After their candidate hid out for more than a week after the illegal housekeeper story broke wide open, the Armies of eMeg opened fire on Twitter Saturday, wondering where Jerry Brown was in the wake of the revelation that someone in his campaign office suggested calling Whitman a “whore” for selling out to the LA cops union.
“Still in hiding, @JerryBrown2010 skips his own “Day of Action” & refuses to take accountability. http://bit.ly/9bsDsM #cagov about 3 hours ago via web” tweeted sarapompei.
“@JerryBrown2010 last seen entering witness relocation program under new name Monsieur “Rayon de Lune” Details: http://bit.ly/9bsDsM #cagov about 3 hours ago via Seesmic twhirl,” said Murphy4MegNews and murphymike.
Rob Stutzman and Tucker Bounds chimed in, too. The hunt was on. And Team Krusty, after issuing an apology to Whitman and anyone in the known universe who might have been offended, was saying absolutely nothing in response to eMeg’s Wash-Your-Mouth-Out Campaign for Clean Speech.
But then, one of our faithful Calbuzzers – someone not tied to either governor’s campaign — sent us a Feb. 3, 1995 story from the San Francisco Examiner, recounting former Gov. Pete Wilson’s buoyant return to Sacramento after a five-day visit to Washington as he geared up to run for president.
Wilson, who as every schoolboy knows, is now Whitman’s campaign chairman, back then made national headlines with his critique of Congress, where he had served as a senator. Wrote Brand Ex-man Tupper Hull:
After learning that a federal judge had ruled California might be liable for up to $500 million in damages over its issuance of IOUs during a budget crisis in 1992, Wilson lashed out at Congress for having approved the Depression-era Fair Labor Practices Act.
“I don’t blame the judge; he is interpreting the law,” Wilson said during a speech before the National Association of Wholesalers Wednesday. “I blame the Congress for being such whores to public employees unions that they would pass that kind of legislation.”
Even in 1995, best we can recall, Congress included both men and women. We’re just sayin’.
More on whores: To offer a bit more context on the subject, we can report exclusively that a Google search of “political whore” yields 13,400 results, including links to sites called politicalwhore.com and politicalwhores.org , plus recent stories in which liberal Florida Rep. Alan Grayson called a top ranking federal reserve official a “K Street whore,” and conservative talk show host Jim Quinn termed the National Organization for Women (which endorsed Brown in the wake of his campaign’s slander about eMeg) the “National Organization of Whores.” Let’s not forget P.J. O’Rourke’s classic political study, “A Parliament of Whores.”
As Sensitive New Age Digital Era guys, however, we cannot presume to opine one way or the other on the soundness of the views expressed in our own comments column by Calbuzzer Adelaides Lament, who self-describes as “a female and feminist” and who raises an interesting point:
…I’m offended by Meg’s vapors over the “can we call her a whore?” remark.
She can’t have it both ways. If she’s going to pass out every time somebody utters a bad word – or god forbid a sexist one – she’d spend all her time in Sacramento on the fainting couch.
Yes, selling out to the police officers union in a back room deal could well be referred to as “being in bed with” or even “whoring yourself out to” the union in trade for an endorsement.
If Meg really wants to be governor she’d be better off growing a pair and throwing away the smelling salts. Those boys in Sacto play rough.
Indeed they do, and a Calbuzz investigation suggests that they’ve been doing so at least since the days of Ronald Reagan’s governorship.
“How Ronald Reagan Governed California” an article in the January 17, 1975 edition of the National Review, no less a conservative publication, even suggests that the Gipper on occasion found some amusement in such matters. Recounting tense, high-level negotiations in 1971 over welfare reform between Reagan and then-Speaker Bob Moretti, the piece reports what happened when the talks at one point broke down:
An impasse was reached and one of the legislators, whose self-appointed role was to maintain an atmosphere that would encourage compromise, called for a recess and sent for food and drink. Warmed by his own hospitality and trying to put the situation in perspective, he commented: “It’s too bad the people elect an ideologue like Reagan. They should stick with political whores, like me.” His candor broke the ice and negotiations were resumed…
As journalists, of course, we long have been accustomed to being smeared and assailed in a whorish manner for, as the ironist Pierce Thorne has noted:
Journalists are like whores; as high as their ideals may be, they still have to resort to tricks to make money.
All of which goes to show that context is everything in political speech. And as Ronald Reagan knew, a sense of humor never hurts either.
LA Cops Flog a Bad Transcript: One more note on the “whore” incident. Calbuzz has in its hot hands a “certified copy” of the transcript of the conversation that was taped by the answering machine at the offices of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, dated Sept. 21. It was transcribed by Lori Odell Kennedy of Kennedy Court Reporters Inc. We’re not sure how Ms Kennedy and the LAPPL (which has endorsed Whitman) came to the conclusion they did, but in this allegedly “certified” transcript, the person who speaks the words “What about saying she’s a whore,” is said to be J.B. (Jerry Brown). But anyone who listens to the recording can plainly hear that the speaker was NOT Brown.
One other problem: on the tape (and in the transcript), Brown says, “My first ad goes up tonight.” That would place the conversation on Sept. 6 or 7, not Sept. 21. Which would mean the cops had the tape for nearly a month before it was released. Wonder what they did with it?
BTW, we hear the LA Times wasn’t the only media outlet it was given to. Apparently Fox News also had the tape and passed on the story. But the real question Calbuzz has is this: Would the LA cops union intentionally put out a bad transcript trying to finger Brown for the comment? Hmmm.