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Jerry Brown launches his first campaign ad

California Attorney General and presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown launched his first campaign ad today, linking the contentious and expensive GOP primary to the state’s contentious and expensive bipartisan gridlock:

Matt Hirsch, the rapid-response director for Republican Steve Poizner’s campaign, fired off a statement dissing Brown’s ad:

“Just like Jerry Brown’s failed tenure as governor, this ad looks like it was produced in the late 1970’s. Steve Poizner has been offering specific plans to fix California for the past year, while Jerry Brown has sat on the sidelines coddling the unions that are bankrupting California. Voters are not looking to be led back down the broken path that Jerry Brown dragged them through 30 years ago, they are looking for a reformer and that is exactly what Steve Poizner will offer in November.”

I’ve not received anything from Meg Whitman’s camp yet.

Expect to see a lot of this from Brown as the year goes on. Polls show Whitman has regained her safe lead and is likely to prevail next Tuesday, but whether she or Poizner is the nominee, Brown will make the most of that person’s extensive self-funding; the extremely conservative stances he/she took in order to win the primary; and the adversarial, negative tone his/her campaign adopted in recent months. Brown – who didn’t have to lift a finger or spend much more than a dime in this primary – will be looking to position himself as the bipartisan healer.

UPDATE @ 2:38 P.M. TUESDAY: This just in from Whitman spokesman Tucker Bounds: “We got a kick out of Jerry’s latest stunt, which will never actually run on TV. It’s just too funny to see a 40-year Sacramento insider complain about the political climate he’s helped create. Jerry’s new blue sweater can’t cover up his record of fighting to defend the status quo in Sacramento.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.