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Name-calling on audiotape of Brown, aide

October 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An audio recording is taking center stage in the governor's race on Friday. In an audiotape of a private conversation between Democrat Jerry Brown and his aide, someone is heard calling opponent Meg Whitman a derogatory name. In the recorded conversation, someone refers to Whitman as a "whore." It's not clear who uses the word, but it's clear that Brown is in the room.

Both Brown and Whitman competed for the endorsement of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, but Whitman ended up getting it. But a voicemail surfaced featuring a continued recording on the League's end.

Brown apparently didn't realize the voicemail was still recording.

"They'll go to Whitman, and that's where they'll go because they know Whitman will cut a deal, but I won't," Brown says in the recording.

"What about saying that, she's a whore," says an unknown speaker.

"Well I could use that, say the two of you cut a secret deal to protect the pensions," Brown is heard saying.

Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford says the tape is authentic but Clifford emphasizes that it can't be determined who said what during the voicemail recording. He says he's 100 percent sure brown isn't the person who said it.

Brown campaign manager Steve Glazer says this was a jumbled and often inaudible recording of a private conversation. "At times," says Glazer, "our language was salty. We apologize to Ms. Whitman and anyone who may have been offended."

Late Friday afternoon Republican women held a news conference where they criticized Brown's language as an insult to all women. They point out even if he didn't say it, Brown was in the room.

"'Whore' is an unacceptable and deplorable term and it is very offensive," said state Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Camarillo).

"I think that there's a very big difference between salty language and a sexist slur. And that's what we're talking about," said Andrea Jones Rivera, a spokesperson for Meg Whitman. "It is unfortunate, it is offensive. And Jerry Brown needs to come clean with who he was talking to and what they were talking about."

With all this happening Friday, an interesting endorsement for Brown: He was endorsed by the California National Organization for Women.

With all this happening Friday, an interesting endorsement for Brown: He was endorsed by the California National Organization for Women.


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