Mark the date: June 23. Meg Whitman’s campaign goes negative against Jerry Brown with a minute-long statewide TV ad, titled “The Real Story.”
No surprise, of course, and actually, it’s pretty entertaining. It captures the Zeitgeist of the 70s with scratchy film reel graphics, photos of hippy protesters and peace symbols (likely taken from my Berkeley boyhood neighborhood). Images of national guard troops (or soldiers that look the part), a helicopter flying through smoke (giving the impression of Vietnam, though it’s, again, at best, suggestive), black and white and sepia-toned photos of Brown, a photo-shopped banner touting “$7 Billion New Taxes” behind Brown at a long-gone press conference, a photo of a homeless man laying in the streets of what could have been Toledo, Ohio, but gets attributed to Brown.
The tone is biting and foreshadows an ugly summer ahead, given all the archival material in the hands of Whitman’s $150 million media machine.
In response, California Working Families for Jerry Brown for 2010, put out a 30-second ad hitting Whitman for her ties to Goldman Sachs, called “Spinning.” The group said it would fill in the summer months with ready replies to Whitman’s attacks (as Brown sits on his $20 million campaign stash for the fall), and has delivered. It’s airing in TV markets through the state, though isn’t as comprehensive a buy as Whitman’s.