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Labor group fades as Brown campaign prepares to ramp up

September 1, 2010 |  2:34 pm

A labor-backed independent expenditure committee backing Jerry Brown for governor announced Wednesday it was ending its television media campaign, clearing the way for Brown’s own paid media campaign to begin.

Throughout the summer months, California Working Families, bankrolled with donations from some of the state’s largest labor groups, tried to blunt the blow of Whitman’s ad blitz. Brown has spent less than $1 million on his campaign thus far, while Whitman's spending has topped $100 million. The group will remain intact but take a “less visible” campaign role, said Larry Grisolano, a strategist for the group. “We’ve reached the end of our goal, which was to have a presence through Labor Day," he said.

The committee, which was derisively tagged as “Jerry Brown Inc.” by the Whitman campaign, spent $7 million on television ads since June, according to Grisolano. But those high-flying days now appear to be over. “Jerry intends to crank up, and we’re certainly going to stay out of the way of that,” Grisolano said.

Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said earlier this week that Brown would keep a busy campaign schedule this Labor Day weekend, the traditional kick-off of the fall campaign. He said Brown would be on the air with campaign commercials “soon,” but probably not within the next week.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento