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Brown challenges Republican rivals to three-way debates

April 17, 2010 | 11:35 am

It was the moment Democrats have been waiting for for months -- the political coming-out party for California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown. For many of the Democratic faithful gathered in Los Angeles on Saturday, it was their first chance to see Brown in his latest incarnation as a candidate for governor.

In his formal unveiling to his party's base, Brown challenged his two Republican rivals for the governor's job to the delight of convention delegates.

"Campaigning in a democracy is not about buying hundreds of millions of dollars in TV ads," he said. "In a democracy, we're not consumers of advertising, we're agents of democratic choice.

"Today I am challenging my opponents Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner to a three-way debate. Come out from behind those glittering poppy fields, those beautiful car crashes on top of the mountain," he said, a reference to Whitman's and Poizner's campaign ads, respectively.

"If Steve's and Meg's schedules permit, we can do a fourth debate in Sacramento. Why not?"

Delegates loved the confrontational tone of Brown's address.

"This is going to be mano a mano, one candidate against the other. Let's hear the different ideas," Brown said to the delight of those in the hall.

-- Anthony York