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Whitman focuses on government waste in new campaign ad

August 16, 2010 | 12:35 pm

The high rate of pay for local officials in the city of Bell has sent shock waves through California politics and become a key issue in the state's gubernatorial campaign.

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has launched an investigation into the matter, while his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, has tried to equate Bell workers' salaries with those of Oakland workers while Brown was mayor.

Government waste and fraud are always a popular campaign bogeyman. The Bell scandal just makes them  more so. To illustrate the point, Whitman's campaign released what they said would be the "first in a series of radio ads" focused on -- what else? -- government waste and fraud.

Whether the issue will be a winning one for Whitman remains to be seen. But she seems committed to try. "This grand jury will have the power to indict and investigate at every level of the government," she states in the ad. "The message will be very clear: If you're caught robbing the taxpayers, you'll go to jail."

-- Anthony York in Sacramento