|California gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown: LA Times|
In a private conversation inadvertently captured by voicemail, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown or one of his associates can be heard referring to his Republican opponent Meg Whitman as a "whore," saying she cut a deal protecting law enforcement pensions while the two candidates competed for police endorsements.
The comment came after Brown called the Los Angeles Police Protective League in early September to ask for its endorsement. He left a voicemail asking Scott Rate, a union official, to call him, then apparently believed he had hung up the phone. The voicemail captured the ensuing conversation between Brown and his aides.
With frustration, Brown discussed the pressure he was under from police unions to pledge not to reduce public safety pensions. Months earlier, Whitman agreed to exempt public safety workers from part of her pension reform plan: the bid to enroll new government workers in 401(k)-style plans instead of pensions.
"Do we want to put an ad out? … That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions, I will be — that they'll go to Whitman, and that's where they'll go because they know Whitman will give 'em, will cut them a deal, but I won't," Brown said.
At that point, a voice — either that of Brown or a second person — can be heard saying: "What about saying she's a whore?"
"Well, I'm going to use that," Brown says. "It proves you've cut a secret deal to protect the pensions."
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