to protect pensions for law enforcement officers in exchange for an endorsement. In essence, she was selling herself out.

Both candidates were fighting for endorsements from the league at the time. The officers eventually backed Whitman and are spending $450,000 on her behalf.

The Whitman camp response: "The use of the term 'whore' is an insult to both Whitman and to the women of California. This is an appalling and unforgivable smear against Whitman. At the very least Mr. Brown tacitly approved this despicable slur and he himself may have used the term at least once on this recording."

Brown's campaign: "This was a jumbled and often inaudible recording of a private conversation. At times our language was salty. We apologize to Ms. Whitman and anyone who may have been offended."

More on the recording below.

Throughout the campaign season, Whitman has knocked Brown for being tied to unions. Whitman has had a hard time spinning NickyGate/MaidGate in her favor. But if Brown is able to have people get past the gender slur in the audio recording, he may be able to turn the police union endorsement against Whitman--once again as painting her as a hypocrite. As Brown says himself on the audio, her deal with union can easily be used in his favor.

If Whitman's cadre of advisors chooses to capitalize on the use of the word, she could redefine the headlines in her favor by going on the attack and moving away from the defensive position she has been in for the past week because of a single woman.

Nicky Diaz Santillan has demonstrated how one seemingly powerless individual can take down, or at least change the fate, of another incredibly powerful individual. Conservative commentators are pushing for the Obama administration to set an example with Santillan, calling her the "highest profile illegal alien" the nation has seen in a while. Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says they'll take a "serious look" at the situation.

The Contra Costa Times explains that Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman would each appoint a very different set of judges to the state's judiciary.

Brown is being outspent 14 to 1.

Brown ad overstates Whitman compensation.

The OC Register examines the "experience" Brown has been running on. The verdict: An expert says Brown is being realistic, and an Oakland developer whom Brown leaned on to transform the city's downtown says, "I see Jerry as a very capable reformer. The question is whether we the people are willing to make the sacrifices to restore underlying values of thrift and efficiency and personal accountability."

The Associated Press profiles Whitman's husband, Dr. Griffith Harsh, a quiet and ambitious Stanford University neurosurgeon. Whitman calls her Alabama-born husband meticulous, talented and funny.

With three-and-a-half weeks to go until the election, why hasn't Schwarzenegger chimed in?

A Christian Science Monitor reporter thinks the whore slur could push housekeeper stories out of the headlines.


Reach executive producer Paresh Dave here.

Follow him on Twitter: @peard33.



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