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Nurses union disrupts Whitman campaign event

October 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Recent polls indicate that if the election was held today, former governor and current state attorney general Democrat Jerry Brown might be governor again. But Republican candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is picking up the pace of her $140-million campaign. Brown supporters tried to interrupt Whitman's campaign Thursday.A few minutes before Republican Meg Whitman arrived for a campaign event in South Los Angeles, Jerry Brown supporters drove onto the Ramcast Ornamental Supply Company property. They were in a bus painted the same color as Whitman's campaign bus. But inside were members of the California Nurses Association and an actress who calls herself "Queen Meg." The nurses union has endorsed Brown.

Before L.A. County sheriff's deputies arrived, the queen and her "court" left, accompanied by a mariachi band.

Whitman came in a side entrance without her bus and toured the family-owned business. The steel fabricating plant used to employ more than 140 people. Now there are 70 employees and their work hours have been cut.

Protesters went to a side gate. By then deputies had arrived at the main gate that was closed on them.

"The unions are pouring money into this community," said Whitman. "The people that are protesting out there, they are fighting with a death grip to hold on to their highly paid union positions."

Whitman has saturated Spanish-language media with her ads, fighting for every Latino vote. She told workers Brown is lying about her stance on immigration. And she was asked if she would let illegal immigrants get driver's licenses.

"I am not for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and one thing that you know about me is I always tell it to you straight," said Whitman.

Whitman has spent nearly $142 million of her own money on her campaign for governor. She hasn't filed her latest financial report.

Brown has spent $25.5 million in his campaign so far, according to a report filed Thursday. The report shows he still has about $11.6 million to spend between now and the November 2 election.

Brown was at San Diego State University Thursday. He's leading by single digits in the polls. A member of the audience suggested Whitman had wasted her money.

"If she's wasted her money in the campaign, what might she do with our money if she ever got elected?" said Brown. "Sometimes when you don't have enough, you make better decisions because you have to really think about stuff. You just can't do everything."

Friday, Brown will be with President Barack Obama at the University of Southern California. Obama is still popular in California. The president will also be campaigning with Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. She's in a race considered a tossup and essential to continued Democratic control in the U.S. Senate.


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