First anti-Whitman radio ads launched
Democrats who want Jerry Brown to be California's next governor aren't waiting for Brown to declare his candidacy. An independent expenditure committee formed by Brown backers launched its first radio ad Tuesday attacking Republican Meg Whitman.
The group, which calls itself Level the Playing Field 2010, is expected to receive funding from labor groups and other Brown allies worried about Whitman's vast personal wealth. They are seeking to paint Whitman as an elite corporate billionaire who refuses to talk to voters.
"By hiding behind her money and campaigning like a billionaire shut-in, Whitman is merely signifying to voters that she doesn't respect them and that she has something to hide," says committee spokesman Chris Lehane.
The size of the media buy was unknown. Whitman has been on the radio with ads introducing herself to voters for months and launched her first television commercials earlier this month. Brown, meanwhile, has yet to declare his candidacy for governor.
Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said the ad's claims that Whitman was avoiding voters were silly, given that Brown had not even declared his candidacy for governor. "For a year now, Meg has been on the campaign trail talking about her agenda to create jobs, cut spending and fix education, and Jerry Brown has been nowhere. While Meg has been attending county fairs, touring businesses and holding rallies, Jerry Brown has been trying to laugh off having a real conversation with voters."
It was unclear exactly who was funding the new radio spot. Campaign finance filings at the secretary of State's office show Level the Playing Field has yet to show they have raised any money.
-- Anthony York
Photo: Meg Whitman on April 27, 2009. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press