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Republican Governors Assn. attacks Jerry Brown as big spender

April 19, 2010 | 12:59 pm

As Jerry Brown was receiving state Democrats' endorsement Saturday to be their candidate for governor, an affiliate of the Republican Governors Assn. launched a television ad, below, attacking Brown as a big spender throughout his long political career.

Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford, disputing the numbers in the ad, called it "a lame repackaging" of the spot aired recently by the California Chamber of Commerce, which was quickly pulled after the chamber came under fire from some of its members, who said what the organization called an "issues" ad was a political attack.

Brown, currently the state attorney general, frequently describes himself as "frugal" – when he was governor in the 1970s and early 1980s, he was criticized for a lack of spending on roads and other infrastructure during what he called an "era of limits." So far, his campaign has been frugal – saving money for the likely battle ahead with Republican billionaire Meg Whitman.

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento