The Scan - June 12, 2013

National Journal
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June 11, 2013, 4:45 p.m.

Ex-eBay CEO Meg Whit­man (R) and AG/ex-Gov. Jerry Brown (D) “have agreed to a single de­bate” in the GOV race, with Brown “push­ing for more.” Both have ac­cep­ted in­vit­a­tions from Domin­ic­an Univ. for a de­bate in Oct. Brown an­nounced 6/27 “that it was one of 10 in­vit­a­tions he’d ac­cep­ted.” Brown: “I am call­ing on Meg Whit­man to treat voters with the re­spect they de­serve, It’s time to step out from be­hind con­sult­ant-scrip­ted com­mer­cials full of false­hoods and dis­tor­tions and de­bate.”

Want More On This Race? Check out the Hot­line Dash­board for a com­pre­hens­ive run­down of this race, in­clud­ing stor­ies, polls, ads, FEC num­bers, and more!

The Whit­man camp “said it an­ti­cip­ated par­ti­cip­at­ing in ad­di­tion­al de­bates, but did not com­mit to a num­ber.” Whit­man spokes­per­son Sarah Pom­pei: “The fact is there will be plenty of time for de­bates, and we are com­mit­ted to hav­ing strong sub­stant­ive de­bates, but we’re run­ning out of time to hear what Jerry Brown plans to do about job cre­ation, taxes, pen­sion re­form, gov­ern­ment spend­ing, and so many oth­er is­sues” (Wis­ck­ol, “Total Buzz,” Or­ange County Re­gister, 6/29).

No VaCa Yet

Whit­man as­ser­ted at a camp stop in Ro­seville 6/28 “law­makers shouldn’t leave Sac­ra­mento” dur­ing the hol­i­day break dur­ing a $19B budget crisis. Whit­man: “What I would do is take this Le­gis­lature and say, OK, 10 of you go find money here, 10 go find money here. I mean, we could use all hands on deck to solve this budget crisis.”

Sen­ate Pres. Pro Tem Dar­rell Stein­berg spokes­per­son Alicia Trost “said key play­ers were con­tinu­ing to work on a budget solu­tion.” Trost: “We have a budget com­mit­tee and a joint con­fer­ence com­mit­tee that are work­ing very hard to meld all the dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als out there, and we con­tin­ue to meet every day.”

Gov. Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger (R) spokes­per­son Aaron McLear “said Whit­man has not offered any spe­cif­ic pro­pos­als to close the cur­rent budget gap.” McLear: “Un­til Ms. Whit­man of­fers real solu­tions, she does not de­serve to be taken ser­i­ously on this is­sue.” Brown “said he would start even earli­er on the budget than Whit­man.” Brown: “I’m go­ing to call all 120 in, and we’re go­ing to start deal­ing with the budget hon­estly,” he said. “We’re go­ing to tell the people the truth. It’s very dif­fi­cult to do that” (AP, 6/29).

Mean­while, dur­ing the stop Whit­man ac­know­ledged “that much of the de­fi­cit left be­hind” from Brown as due to Prop. 13, but “said his re­ac­tion to the tax-lim­it­ing voter ini­ti­at­ive should have been to cut spend­ing.” Whit­man: “When you’re gov­ernor, if the people in Cali­for­nia vote for Prop. 13 and you see that rev­en­ues are go­ing to de­cline, then what is your ob­lig­a­tion as the gov­ernor? Your ob­lig­a­tion is to get the budget in line with what the people have asked to be done. He did not man­age the budgets, giv­en what the people of Cali­for­nia wanted” (Siders, Sac­ra­mento Bee, 6/30).

Back­ped­al­ing?

Dur­ing a camp stop 6/28 Whit­man “ad­ded a hedge” to her pledge nev­er to raise taxes sug­gest­ing “she might con­sider a tax hike in the event of an ex­treme nat­ur­al dis­aster.” Whit­man, when asked wheth­er she would con­sider rais­ing taxes if a nat­ur­al dis­aster: “In a nat­ur­al dis­aster, gosh, that’s hard to pre­dict. I mean if there was lit­er­ally an 8.0 earth­quake here and we had no way out, gosh, cer­tainly, I wouldn’t want to ne­ces­sar­ily rule that out. But un­der nor­mal set of cir­cum­stances, I think rais­ing taxes on busi­nesses and in­di­vidu­als is ex­actly the wrong thing to do.”

Amer­ic­ans For Tax Re­form Pres. Grover Nor­quist: “The pledge is clear.” He said Whit­man’s words as a “mis­un­der­stand­ing.” Nor­quist: “I un­der­stand get­ting caught flat-footed. This hap­pens from time to time if someone asks what if the Rus­si­ans in­vade Min­nesota… or if the Mar­tians came and blow up Kan­sas” (Gold­mach­er, Los Angeles Times, 6/30).

The Amer­ic­an Dream

Brown “de­fen­ded his own­er­ship” of a $1.8M home 6/28 as­sert­ing “it does not un­der­mine” his camp’s “mes­sage of frugal­ity,” but in­stead “is con­sist­ent with his philo­sophy.” Brown: “Were we get­ting a no-down pay­ment loan and buy­ing a house that you can’t af­ford, that would be a re­flec­tion on how the can­did­ate spends money. But when a couple buy their dream house with their life sav­ings, I think that’s the Amer­ic­an dream and I’m very proud that I can do that.”

Brown “told re­port­ers that he has been sav­ing his whole life and can now af­ford such a prop­erty.” Brown: “My wife found the house and it was a very beau­ti­ful house, and I think in the Bay Area it’s re­l­at­ively mod­est.” Brown also “said the real ques­tion is how he spends tax­pay­ers’ money.” Brown: “So we’re very frugal with the people’s money, with our cam­paign con­trib­ut­ors’ money. And that’s the way I would be were I the gov­ernor” (Don­ald, AP, 6/29).

Your Can­did­ate Is So Old…

CA Dem Chair John Bur­ton “traded barbs” with CA GOP Chair Ron Nehring 6/28 at a Sac­ra­mento Press Club lunch­eon de­bate. Nehring as­ser­ted Brown’s “ori­gin­al re­gis­tra­tion card was done in Ro­man nu­mer­als.” Nehring: “When Box­er was first elec­ted to Con­gress in 1982, ‘The A-Team’ was a TV show and not in a movie, and I think Jerry Brown’s re­gis­tra­tion card was in Ro­man nu­mer­als. This is not the team that’s go­ing to be able to cred­ibly say they’re the team that’s go­ing to be about change and mov­ing in a dif­fer­ent dir­ec­tion.”

Bur­ton: “When you’ve got her kind of money and you’ve got that kind of repu­ta­tion, you’re able to push or slap some­body that didn’t do something right for you. … I think they’re just afraid to let Meg be Meg be­cause they would rather cre­ate Meg than have people see Meg” (Har­mon, Con­tra Costa Times, 6/29).

Hol­ly­wood Is A-Knock­ing

Los Angeles TimesGold­stein writes that “the real shock­er” in Whit­man’s camp dona­tions comes with the news that Whit­man “is get­ting a little ex­tra dough from Hol­ly­wood — and not just from con­ser­vat­ives.” Whit­man camp dona­tions in­clude money from Sony’s Mi­chael Lyn­ton, who gave $15.9K and $25.9K from Ya­hoo! co-founder Jerry Yang. “I’m not sure how that ex­plains the big money that Whit­man is get­ting from both lib­er­als and con­ser­vat­ives — or why plenty of top Hol­ly­wood con­ser­vat­ives have donated money in the past to a num­ber of Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates. I just think con­ser­vat­ives en­joy the cloak and dag­ger fris­son of secret meet­ings” (6/29).

Di­vide And Con­quer

Los Angeles TimesMe­hta writes that “in re­cent days, in a fight with the Cali­for­nia Nurses’ Assn.” Whit­man “has un­veiled an un­usu­al strategy: try­ing to di­vide rank-and-file mem­bers from their uni­on bosses. It’s either a shrewd cal­cu­la­tion that could move tra­di­tion­ally Demo­crat­ic voters in­to her column, es­sen­tial to her ef­fort in the fall — or a risky move that could gal­van­ize a uni­on whose sup­port is vi­tal for Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee Jerry Brown’s pro­spects, and whose ef­forts have been pivotal in past elec­tions” (6/30).

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