On politics in the Golden State

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Race for governor degenerates into playground taunts

California's race for governor is a product of its political age -- a relatively policy-free affair with no shortage of political slap fights.

Take Wednesday's release from Jerry Brown's campaign, announcing the launch of a new Web ad targeting Meg Whitman. The ad is titled "Pants on Fire." As in "Liar, liar..."

It's like the Lincoln-Douglas debates, only different. Brown's online volley comes as Whitman is running a television ad calling Brown a man without a plan.

Good to know the central messages of this campaign can now be delivered in one-line rhymes.

--Anthony York in Sacramento

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