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.”
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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).
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 Times‘ Goldstein 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 Times‘ Mehta 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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