Entries in Jerry Brown (12)


Top Democrats to Skip Party's Convention

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As Democrats descend on Charlotte, N.C., this week to light a fire under President Obama's re-election campaign, a few of the biggest names in the party will not be there.

While party honchos like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter -- albeit via video -- are set to take the stage, other Democratic stars such as Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are staying far from Charlotte.  And with hotly contested House and Senate races peppered across the map, many Democratic members of Congress have swapped convention parties for campaign events.

Here's a look at some of the Democrats who've decided to skip their party's biggest gathering:

Hillary Clinton

For the first time in more than four decades, Hillary Clinton will not be attending the Democratic National Convention.  But not because she doesn't want to.  Since she's the secretary of state, federal statute and the State Department's ethical guidelines prohibit Clinton from participating in political activities such as a party convention. 

Other cabinet secretaries, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder, will also not be in Charlotte for the same reason.

Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore is choosing his cable network over his party's convention this year, deciding to host Current TV's coverage of both conventions.  Gore will anchor Current TV's Democratic convention coverage from New York.

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to cross the continent for the Democratic convention this week, which comes one week after the death of his father-in-law, Rockwell "Rocky" Gust.  Gust once ran, unsuccessfully, alongside GOP nominee Mitt Romney's father for lieutenant governor of Michigan.  Brown also cited legislative work as a reason for skipping the Democratic Convention, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Senate Candidates

At least five Democratic Senate candidates are opting to stay home and campaign instead of attending their party's convention this week.  

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill was a surrogate for the Obama campaign in 2008, but is spending her week campaigning instead of celebrating Obama's nomination.  But after she caught flak for the decision, McCaskill tweeted "Bet POTUS agrees with my decision."

Montana Sen. Jon Tester spoke in support of Obama at the DNC in 2008, but in 2012 is staying home to campaign.  Tester said in April that he had not decided whether to vote for Obama.  "These first three and a half years haven't been that good to West Virginia," he said then.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Arizona Senate candidate Richard Carmona and North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp are also skipping the Democratic Convention to campaign in their home states.

House Candidates

With Obama's approval ratings dismally low in West Virgina -- only 31 percent approve of the president, according to Gallup -- West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall has chosen to stick to his home state rather than attend his party's convention.

The same rings true for Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, who is embroiled in a tight re-election campaign in a state where Obama's approval rating is wavering around 26 percent.

Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz and Georgia Rep. John Barrow are also skipping the convention to campaign this year.

Four New York representatives chose to hit the campaign trail instead of the convention hall as the New York Times reported. Those names include Reps. Timothy H. Bishop, Kathy Hochul, Bill Owens and Louise M. Slaughter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Politician Wants Southern California to Become 51st State

Comstock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- California Republican Jeff Stone says it's time that the southern part of the state split from the rest of it because of ongoing fiscal, security and social problems.

Stone, a member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, is serious about holding a conference with other Southern Californian leaders to discuss the idea of forming a 51st state.

Stone feels the rest of California is a burden to the mostly Republican region of the state because "our taxes are too high, our schools don't educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public."

Without saying exactly how secession will improve things, Stone made it clear that he wants Los Angeles County to remain with the rest of the state because it's too liberal for his taste.

Asked about Stone's proposal, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown responded, "It's a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time.  If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Calif. Governor Reduces State Employee Cell Phones by Half

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – California Governor Jerry Brown Tuesday issued an executive order to cut back the use of cell phones by state employees.

By June 1, state agency and department heads will have to turn in 48,000 cell phones. The number represents half of the government-paid cell phones that are now in use.

“Even with a 50-percent reduction, one-fifth of all state employees will still have cell phones,” he said.  “That still seems like too much and I want every department and agency to examine and justify all cell phone usage.”

Brown estimates the order will save the state around $20 million a year.  The move was his first executive order since taking office.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ABC News: He's Back! Jerry Brown Wins Race for Calif. Governor

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- In a flashback from the past, former Gov. Jerry Brown won back his seat against Republican candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, ABC News is now projecting.

Brown, who served as California governor for two terms beginning in 1975 and is currently attorney general, began to gain momentum leading up to the polls in what has been an incredibly tight race. The only bump in what was otherwise a calm campaign came a few weeks ago, when one of his staffers call Whitman a "whore" over pension reform. Brown quickly apologized, but never identified the staffer.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted: "Just called to congratulate @JerryBrown2010. Looking forward to Maria & me getting together w/ him & Anne to talk abt a smooth transition."

This election season has shattered precedents in several arenas, not least of which was the size of Whitman's war chest. The biggest spender of them all, Whitman poured more than $141 million of her own money into her campaign. It broke the record for the most expensive self-financed campaign ever, and she reportedly said she was willing to spend up to $160 million if it could get her the win.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


California Governor Candidate Meg Whitman Says 'We're Going to Win'

Photo Courtesy - Eric Draper | Meg Whitman for Governor 2010(LOS ANGELES) -- With eight days left until Californians head to voting booths, the Republican candidate for governor, Meg Whitman, says she's confident of victory even though she trails Democrat Jerry Brown in the most recent polling.

"We're going to win this," said Meg Whitman in an interview Monday with ABC News.

Whitman has spent some $141 million of her own money for a fighting chance at the governor's mansion, but the former eBay CEO is still 13 points behind Brown in the latest Los Angeles Times poll.

"Is that a hit in the chest?"  ABC News asked Whitman. "No, because the L.A. Times poll is biased and it's bunk," Whitman replied.  "Every year, the L.A. Times comes out with a poll about a week before the election that's very heavily skewed to the candidate they choose.  Who did the L.A. Times endorse?  Jerry Brown."

Whitman said that her own campaign's polling puts the race much closer. "Maybe I'm a point or two behind," Whitman said.  "What's happening in California, and you can see it in the rest of the country, these polls are bouncing because people are unsure about what to do."

California voters have certainly had no shortage of people telling them what to do.  With record spending on advertising, the airwaves have been filled with political messages for months, and even for billionaire Whitman, $141 million is a lot to spend on the race.

"Well, I think that people need to understand the unions...pour money into politics in this state.  They run Sacramento," Whitman told ABC News. "Because I have invested my own money, I don't owe anyone anything. I only owe the voters of California."

Whitman has also dealt with accusations that she knowingly employed an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper.  Her former employee, Nicky Diaz, came forward in September, saying Whitman had fired her just before the campaign after nine years of service when she asked for help with immigration problems. "I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage," Diaz said at a press conference organized by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.

Polling among California's Hispanic voters has shown that they disapprove of Whitman's handling of the housekeeper, but today Whitman said there was nothing she could have done differently.  She says she fired Diaz when she learned of her illegal status.

"We had to follow the law.  We had to let her go," Whitman said.  "It broke my heart that she was undocumented.  I chose not to turn her in.  And Jerry Brown and his union friends made an example of her.  They pulled a political stunt with her."

It's certainly been a long race. Whitman launched her campaign at the beginning of 2009.  With just days to go before a final result, she says she's happy with her choices.

"I would do it all over again in a minute because you know why?  California really matters.  And we can lead the nation out of this recession."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Arnold Schwarzenegger on Meg Whitman: 'Appalling When Anyone Sells Out'

Photo Courtesy - Gov dot CA dot gov(NEW YORK) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used his Twitter account on Thursday to scold both Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman over the controversy that erupted after a recording of a private discussion among members of the Brown campaign surfaced.

One of the governor’s followers asked him, “What do you think about eMeg selling her vote to the police union?”  Schwarzenegger responded:  “It's appalling when anyone sells out.”

The question was a reference to allegations heard on the Brown phone message indicating that the Whitman campaign was trying to cut a deal with the Los Angeles police union in order to secure the group’s endorsement.

The recording also captured a Brown staffer calling Whitman a “whore” -- a blunder that has become a major Whitman talking point in the final stretch of the election.  Brown has since apologized, saying it was wrong for a member of his team to use the word.

Nevertheless, when another Twitter user asked the governor, “What do you personally think about the ‘WHORE’ comment made by Jerry Brown's campaign?" Schwarzenegger wrote: “That word is unacceptable.”

The governor, whose popularity in California has plummeted since he rode into office during the state’s 2003 recall election, has not endorsed a candidate in the race. Recent polls give Brown an edge, but the contest remains tight.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Attacks Get Personal in California Gubernatorial Debate

Photo Courtesy - Eric Draper/Meg Whitman for Governor 2010(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The two candidates for California governor sparred over taxes, illegal immigration and whether it’s fair game to describe one another as “whores” in their final campaign debate at Dominican College in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The race pits a perennial politician against a billionaire businesswoman. Democrat Jerry Brown is the state’s attorney general, as well as a former governor, a former mayor, and the son of a former governor. Republican Meg Whitman is the former CEO of eBay.

Tuesday night, the moderator, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, held Brown to account for a comment made by one of his aides. When the candidate thought he hung up the phone after leaving a voicemail message for a union leader whose endorsement he sought, one of his aides was overheard suggesting they call Whitman a “whore.”

“We’ve heard no outrage from you,” said Brokaw, noting that the harsh language “to many people is the same as describing an African American using the N-word.”

“I do not agree with that comparison,” Brown said. Some audience members booed.

Whitman pounced. “It’s not just me, it’s the people of California that deserve better than slurs,” she said.

Brown said he’s sorry the incident was made public, suggesting someone broke the law by releasing the recording from a call he made five weeks ago.

But Brown did not exactly retract the sentiment behind the word.

Whitman has broken all spending records for a self-financed campaign -- spending more than $120 million out of her own pocket. She defended that largesse, claiming it means she would not be beholden to special interests.

“I am spending my own money in this race,” she said. “But I will not owe anything to anybody.”

But Brown questioned Whitman’s independence, saying she has also raised money from business executives who would benefit from the tax cuts she proposes.

Brokaw also held Whitman to account for her proposal to hold “businesses and households to account” for hiring undocumented workers given that it recently came to light that she employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny and housekeeper for nine years.

“If you couldn’t tell you were employing an undocumented immigrant in your own home, how can you expect businesses to figure it out?” Brokaw asked.

Whitman insisted she trusted an employment agency to vet the nanny and insisted it employed Nicky Diaz in good faith until the day it learned otherwise. She said businesses need an e-verify program to help them ensure the workers they employ belong in this country.

Brown dismissed the nanny issue as a “sorry tale,” but couldn’t resist swiping Whitman for employing “foreign serfs” and for not hiring an immigration lawyer to help Diaz when the going got rough.

On some issues the candidates agree. Both oppose Proposition 19, the provision on the November ballot that would essentially legalize marijuana in California.

Both said they continue to support Prop 13, the decades old anti-tax initiative that has held down property taxes for many longtime homeowners while pushing the burden onto newcomers and causing deep problems in the effort to balance the state budget.

Both support the state’s Three Strikes law, the anti-crime measure that imposes mandatory life prison terms for felons convicted of a third felony offense.

Recent polls show Brown slightly ahead of Whitman. But surveys show as many as 20 percent of the voters are undecided so the race is still up for grabs.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Fiorina on Brown Associate Calling Whitman a "Whore": "Insult to All Women" 

Photo Courtesy - Carly for California(WASHINGTON) -- During an ABC News interview Friday, California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina was asked what she thought about an unnamed aide to gubernatorial candidate and former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown calling his opponent Meg Whitman a “whore.”

“I am glad he promptly apologized,” Fiorina told ABC News.  “It is an insult to all women.”

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that voicemail captured the sound of Brown talking with an associate who referred to Whitman as a “whore” for agreeing to save pensions for law enforcement personnel while working to get endorsements from police organizations.  Brown had thought he had hung up after leaving a message with an official with the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

“Do we want to put an ad out?” Brown asks the associated.  “That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions…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.”

“What about saying she’s a whore?” asks the associate, whom the Brown campaign has refused to name.

“Well, I’m going to use that,” Brown says.  “It proves you’ve cut a secret deal to protect the pensions.”

“It is terrible language,” Fiorina told ABC News. “He ought to be ashamed of himself.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Meg Whitman Called "Whore" in Jerry Brown Phone Message

Photo Courtesy - Eric Draper/Meg Whitman for Governor 2010(LOS ANGELES) -- California Attorney General Jerry Brown, the state's Democratic candidate for governor, left a phone message in early September for a union official whose endorsement he was seeking, but apparently forgot to hang up -- because a lively discussion between him and some staffers afterward is caught on tape. And either Brown or a staffer -- there is some dispute -- uses the word "whore" to describe his Republican rival Meg Whitman.

The recording, obtained by the Los Angeles Times from the L.A. Police Union, is muffled and hard to hear. But the word "whore" is definitely thrown around several times at the notion of Whitman making a special deal with union officials to protect their 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.

Then someone says, "What about saying she's a whore?"

It is not entirely clear if that last part is said by Brown or an aide.

"Well, I'm going to use that," Brown responds a moment later. "It proves you've cut a secret deal to protect the pensions."

Whitman's campaign quickly jumped on the leaked recording and the use of such a derogatory term.

"The use of the term 'whore' is an insult to both Meg Whitman and to the women of California. This is an appalling and unforgivable smear against Meg Whitman. At the very least Mr. Brown tacitly approved this despicable slur and he himself may have used the term at least once on this recording," said Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei.

Brown's spokesman apologized.

"At times our language was salty. We apologize to Ms. Whitman and anyone who may have been offended," Brown's campaign manager Steven Glazer said in a statement Thursday night.

Beyond the use of the word in the recording, Brown seems to be saying that if he won't give the union pensions special treatment in pension reform plans, they will send their endorsement to Whitman. Brown says on the call that it seems who he says has told the unions she will cut them a special deal on their police pensions. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Former Meg Whitman Housekeeper: 'I'm Not Anyone's Puppet' 

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Nicky Diaz, the former housekeeper of California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Tuesday denied claims that she is being manipulated by the campaign of Whitman’s Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.

“I make my own decisions.  I’m not anyone’s puppet,” she said of her public allegations of mistreatment by her former employer.  “Meg Whitman was wrong when she said someone put a gun to my head.  Nobody did.  I wanted to speak out because I wanted people to know who Meg Whitman is.”

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who has ties to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, also appeared with Diaz and refuted Whitman’s recent claims that Nicky is being used as a political tool.

“The truth is Nicky never asked or expected to be part of Whitman’s family.  But she expected to be treated family,” Allred said. “She certainly did not expect to be kicked to the curb and thrown out like garbage.”

Whitman fired Diaz, an undocumented immigrant who had worked as a cleaner and caretaker of the her children for nine years, after learning she had been living in the country illegally.

Whitman campaign spokeswoman Andrea Jones Rivera responded to Allred and Diaz's press conference by calling it a "circus" that is drawing focus from the "serious challenges" facing California voters.

"After nearly a week of press conferences, Gloria Allred still refuses to disclose who is paying her fee and who has helped her orchestrate this stunt," Jones Rivera said in a statement.

A Hill Research poll conducted this week shows that 68% of Californians view Gloria Allred unfavorably, and that despite the Brown campaign’s best efforts to capitalize on the controversy, the race remains neck-and-neck.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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