Jerry Brown or One of His Aides Recorded Calling Meg Whitman a 'Whore'

Just when the California gubernatorial race seemed to have peaked on drama, a recording of strategy discussions among Jerry Brown and his aides has begun circulating. The governor left a voicemail for a police union official but apparently did not successfully hang up the phone afterward. The union (which has endorsed Whitman) released the ensuing recording, in which an unidentifiable voice refers to Brown's opponent Meg Whitman as a "whore," to the Los Angeles Times. Seema Mehta reports

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."

Whitman's campaign has called the use of the word "whore" a "despicable slur" and "an appalling and unforgivable smear against Meg Whitman." Brown's campaign issued a statement apologizing for "salty" language used in a "private conversation."

Read the full story at the LA Times.

Presented by

Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Dravet Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that affects children. Could marijuana oils alleviate their seizures?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in Politics

Just In