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Whitman ad blasts Brown's union ties

July 12, 2010 |  4:53 pm

Another week, another ad in the California governor’s race.

This time, it’s Republican nominee Meg Whitman, who Monday launched a 30-second television ad that paints Democratic rival Jerry Brown as in the pockets of labor unions.

“They want Jerry Brown because he won’t rock the boat in Sacramento. He’ll be the same as he ever was. High taxes. Lost jobs. Big pensions for state employees,” says a narrator over ominous music and black-and-white images of Brown and the Statehouse. “The special interests have chosen their governor.”

Brown, who has a major financial disadvantage in the race, has not aired a single ad. But labor unions are running several that support his candidacy and attack Whitman. Those groups are required to identify themselves in the ads they fund, and the new Whitman ad uses screen shots of those disclosures.

“Who are these people?” asks a narrator. “They are the unions and special interests behind Jerry Brown.”

Brown’s union allies have spent millions airing ads, though not as much as Whitman, a billionaire who has lent her campaign $91 million and is spending as much as $2 million a week on ads. The new spot is the third Whitman has created for English-language television, in addition to two that are airing on Spanish-language TV.

Fact check: It is true that unions are propping up Brown’s campaign during the summer, allowing him to save his cash for the fall. But although Brown did grant state workers collective bargaining rights, the generous increases in pension benefits that caused the state’s unfunded liabilities to soar were triggered by legislation that Gov. Gray Davis signed in 1999.

Brown's campaign manager accused Whitman of distorting the truth and said that under Brown's previous two terms as governor, Californians saw their tax burden decrease by $16 billion, as well as the creation of 1.9 million jobs.

"Meg Whitman should stop telling the same sad lies and have a real conversation with Jerry Brown about the future of California," said Steven Glazer. "The people of California deserve better."

You can watch the ad below.

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles