Whitman refuses to remove anti-Brown ad with questionable information; she says ‘essence’ of it is true


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Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman refused Tuesday to take down an advertisement that attacks Jerry Brown’s record that is based, in part, on a discredited report.

“Absolutely not, the essential elements of that ad are absolutely true,” Whitman said on the “Good Day L.A.” show on KTTV.


The ad features footage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton attacking Brown’s record and honesty during a 1992 Democratic primary debate. Clinton cites a CNN report that said taxes were higher when Brown left the governorship in 1983 than when he took office in 1975; the state Department of Finance confirmed Friday that taxes actually fell during Brown’s tenure. The Brown campaign has been calling on Whitman to take down the ad.

Whitman defended her decision to keep airing it, saying that when annual state taxes were averaged over Brown’s eight-year term, the average was higher than when he took office. She added that other claims in the ad, such as Brown’s opposition to Prop. 13, were true.

“The essence of that ad is absolutely true,’ she said, ‘and we stand by it.”

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles