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Whitman Ads Label Brown as Incompetent, Unchanged

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Meg Whitman’s record-setting advertising blitz continues in the race for governor. Her third ad of the campaign takes aim not just at Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, but at his labor union allies.

Now the Whitman campaign is attacking her attackers, unmasking the anti-Whitman labor group that is running TV ads while Brown conserves his money. It’s true that Brown is allied with major state employee unions. But as far as the rest of the Whitman TV spot, Attorney General Brown tells KCBS its claims about him are completely false.

“The first amendment tells a lot of politicians to lie, and tragically some take advantage of that,” said Brown.

The ads accuse Brown of being the “same as he ever was,” with high taxes, lost jobs, and big pensions for state employees.

“I reduced taxes by billions of dollars when I was governor,” Brown bite back. “I proposed limiting pensions, not expanding them, and we created 1.9 million jobs, something that is greater than the last three governors combined.

Whitman press secretary Sarah Pompei says her campaign stands by its spot.

“Jerry Brown absolutely supported higher taxes as governor and as mayor,” said Pompei. “When he left office as governor unemployment was an all time high of 11 percent, and really California just cant’ afford a third term of Jerry Brown.”

Taxes did go down overall under Brown, but that was largely because of Prop 13, which he opposed, and he did sign a $2.5 billion gas tax increase.

Unemployment was 11 percent when he left office, but the country was coming out of a national recession. And while Brown did sign the bill that gave state workers collective bargaining rights, those higher pension benefits didn’t come until 20 years later, under Governor Gray Davis.

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