New Whitman ad goes archival in hit job on Brown

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.

Steven Harmon

  • Truthclubber

    Steven —

    Thanks for bringing this to us, and I agree; it’s a damn fine ad and it’s aimed squarely at the Google generation of folks below 30 who are beyond pissed off at how the Sacramento crowd has buried them in mountains of state worker pension and benefits debt that they will be paying off for decades…

    I love it — the notion of taking a classic slogan from the sixties (ironically, another Jerry — Jerry Rubin) and aiming it like a javalin straight at someone who typified the sixties:

    Don’t trust (or vote for) anyone older than sixty.

  • Elwood

    “California Working Families for Jerry Brown for 2010”

    Don’t ya just gotta love that title?

    Could it be any more lame?

    They keep trying to hype Whitman’s rather tenuous with Goldman, which most people don’t care much about one way or another. Which begs the question “Is that all you got”?

    On the other hand, there are miles of tape showing the asinine adventures of Governor Moonbeam.

    Voters only need to remember one thing:


  • Truthclubber

    If it’s Hellwad (the fascist), flush it with as much vitriol as you can muster — since this troglodyte and his kin (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O’Reilly, Bachmann, Palin, and so on) are the reason so many would-be moderate Democrats and independents DON’T pull the trigger for moderates like Whitman (Gov) and Maldonado (Lt. Gov) and Cooley (AG) — they don’t want to be associated with Fascists like Hellwad and his kind.

    When someone in the leadership of the GOP straps on some big ones and denounces this Fascist crowd (starting with Limfart and ending with Hellwad) their party is going to register BIG gains in registration — but NOT until then.

  • Bob

    Don’t vote for anyone under sixty. They are just in it for themselves.

  • Elwood

    Re: #3 (Toothsucker)

    Take your meds, sonny! You’ve obviously gone off them again.

  • Truthclubber

    Hellwad and his fascist buddies prove my point with his latest volley — as you’ll notice he doesn’t disclaim or refute or deny any of my criticism, but merely tries to “discredit the source” by copying styles of sarcastic tactics borrowed from others (like me, for example).

    In their distorted and anti-American way, it’s “not a big tent, but OUR tent” — so all who seek to change their ways from “liberalism” must conform to the new “fascism” espoused by these fart machines — with no tolerance allowed.

    It’s why the GOP will not succeed in rebounding as a major party in California until these “neo-Fascists” are purged — and they know it, and am (like Hellwad) fighting it tooth(sucker, pun intended) and nail…since if they are purged, they lose all power and influence.

  • Elwood

    I don’t believe it’s possible to “disclaim or refute or deny” raving insanity.

    Take your meds.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    To Truthie: Fascism (assuming you define the term in ways which Hitler and Mussolini would approve) has no use for individualism, community outside the state’s control, or respect for differences of view, origins, values, and so on. Hitler said in the early 1930s to his comrades that he wasn’t overly concerned about nationalization of industry to further his (and the Reich’s) goals. He said he was going to “nationalize the people.” The so-called progressives have no use for conservatives and their ideas. Nor are they particularly interested in an exchange of opinions except in a very narrow range of ideas that they can live with. Many are far less tolerant of dissent within their ranks than a Tea Party man on his worst day.

  • Josh Richman

    RR: “The so-called progressives have no use for conservatives and their ideas.”

    True. But couldn’t you flip the words “progressives” and “conservatives,” and still have the statement be just as true?

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    To JR:
    There is no short answer to this question. First, the vast majority of Americans take no interest in ideological arguments. In times of turmoil or great controversy, all kinds of ideas, specious or no, get a hearing; in other times the argumemts rage on the fringes or in tiny groups. When American politics shifts right or left, it is mostly because the other side’s crop of ideas are discredited by events. In the 1940s, with Willkie in mind, FDR mused how wonderful if would be if all the liberals coalesced in one party and all the conservatives in another. Well, to a great degree, this has happened. In a relatively stable parliamentary system (UK, Canada) sharp divisions can be made to work. The majority party has all the aces. In our system, deadlock results. In many political circles, opponents can agree to disagree. When extremists dictate (or think they dictate) the dialogue, a smallish number of ideologues reject debate in favor of sheer demagoguery. George Miller and Pete Stark on one side, and Tom McClintock and say J.D. Hayworth on the other, deplore sharing their party label with ‘nominal’ representatives (“Blue Dogs or”RINOs.” Litmus tests or what have you replace debate. It isn’t that Miller and Stark merely wish all the conservatives would go over to the Republicans to make their own stands clearer and more likely to prevail, they wish to assign their opponents to oblivion. In a free-elections system in a legal framework such as ours, this is almost impossible, but ideologues won’t stop trying.

  • Josh Richman

    RR: So, in short, the answer to my question is, “yes,” right? That is, ideologues at both ends of the spectrum are calling the shots and vilifying their opponents to the point that nothing gets done.

    Any ideas for how to ditch the demagoguery, restore civility and combat widespread voter apathy? I’ve heard various people suggest approaches such as imposing or removing term limits; reforming the redistricting process; improving basic civic education; adopting public finance of campaigns and so on – what do you think?

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    To JR: Some trends in politics persist, often the worst and most destructive ones, for years. In 1960, when JFK squeaked by Nixon, it finally put to rest the old fears of a Roman Catholic in the White House. Nobody in 1960 could foresee the day a Black would be elected president. It was usually said a woman would reach the top first. Demagoguery and incivility persist too, perhaps less crudely. Term limits are a mistake. Nobody but the voters should end a political career. (The GOP thought limits were a great idea until they took over Congress after the 1992 elections) Redistricting to make elections more competitive—ending one-party dominance— is complicated by court decisions about minorities’ representation. The money issue is insoluble. Limit fund-raising amounts and the campaigns start even earlier. Go the public route and incumbents have an even larger edge. Get rid of private contributions altogether—let taxpayers foot the entire bill—and take your chances. That could work in village elections but it gives one pause to think how much fun a gifted demagogue could have.
    I think, bottom line, the only factor in cleaning up campaigns is getting better people to enter politics. I think we’re at least a few centuries away from that goal.