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Whitman backs Prop. 22 but still won't take a stand on Prop. 23

September 14, 2010 |  8:54 pm

In the hailstorm of news Tuesday in the governor’s race about a presidential endorsement and attack advertising, Meg Whitman made some news of her own on the campaign trail.

The Republican gubernatorial nominee came out in support of Proposition 22, which would forbid the state from raiding county and city coffers at times of fiscal crises.

At an event in Culver City, a laid-off Long Beach teacher asked Whitman about her thoughts on decentralizing education spending. The state has cut billions in education spending in recent years, leading to widespread teacher layoffs, program cuts and the shortening of the school year in many cities.

“There is a proposition on the ballot in November that actually makes it illegal for the state to take money from cities and counties to balance the budget,” said Whitman, who is known for being disciplined in sticking to her talking points during campaign events and discussions with the press. “I think it’s the right thing to do. I’ll be supporting that initiative.”

The candidate continued to decline to take a position on Proposition 23, which would put the state’s landmark global warming law on hold until unemployment drops significantly for one year. The candidate, who along with GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina faced difficult electoral calculations about the matter, repeated the stance she first took in early August -- that she is leaning against the proposition but has yet to make up her mind.

During an appearance on KTTV, she reiterated her call for a one-year moratorium on the implementation of the law, saying she was seeking a “a way to be smart and green.”

Whitman came under new pressure from Republicans to endorse the proposition Tuesday, as the state party’s vice chairman, Jon Fleischman, asked other GOP members to pressure Whitman to share their position.

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles

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