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Whitman requests Brown’s official records

July 19, 2010 |  6:26 pm

Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman’s campaign filed a public records request Monday with the California Department of Justice, seeking detailed information on how her Democratic rival, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, is using his office’s resources while campaigning for governor.

The request, filed by GOP consultant Mark Bogetich, asks for personnel records related to the attorney general's communications operation, including names, salaries, job descriptions and office locations. It also includes requests for his budget and an accounting of expenditures, including expenses related to travel and state-owned vehicles.

The request follows a report by The Times that examined Brown’s balancing act as the Democratic candidate with a bare-bones campaign has scored newspaper headlines and TV appearances. 

"The state is facing a painful budget crisis and Jerry Brown is using more taxpayer-financed state resources than ever to bolster his political image," said Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei.  "After 40 years in politics, Governor Brown appears to be someone who will try to take advantage of his incumbency, even if it costs taxpayers money. Voters deserve to know what they're spending on Jerry Brown's personal P.R. campaign."

Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said the candidate is careful to keep campaigning separate from his official actions as attorney general, noting that the campaign pays for any trips that feature both official business and campaign activities. He dismissed the records request as “more misdirection from the Whitman campaign,” saying the filing would result in a waste of taxpayer money because of the staff time involved in responding.

“Jerry Brown is attorney general of California, a job he took an oath to do and a job where he has aggressively pursued the interests of the people of this state, going after everything from fraudulent mortgage companies to polluters to serial killers,” Clifford said. “We are certainly proud to stand on his record of accomplishment. I’m sure if Meg Whitman had any accomplishments, she’d stand on those too.”

The attorney general’s office said it responds to all public records requests in a timely manner, usually within 10 days. “We will treat theirs no differently,” said spokeswoman Christine Gasparac.

--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento