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Union group takes aim at Whitman – in Spanish [Updated]

July 29, 2010 |  7:00 pm

A union coalition backing Democratic Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown will hit the airwaves with a new Spanish-language TV ad beginning Friday, trying to chip away at Latino support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

The new attack ad accuses the former EBay chief of being “two-faced,” saying one thing in English and another in Spanish. The spot also invokes former Gov. Pete Wilson, who earned the ire of the Latino community in 1994 when he backed Proposition 187, a ballot measure that sought to strip illegal immigrants of state services.

“Pete Wilson is in charge of her campaign,” the narrator says in Spanish, with an image of the two Republicans on screen.

Whitman's GOP primary opponent, Steve Poizner, also used Wilson to bludgeon Whitman in Spanish-language ads.

John Hein, a consultant for Working Californians, the union group paying for the ad, said it would be airing in Los Angeles and Fresno during an initial three-week ad buy. “We’re fundraising to extend both the markets and the buy,” Hein said.

Whitman has been airing Spanish-language TV ads since the World Cup in June, hoping to siphon off support from a traditional Democratic constituency in California. Her latest features Whitman among Latino children in a classroom, touting that “Latino kids attending public schools in California today will be tomorrow's doctors, engineers, businessmen and teachers."

Whitman has said she wants to “ban the admission of undocumented students to UC, CUS and California Community Colleges,” according to her policy pamphlet. The new union-backed ad says, in Spanish, that Whitman "wants to prevent all of our children from having the same opportunity to attend university."

[Updated at 8:45 a.m. Friday: Whitman campaign spokesman Hector Barajas said in a statement the ads are "false" and that Brown was "literally outsourcing his campaign's dirty work to the entrenched special interest groups that prop up his candidacy.

"Now how is that not the actual definition of 'two-faced'?" Barajas asked.]

You can watch the ad below.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

ad twitter.com/ShaneGoldmacher