Third time's a charm for Brown, Whitman at Dominican University

No love lost between gubernatorial candidates at rendezvous in San Rafael

While it may not be any clearer who'll get the most votes for California's governorship in November following their third and final debate Tuesday, at Dominican University, one thing's for sure: Jerry Brown won't be voting for Meg Whitman, and she won't be voting for him.

As Democratic nominee Brown scowled menacingly, and Republican candidate Whitman snickered nervously, debate moderator Tom Brokaw played referee during a heated hour of questions and answers, plus a few and snide comments, between the two contenders vying to run the country's biggest state.

The candidates offered plenty of talk of "plans," "moving forward" and "job creation," but few details emerged about how either Brown or Whitman could achieve their stated goals to reform California state government.

Whitman stuck to her tightly scripted platform of "reducing taxes [the capital gains tax, specifically, decreasing regulations and competing for jobs" while the at times too-often-unscripted Brown talked about tightening the screws on the budget-challenged state Legislature.

A few other highlights:

Brown, in response to Whitman's plan for a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants: "She wants to treat Mexicans like semi-serfs; bring 'em in, work, 'em, then send them back. I don't think it's humane; I don't think it's right."

Whitman, in response to Brokaw's question about her late interest in California politics: "I'm not proud of my voting record."

Brown, in a gaffe that sounded as if he was about to say police chiefs were in his back pocket: "I've got the police chiefs in my back... er, backing me."

Brown, talking about Whitman's firing of her long-time nanny after it was revealed she was undocumented: "I don't even want to get into it, it's a sad tale... but after working there nine years she didn't even get her a lawyer."

Whitman, about Brokaw's analogy between a Brown campaign staffer referring to Whitman as a whore and someone calling an African American the N-word: "I don't agree with that comparison."

Besides the memorable one-liners during their final public debate, the two candidates did take time to outline their differing policy positions.

Whitman held fast to her message about job creation, while Brown talked of returning political power "to the local level."

Whitman asserted that the California of today is different than the one she moved to 30 years ago -- the one that allowed her to rise to a head a successful business -- saying, "the California dream is broken."

"I want to bring that California dream alive," she said. "Tough tradeoffs" and "shared sacrifice" are needed, she added.

Brown hammered the billionaire Whitman as a friend of the wealthy and attacked her stance on eliminating the capital gains tax for businesses, but he was on the defensive as Whitman attacked his prior record as governor and his relationships with teacher and public employee unions.

"My track record is creating jobs," Whitman told Brown. "Your business is politics."

She then accused Brown of leading California into higher unemployment as governor, a charge Brokaw himself deflected by saying a number of Republican governors oversaw states with higher unemployment at that time.

Recent polls have Brown, the Democratic attorney general and former governor of the state, leading Whitman, a Republican and former eBay CEO, by a small margin in the final weeks leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

As the candidates sparred off on stage at Tuesday night's debate, another candidate for California's top post was arrested for trying to enter the debate using another person's ticket, San Rafael police said.

Oakland resident and Green Party candidate Laura Wells, 62, attempted to gain access to Dominican University's Angelico Hall at 5:20 p.m. when she presented a ticket that police said was not issued to her.

For security reasons, tickets to the event were numbered, coded, and checked by campus security before ticket holders were admitted to the debate hall.

Police said Wells refused to cooperate with campus security when they requested she surrender the ticket.

Wells became argumentative and refused to leave the area, police said, even after she was warned that if she persisted she would be subject to a citizen's arrest because she was on private property.

A security officer placed Wells under citizen's arrest, and she was subsequently taken into custody by San Rafael police officers and escorted from the grounds. Wells was cited and released for trespassing.

According to a statement released by the Green Party of California, she will be required to appear in court on Election Day.

"Republicans and Democrats will go to any lengths, even arresting candidates, to keep the truth from California voters," Wells said in the statement. "There are solutions, but voters aren't being allowed to here (sic) from independent candidates."

In 2002, as a Green Party candidate for state controller, Wells polled more than 400,000 votes.

Protesters associated with the Green Party of California who were upset that Wells was excluded from the debate picketed the event by wearing green gags covering their mouths.

"The debate is a fraud. Limiting it to Whitman and Brown is not just anti-green, it is anti-democratic and anti-republican," Wells said.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News contributed to this report.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Despite what the so-called media experts claim, I really do not think voters will ultimately make their decision based on what occurred during the debates. These two candidates are polar opposites on most important issues, and there were no real suprises during the debate, except for Brown coming across very insensitive when downplaying his campaign aid(or wife)calling Whitman a "whore". I am surprised that Whitman has not had more t.v. ads talking about the ridiculous judicial appointments Brown made while governor, particularly extreme liberal Rose Bird. Brown appointing Rose Bird, who had never even been a Judge at any level before, to the highest court in CA, was an insult to the judicial integrity of the third branch of government.

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Posted by American2
a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

The debate was spirited in the manner all debates should be. They are both winners for participating. I just wish Ms. Whitman could have looked the camera in the eye, therefore giving the audience the sense that she was sincere and honest. If you have big money, and like big money, she is your candidate. She will help herself, and you, with changes in the capital gains tax. For the rest of us middle class, or less, there is only one choice for a future - Jerry Brown.

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Posted by bz
a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm

"American," your points are very well taken! Who can forget Rose Bird?!!! I couldn't agree more!
I do think people who study history, who study the important issues of the day and especially those who lived through the past Brown administration will get the word out that he just doesn't have the skills to accomplish what we need right now!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Same sham, different year. It's a miracle Peter Camejo was allowed into the "recall debates".

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Posted by Why?
a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2010 at 11:08 pm

For the life of me, I can't understand why anybody would want to be Governor of this state. It's broke. The Legislature is completely dysfunctional and the residents will put the dumbest garbage on the ballot and then approve it. They both must be completely nuts and devoid of any real aspirations.

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Posted by lee
a resident of Danville
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Ditto to "whys'" comments. However, I think Brown did a pretty good job as Mayor of Oakland especially when you consider that Oakland is a microcasm of the larger Calif. He certainly did a better job than the lamebrain present mayor. That gives me some hope that maybe he could help the situation in Calif.

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm

That's just the point. If Jerry Brown walked up to me and said something along the lines of "ya' know Derek, I am really not very good at anything else besides politics, and while running CA may not be my dream job, I figure some poor mook is gonna' have to do it", I might actually believe him. Whether or not it's about ego, I really don't think the guy knows what else to do. Personal injury lawyer?

But Whitman.... well, think about it. You have hundreds of millions in your bank account. Your neuro-oncologist husband is wealthy in his own right. You have two choices about what to do with your life for the next four (or eight) years.

One is indulge in absolutely anything you wish. Traveling to exotic locales for the rest of your years. Playing golf every day. Forever. Sailing on your yacht. Doing charity work by visiting poor parts of the world, and making a major impact with your contributions. Well, okay, I know that last one's a stretch for Whitman.
Or, choice two: run a dysfunctional state where you will get little cooperation from those in charge of budgets and bills and approvals of your little schemes.

It is abundantly clear to me, and should be to anyone with more than seven working brain cells, that people like Whitman, Arnold, Gray Davis, and thousands of others want the job for only one reason. And that is to satisfy their monstrous egos by feeding them the perceived power they crave. No sane or normal human with Whitman's money should ever want this job, and for anyone who bleats "ewww, she just wants to help the state", I have some nice home sites in the Tuvalu Islands for you.

With Arnold, I was never ever a fan, but even I will admit that at least the guy seemed to want the job, and he showed up every day with a minimum of whining.

Whitman's money - especially the obscene amount she has blown on the campaign trail - could have made a major impact on her own husband's trade. Here is a guy who deals daily with astrocytomas and glioblastomas, the most deadly tumors known to mankind. A 100 % fatality rate. All you republicans like "American" better think about it too. Because cancer does not care about your politics, and the 110+ million Meg spent could have bought maybe half a million hours of research.

Meg? She wants to be the boss again, and terrorize her underlings.

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Derek: You make many very solid points that I actually agree with...I think it is ridiculous how much money both parties and both candidates spend on the election, and neither candidate has the necessary charisma or political guts to really do much to help our state when there is so much partisian bickering and stubbornness going on...I would love to see all the unions and ambulance chasing lawyers that donated so much money to Brown instead donate all that money to cancer research and I would love to see Meg donate all that money to cancer research...However, the ability to appoint judges is crucial for a governor, and we all know what kind of nuts and liberals Brown would appoint again, while Meg would appoint judges with respect for the law and not activist with political goals...

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Posted by jake
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Derek: Have you ever volunteered for a cause that you believed in and spend you own money to support the cause? Did anybody accused you of some diabolic motive? As to ego, are you aware that successful people in all aspects of life, business, art, government,.... have/had large egos? Give yourself a break from false choices. In real life we must do many thing at the same time; spend money on education, defense, crime, healthcare, and yes political campaigns, etc.

It seems that you prefer Brown because he is spending other people's money to campaign and dislike Meg because she id spending hers! I guess that is one way to make choice.

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

Jake: That would be a "yes".
When I was still in my 20's I personally collected over 200 signatures to have James Watt removed as head of the Interior Department. And as recently as two years ago, we have donated to the pediatric cardiology unit at UCSF. I don't think I would donate to the neuro-oncology unit there because I do not really feel that the head of that department (Dr. Michael Prados) is aggressive enough for my tastes. Ya' need a real cowboy in that position.

Now, about those lots Jake. Would you like to buy one or two? They're really nice, and you can fish right from your own front porch.

I don't really care whose money either of these clowns are spending; it's the amounts that enrage me. And the important part of these debates for me is that third party candidates are being blocked out.

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