Politics Verbatim blog
One day after arguing that “We have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers,” gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was hit with accusations that for nine years, she employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper.
In a tearful press conference today with discrimination attorney Gloria Allred by her side, Nicandra "Nicky" Diaz, a former housekeeper for Whitman, claimed Whitman laughed at her when she asked for help obtaining a green card and then fired her by voicemail days later. After that, Diaz said, Whitman called again and said, “From now on, you don’t know me and I don ... Read more
Final thoughts (7 p.m.)
If you've been following the governor's race closely this year, not a lot of new insights came out of tonight's debate.
Meg Whitman stuck close to her talking points, as most suspected she would. She walked through her plans on job creation, immigration, water, the budget -- most of which is covered in her policy book. Many of her most memorable lines were ones she's used before, though she repeatedly hammered Brown on his ties to labor unions.
Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown have spent weeks attacking each other and seizing every opportunity to prove their superiority. With the great debate looming, though, there’s one title they’d both prefer to concede to their opponent – master of public speaking.
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford told the Chronicle Whitman “has proved to be a more than capable debater.”
“We expect her to make a formidable presentation on Thursday,” he said.
Clifford also told the Contra Costa Times the attorney general is “not underestimating” the debating prowress of the former eBay chief, “and we hope others won’t.”
That’s ... Read more
For months, polls have shown Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown in a virtual dead heat. So a new Los Angeles Times-USC sponsored survey that gives Brown a slight edge has Whitman headquarters in a mild uproar on the eve of the first gubernatorial debate in a bitterly contested race.
Team Whitman says the Times Poll (actually conducted by independent polling firms Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and American Viewpoint) under-sampled Republicans, unfairly giving Brown an artificial 5-point lead.
The disputed Times Poll, a survey of 877 voters during Sept. 15-22, awards Brown 49 percent of the electorate over Whitman’s 44 percent ... Read more
From comparing his opponent's campaign to Nazi propaganda to taking an impromptu jab at Bill Clinton’s honesty, Jerry Brown is usually the one left to explain an unfortunate off-the-cuff remark. So the attorney general must be loving the fact that Team Whitman has spent the last several days scrambling to smooth over the GOP candidate's remark that “Fresno looks like Detroit. It’s awful.”
Meg Whitman made the comment to the San Jose Mercury News editorial board in reference to Fresno’s struggling economy, and the paper posted it online, along with other interview excerpts, on Wednesday ... Read more
After much haranguing from Jerry Brown and some serious pressure from the Tea Party, Meg Whitman has finally taken a position on Proposition 23, coming out against the measure that would delay the implementation of AB32, California’s global warming law. (Clearly not the position the Tea Party was hoping for.)
While in a statement this morning Whitman said she opposes suspending AB32 until the economy improves as Proposition 23 calls for, she also called the global warming legislation a "job killer" and repeated her promise that as governor she would implement a “one-year moratorium" on the law.
"My plan ... Read more
Not a whole lot happening on the campaign trail today. Team Brown continues to hammer Meg Whitman on Proposition 23, which would suspend California’s global warming law until unemployment stays below 5.5 percent for four quarters. So far Whitman has declined to take a stance on the proposition but says she will decide by the end of the week.
The San Jose Mercury News posted a few interesting tidbits from its editorial board sit-down with Whitman. Whitman contends Fresno’s economy is so bad that the city “looks like Detroit” and also says she doesn’t think illegal ... Read more
Jerry Brown may have Bill Clinton, but Meg Whitman will receive a helping hand from a political heavyweight of her own when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at a Whitman fundraiser in Burlingame this evening.
Hopefully Rice will be more enthusiastic about Whitman’s candidacy than eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Omidyar, who hired Whitman as his company’s CEO in 1998, garnered a few headlines today after telling Bloomberg TV that although Whitman is a “fantastic executive,” he cannot endorse her because of her views on Proposition 8 and immigration.
If elected, though, "I think she would do ... Read more
Monday saw Jerry Brown pressuring Meg Whitman to take a stand on Proposition 23, which would suspend the implementation of AB32, the global warming initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, until unemployment steadies below 5.5 percent. Brown favors going forward with the law right away and opposes Proposition 23.
Whitman has yet to take a stand either way. Speaking with Good Day LA last week, Whitman said she was “leaning against” suspending AB32. She also called for a “one-year moratorium” on the implementation of the global-warming law, though, saying it could drive jobs out-of-state during a recession.
“I ... Read more
Meg Whitman may have inadvertently helped Jerry Brown snag some campaign help from one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful players – former President Bill Clinton.
Last week, Whitman pulled Clinton into the race by running an ad featuring a clip of Clinton attacking Brown’s tax record during a 1992 presidential primary debate and citing a CNN report as evidence that Brown had raised taxes during his time as governor. (Independent analysts, the CNN reporter responsible for the report and Clinton have all since said the CNN report was wrong. Taxes were actually lower in 1983 when Brown left ... Read more
Less than two weeks after Jerry Brown began to campaign in earnest, the claws have come out on both sides. Brown’s newest ad had barely hit the airwaves Thursday when Team Whitman released its own version of the spot, counting the number of “slogans” the attorney general uttered in the 30-second clip after promising “no snappy slogans.”
Camp Brown fired back with a video montage of reporters, hosts and commentators denouncing Whitman’s recent Bill Clinton ad as inaccurate, punctuated with clips of Whitman insisting “the essentials" and "the essence" of the controversial ad are "absolutely true.”
Check out ... Read more
What a difference a day makes.
Monday ended with the Brown campaign angrily calling for team Whitman to pull an attack ad starring a 1992 version of Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown lobbing an off-the-cuff insult at the former president and longtime rival.
As Tuesday came to a close, Brown had apologized for his remarks, Clinton had endorsed Brown, and Brown had released two attack ads of his own. In Brown's ads, Meg Whitman is Pinocchio, the wooden Disney character whose nose grows with his lies.
“Wouldn't it be nice if every time Meg Whitman told a lie ... Read more
The Brown campaign is clearly incensed over Meg Whitman’s latest ad in which she uses Bill Clinton to attack Jerry Brown’s tax record, but Brown isn’t lashing out only at Whitman. At a Los Angeles rally on Sunday, Brown also took aim at Clinton, saying “I mean, Clinton’s a nice guy, but whoever said he always told the truth?” And then, mocking Clinton’s infamous denial of the Lewinsky affair, Brown continued, “OK, I did not have taxes with this state.” Ouch. It was less than three weeks ago that Brown was hinting at the possibility ... Read more
Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown may be neck and neck in the polls, but Brown definitely wins the creativity contest when it comes to campaign merch. As the Chron points out this morning, the Brown team has whipped up a stylish pair of “Meg-A-Myths Flip Flops” featuring a cartoon Meg grinning next to a "Meg-A-Myths" TV set nestled on a pile of cash. They’ll run you $20 and the sizing options seem a bit odd (8 ½ -11 for women and 7 ½-10 for men - can that be right?), but they’ll go just perfect with that "American made and ... Read more
New ads for both candidates today. Whitman received more media attention with a 30-second spot starring Bill Clinton. Yes, that Bill Clinton. The ad uses a clip from a 1992 debate between Clinton and Jerry Brown – back when both were vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In the clip, Clinton attacks Brown, citing a CNN report critical of Brown’s portrayal of his tax record. “He raised taxes as governor of California. He had a surplus when he took office and a deficit when he left,” Clinton says. “He doesn’t tell the people the truth.”
Not so, says Brown ... Read more
After dragging his feet for several months, Meg Whitman’s former gubernatorial rival, Steve Poizner, gave the Republican candidate a remarkably lukewarm endorsement today. The six-paragraph statement, released this morning by the California Republican Party, reads more like a general backing of the GOP ticket. Here’s the only paragraph that actually mentions Whitman’s name:
“The choice between our Republican ticket and the Democrat ticket could not be more clear. From Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina to Damon Dunn and Mike Villines, our ticket offers a clear contrast to candidates nominated by the Democratic Party.”
Jerry Brown’s camp ... Read more
Jerry Brown’s much-anticipated campaign went into full swing Monday with stops in Sacramento, Los Angeles and everywhere in between. Brown started the day with scrambled eggs and bacon at a union-sponsored Democratic rally in a downtown LA cathedral, then swung up north to picnic with union workers in Sacramento. After that was the lunch-time opening of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee campaign office in Fairfield. He managed to make it back to Oakland that afternoon for barbecued chicken, beans and salad with some 800 union workers.
Even as guberatorial campaign spending has skyrocketed in recent years, fewer and fewer voters have been turning out to the polls in state primary elections, according to a study released late last week by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
The study concludes that the increase in independently wealthy, self-funded candidates have driven up the cost of elections (even though those candidates are often unsuccessful), which in turn has forced less wealthy candidates to spend more time raising money.
Not that Jerry Brown knows how that feels.
The study looks at gubernatorial primaries from 1978 to 2010. During that time ... Read more