Obama assist crashes Jerry Brown’s website

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An appeal by President Obama to his supporters seeking help for Jerry Brown’s candidacy would seem like a godsend for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

But within minutes of Obama’s e-mail, so many people clicked the link that Brown’s website crashed. Obama supporters looking to contribute or volunteer found this message: “The site is currently not available due to technical problems. Please try again later. Thank you for your understanding.”


Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said the website would be fixed shortly, and that the campaign appreciated the president’s help.

Obama sent out the appeal for financial and volunteer support Tuesday afternoon. He has been fundraising for Sen. Barbara Boxer for months, but Tuesday’s missive is believed to be the first time he has asked his supporters to help Brown.

“For decades, Jerry Brown has been a champion for the people of California. He has served as governor, as mayor of Oakland, and is currently the attorney general,” Obama wrote in the e-mail, which was distributed by Organizing For America, the Democrats’ national get-out-the-vote apparatus. “To each of these jobs, he’s brought an unparalleled passion for helping the people of California. Now, he wants to return to Sacramento to bring that passion to the governor’s office, and he needs our help to ensure that he wins this race.”

Brown is being outspent by Republican rival Meg Whitman, a billionaire who has put $104 million of her own into her effort to win the governorship.

[Updated at 3:24 p.m.: The Whitman campaign dismissed the move as an act of desperation. “Meg is running neck-and-neck with Jerry Brown, despite Brown’s 14-point party registration edge, because she’s the only credible candidate to create jobs and get California’s economy back on track,’ said spokesman Tucker Bounds. ‘Announcing an endorsement like this in the dead of summer means that Jerry Brown is worried, the White House is worried, or both.”]

-- Seema Mehta