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NOW calls for firing of Jerry Brown staffer who used Meg Whitman slur

October 13, 2010 |  4:07 pm

Count the National Organization for Women among those unsatisfied with state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown's debate apology for the campaign staffer who called Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman a "whore."

A statement on NOW's website from President Terry O'Neill said Brown's comments Tuesday night did not go far enough.

"While our California chapter's Political Action Committee voted to endorse Brown on the basis of his support for women's rights, the National Organization for Women clearly and unequivocally condemns calling Meg Whitman, or any woman, a whore," the statement reads. "This term is hate speech that carries with it negative connotations associated with women, and it has no place in contemporary society. NOW calls on Brown to fire any member of his staff who uses this word or any hate speech against women."

Brown said in Tuesday night's debate that his campaign apologized for the comment, and he offered another apology to Whitman during the debate.

But, he said, "This is a five-week-old private conversation picked up on a cellphone with a garbled transmission, very hard to detect who it is. I don't want to get into the term and how it's used. But I'll say the campaign promptly apologized and I reaffirm that apology tonight."

Whitman said the comment was not befitting a gubernatorial campaign and said "the people of California deserve better than slurs and personal attacks."

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

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