Brown aide heard calling Whitman a 'whore' over pension reform

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Justin Sullivan and Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

California gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown

A voicemail recorded a private conversation with one of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown's aides calling his Republican opponent Meg Whitman a "whore."

The Los Angeles Times reports that the voicemail was a message left by Brown for Los Angeles Police Protective League union official Scott Rate. Brown had apparently thought he'd hung up the phone, but instead, the voicemail continued to record the conversation.

After the end of the message for Rate, Brown talks about being under pressure to refuse to reduce public safety pensions, or else law enforcement groups would endorse Whitman instead of Brown. Whitman has previously agreed to exempt public safety officials from important parts of her pension reform plan.

"Do we want to put an ad out? ... That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions, I will be - that they'll go to Whitman, and that's where they'll go because they know Whitman will give 'em, will cut them a deal, but I won't," Brown says in the message.

What sounds like a second voice adds, "What about saying she's a whore?"

Brown responds, "Well, I'm going to use that. It proves you've cut a secret deal to protect the pensions."

A Brown campaign spokesman said that Brown was referring to Whitman being willing to cut a deal in his response, not agreeing with the use of the word "whore."

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