FRESNO (CBS/AP) – Democrat Jerry Brown kicked off the final days of what has become California’s most expensive gubernatorial campaign on Saturday by taking a swipe at his opponent’s lack of government experience, which he says is a liability at a time when the state faces deep fiscal challenges.

Republican Meg Whitman is the billionaire former chief executive of the online auction site eBay who is making her first run for public office but is promoting herself as a “proven job creator.” She also has acknowledged a history of rarely voting in elections.

“I think, you know, I want to run California like a business,” Brown said during a campaign stop in the Central Valley farming town of Merced, mocking one of Whitman’s early statements from the campaign trail. “I want to run it like a business, and in business the first thing you do is look at the resume. Have you done this job before? What are your skills? What do you know? Who recommends you? OK, I rest my case.”

Brown, the state’s attorney general, has a lengthy political resume that ranges from community college trustee to being a former two-term governor. He also has served as secretary of state and mayor of Oakland.

Whitman began her own three-day campaign push Saturday, pledging to create jobs and bring change to Sacramento. She said the state needs fresh ideas and that voters need to retire Brown after his many decades on the political stage.

In Southern California, she rallied about 200 supporters sitting on bleachers overlooking a round stage decorated with pumpkins, apples and flowers at the Orange County fairgrounds.

“You know, I’m a proven job creator, that’s what I’ve done for my entire career,” she said. “And Jerry Brown has been part of the war on jobs in Sacramento for 40 years, and it’s going to end on Tuesday.”

Whitman, who has spent $142 million from her personal fortune in the race, also noted that California voters have the opportunity to elect the first female governor in state history.

Her second stop of the day was in Vista at Directed Electronic Inc., a vehicle security and audio electronics company that was started by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa.

She told a crowd of about 300 supporters that she would make fixes to California’s public school system by defying the state’s largest teachers union. Whitman’s campaign has consistently attacked unions.

“We are going to set a goal of having the number one public school system in America,” Whitman said. “And you know how we’re going to do that? I am going to take on the bosses of the California Teachers Association.”

She said Brown “has no chance of doing this” because the union has been making independent expenditures on his behalf throughout the election season.

Whitman continued to blast labor as having too much control over state government after she met a boisterous and sometimes heckling crowd of protesters at a Friday campaign stop in Southern California. Saturday’s rallies had tight security and in Vista, San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies monitored who entered the business park.

Whitman took no questions from reporters at her first two stops Saturday.

Brown, meanwhile, was traveling throughout the state on a chartered jet during a final appeal to voters that began with a send-off at his campaign headquarters in Oakland’s warehouse district and will end at Oakland’s waterfront Monday night with a rally and fireworks display.

In one of a series of stops in the Central Valley, Brown addressed the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club and talked about the need to invest in infrastructure. He said his father brought water to the valley when he was governor by presiding over the construction of California’s system of dams and aqueducts.

Brown also spoke about the need for California to continue investing in alternative energy sources, a move he suggested his opponent would oppose.

“We wouldn’t have to use foreign oil or we might not even have to buy Texas gas at some point. I know this other opponent whose name I don’t want to mention, she loves Texas. Oh yeah, and Detroit. I think she said something about Detroit, didn’t she,” he said of Whitman having compared Fresno to Detroit in describing the effects of the recession.

Whitman also has spoken positively of the pro-business, anti-regulation environment in Texas, and this week made a bet with the Republican governor of Texas over the World Series, even though she has not been elected to any office.

Brown began the day with about 100 supporters crowded into his warehouse district headquarters, chanting “Jerry, Jerry.” He said the recession and California’s persistent budget problems have left the nation’s most populous state in a perilous financial situation that will require “tough decisions” by the next governor.

At a stop in Stockton’s Victory Park later in the morning, Brown addressed a crowd of about 200, including about 40 firefighters from the Stockton Fire Department, by saying he is the candidate best equipped to make those decisions.

“It’s one thing to run a business and create a few thousand jobs. It’s quite another to lead a government and cooperate with business and labor and get California working again,” said Brown, who was joined by local and state Democratic elected officials in the blue collar port city.

The surge of campaign events, concluding Monday evening for both candidates, is an attempt to connect with voters and rally their core supporters after weeks of television ads that have been heavy on attacks.

A month ago, public opinion polls showed the gubernatorial race too close to call. But Brown appears to have gained the momentum in the final weeks of a campaign that has turned increasingly negative.

A Field Poll released Thursday showed the Democratic state attorney general with a double-digit lead over Whitman among likely voters, 49 percent to 39 percent.

The front-runner status gave Brown the luxury to spend most of the week away from the media, while Whitman, the billionaire former chief executive of eBay, endured a rough week of appearances.

She was booed at first lady Maria Shriver’s women’s conference when she refused to stop airing attack ads against Brown, told a television talk show that her former housekeeper should be deported — then switched to her previous position the next day by saying the matter should be left to federal authorities.

The first-time candidate is counting on Republican anger over economic and spending issues to propel her past Brown, but, like any Republican running a statewide race in California, faces a steep deficit in voter registration. Democrats maintain a 13 percentage point advantage over registered Republicans.

Whitman had hoped to woo independents, who account for one in five California voters, but the Field Poll showed they are breaking Brown’s way, as are women and Latinos. She has dismissed the recent survey data, just as her supporters have.

Vieda Cantacessi of Laguna Niguel said she turns 61 on Halloween and would like to see a Whitman victory for her birthday present.

“I think Jerry Brown hasn’t held a job in his whole life other than running for political office, and all he wants to do is same old, same old,” said Cantacessi, who cheered Whitman on Saturday. “He started the problem of the pension crisis in this state with collective bargaining, and now he wants more of the same. Been there, done that, it’s time for a breath of fresh air.”

Comments (5)
  1. Terry McCabe says:

    Campaigning is nothing more than a job interview. Meg Whitman web site has a detailed 48 plan for California and has been articulating a plan. Jerry Brown has been making statements and promises. I have yet to see or her a plan.
    I lived through Jerry Brown being governor (1973-1983); it wasn’t a good period of time for California. During this time Brown signed into the law the right of collective bargaining for public worker unions. As we see today, it worked out well for the public workers, but it certainly was not good for tax payers considering as tax payers we are on the hook for the $100 billion underfunded pension liability.
    Provided hereafter is the first part of paragraph 14 from a long statement which Jerry Brown made during one of his Pacifica Radio shows in 1995 which gives some insight into how he think about jobs.
    “The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I’m talking about welfare for all.”
    The full transcript of Browns statement set:

    The governor is suppose to run the Executive Branch of California and the state legislatures provide the budget and control the purse strings. It is time as voters we bring in a real executive as governor to run our States Executive Branch not another politician.

  2. Roxan says:

    JERRY BROWN; ON YOUR WATCH: INTEL opened a massive factory in HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam.

    Why do you still allow corporations in CA to continue to: Offshore and outsource as well as continue to allow VISA WORKERS and ILLEGAL ALIENS to remain?

    How long have you been in the CA government?


    Intel opens billion-dollar factory in Vietnam
    By John Boudreau
    Posted: 10/29/2010 03:42:47 PM PDT

    More Intel coverage
    News about Intel’s PAUL OTELLINI

    HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Intel’s new billion-dollar factory, which opened Friday and has a clean room the size of five-plus football fields, rises up from former rice paddies like a Walmart on steroids.

    “On behalf of Intel’s 85,000 employees, I would like to say, ‘Hello Vietnam,’ ” company CEO Paul Otellini told an auditorium packed with enthusiastic government officials, employees and other dignitaries during a ceremony that featured a dragon dance and women in ao dais, traditional Vietnamese gowns. The Santa Clara chip giant’s arrival in the Southeast Asian country put it “on the map for high-tech investment and helped the country attract significant investments from several leading global technology firms, including Foxconn and Compal,” he added.

    SECRET MEETINGS IN SANTA CLARA: The process of choosing Vietnam began with SECRET MEETINGS in SANTA CLARA between company executives and high-ranking government leaders from Hanoi so as not to trigger protests from anti-communist Vietnamese-American groups in Silicon Valley. Nearly a DECADE IN MAKING, the 500,000-square-foot factory — twice the size of the company’s next largest plant in Malaysia — had to be built on top of 8,800 stilts that burrow six stories down through unstable sandy soil to reach bedrock.


    With all the people out of work here in CALIFORNIA, you, JERRY BROWN totally ignored this as well as other shady dealing of other companies who continue to outsource.

    Where were you? Out to lunch? Were you on Mars somewhere?

    Then again, it’s not just you. It’s BOTH PARTIES who continue to ignore this.

    Please folks, turn to 3rd-party candidates who will actually “represent” you. Try CHELENE NIGHTINGALE for GOVERNOR. Just because the Falsimedia never mentions here doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist.

    The R-L poliitiIcal paradigm are FALSE. They are 2 wings on the same bird. They serve the globalist-minded BANKSTERS and corporations who are working for their global government, (New WORLD ORDER) aka 1-WORLD ORDER. They do NOT SERVE YOU.

    Haven’t they made this crystal clear by: NOT securing our borders or enforcing our immigration laws?

    NOT ending the disasterous trade laws of:
    NAFTA (N. American Free Trade Agreement).
    CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement)
    GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tarriffs)
    WTO (World Trade Organization).

    AND: THey BOTH signed the BANKSTER BAILOUTS twice (without reading the bills-loaded with earmarks).

    FEDERAL RESERVE; Neither party has done anything to end this either.

  3. Roxan says:

    CHELENE NIGHTINGALE FOR GOVERNOR! She is 100% opposed to Illegal aliens and she is a staunch Constitutiionalist.

    Just because the Mainstream Media-Falsimedia doesn’t talk about here doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist.

    Please stop voting for the FALSE, R-L political party paradigm.

  4. randy says:

    Brown is corrupt supported by corrupt organizations. He does not have the know how to fix the California crisis. Meg Whitman is better qualified to fix the crisis. We will have Brow blaming the other plokticians for the failure.We will be hearing him compalining for the next 4 years if he wins.

  5. BEN SMITH says:

    WOW NO MEG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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