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Brown allies launch ad about Whitman’s ties to Goldman Sachs

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Allies of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown announced Wednesday that they are launching an ad attacking Republican rival Meg Whitman for her links to embattled investment banking firm Goldman Sachs.

The 30-second ad, by the California Working Families for Jerry Brown for Governor 2010, highlights Whitman receiving preferential stock deals from Goldman Sachs through a practice known as ‘spinning.’ The ad was announced the same day Whitman launched an ad attacking Brown for his record during his prior tenure as governor, while he was Oakland mayor and in other pursuits.

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Whitman, who was then the chief of EBay, hired Goldman Sachs to handle the online auction house’s investment banking business, which generated $8 million in fees for the bank. Goldman then gave Whitman early access to initial public offerings of stock, providing her a head start on the rest of the market that allowed her to sell the shares for a profit of $1.78 million.

In 2002, Whitman’s name surfaced in a congressional inquiry into such arrangements. Goldman Sachs and nine other Wall Street firms agreed to stop giving executives they do business with early access to public offerings as part of a settlement with regulators in 2003.

Whitman was sued by EBay shareholders, who argued that the profit belonged to them, not her. She paid $1.78 million to settle the lawsuit.

The ad is titled “Spinning,” and it’s the second anti-Whitman ad by the Working Families group. The first highlights her spotty voting record.

When asked about the ad, a Whitman spokeswoman sought to shift attention to Brown’s union allies and Whitman’s record at EBay.

“Government unions bought this ad just like they’ve bought Jerry Brown, but Californians can’t afford a 40-year politician who will put the unions’ interests above everything else,” said Sarah Pompei in a statement. “The truth is Meg helped to create thousands of California jobs, taking EBay from 30 employees to 15,000 and turning those ‘small investors’ into wealthier investors…. Her record of success speaks for itself.’

You can watch the ad below: -- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles


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