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An associate of Jerry Brown calls Meg Whitman a "whore" over pension reform (AUDIO)

October 7, 2010 |  6:22 pm

In a private conversation that was inadvertently taped by a voicemail machine (audio below), an associate of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown can be heard referring to his Republican opponent Meg Whitman as a “whore” for cutting a deal protecting law enforcement pensions as the two candidates competed for police endorsements.

The comment came after Brown called the Los Angeles Police Protective League in early September to ask for its endorsement. He left a voicemail message for Scott Rate, a union official. Brown apparently believed he had hung up the phone, but the connection remained intact and the voice mail machine captured an ensuing conversation between Brown and his aides.

With evident frustration, Brown discussed the pressure he was under to refuse to reduce public safety pensions or lose law enforcement endorsements to Whitman. Months earlier, Whitman had agreed to exempt public safety officials from key parts of her pension reform plan.

“Do we want to put an ad out? … That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions, I will be – that they’ll go to Whitman, and that’s where they’ll go because they know Whitman will give ‘em, will cut them a deal, but I won’t,” Brown said.

At that point, what appears to be a second voice interjects: “What about saying she’s a whore?”

“Well, I’m going to use that,” Brown responds. “It proves you’ve cut a secret deal to protect the pensions.”

The tape was released to The Times by the Los Angeles police union.

Brown campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford, confirming the tape’s authenticity, said that Brown was responding to the notion of accusing Whitman of cutting a deal to gain endorsements, not to the use of the word “whore.” The campaign was trying to determine the identity of the second speaker, he added.

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles

UPDATE: Campaigns respond

Listen to the audio here ...

 

 

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