October 8th, 2010
08:58 PM ET
4 years ago

Women's group endorses Brown on same day as 'whore' comment surfaces

(CNN) – California's National Organization for Women announced its endorsement for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown on Friday, the same day a taped conversation surfaced in which one of Brown's aides called the Republican candidate a 'whore.'

"As governor, mayor, and attorney general, Jerry Brown has promoted and defended women's rights," the group's president, Patty Bellasalma, said in a statement. "Jerry stands for fairness and equality and never ever backs down. We have every confidence that he will do the same as California's next Governor."

"For California women, actions speak louder than words. We know Jerry Brown's record, and we know Meg Whitman's record. The choice is clear. We strongly urge California women to vote for Jerry Brown for governor," Bellasalma added.


It's likely not a coincidence that the women's group released their endorsement on Friday.

Whitman's campaign manager Jillian Hasner responded Friday to NOW's endorsement, sharply condemning the group as a "partisan organization."

"Meg Whitman is a pro-choice woman who was ranked among the world's most accomplished women in business. She's now running to become the first woman governor in California's history, and on the same day that it's reported Jerry Brown's campaign called her a 'whore'; the National Organization of Women endorses him. It's official: N.O.W. is a partisan organization," Hasner said.

The group does indeed support several political issues that a majority Democrats support and a majority of Republicans oppose.

In audio first obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Brown and his aides discussed resisting pressure to cut public-safety pensions or face losing police endorsements to Whitman.

"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 said.

Someone else said: "What about saying she's a whore?"

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

Brown's campaign apologized to Whitman on Friday.

–CNN's Jessica Yellin and Martina Stewart contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2010 • California • Jerry Brown
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    The language wasn't elegant, but what else do you call someone (Whitman) who sells herself for money?

    Brown for Governor – all the way!

    October 9, 2010 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  2. Foxfan

    It's good idea for Mexifornai to legalize marijuana so we can call Mexifornia the marijuana market. Bad I can't believe it.

    October 9, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  3. Aaron

    The aide's slur had nothing to do with all of the good women of California, just Whitman. No need for her to be nasty and group the rest of the state's women with her, especially since she has no respect for what NOW has accomplished. She'll obviously say or agree to anything to get elected.

    October 9, 2010 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  4. Addresti

    Brown didn't call Whitman a whore. An aide did. Yes the aide should be dismissed. Yes it is typical mouth off, not thinking abuse to women.

    I think it is because these guys are so young. They think that word is a compliment rather than a sexist slur. I volunteer to do containment classes for these guys (includes a lot of psychodrama sensitivity training). That would be fun>

    October 9, 2010 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  5. Mike in SA

    You could be a serial rapist, sexually harass women every day, and/or force the women in your family to wear burqas and not allow them to go to school and NOW would endorse you as long as you promoted abortion.

    October 9, 2010 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  6. normajean

    I'm not interested in the back and forth between candidates,regardless of how stupid it gets. I am interested in past performances and how the information on each relates to the problems at hand. In this particular case, as a life long Californian with a fair memory of "Pat" Brown and his son Jerry as govenors, I trust and will vote for Jerry Brown.!!

    October 9, 2010 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  7. National Organization of What

    > "For California women, actions speak louder than words.

    Right, actions speak louder than words. NOW is saying it is okay to call a woman as "who..". I am a California woman. I say that Bellasalma and her organization doesn't represent me. Her organization should be renamed as National Organization for Democrat Wh...

    October 9, 2010 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  8. Richard Whipple

    I do not think Jerry Brown needs to offer an apology for the word whore, because the vernacular definition of the word fits. It would be wise to contact the National Organization for Women and clarify any misconstrued connotations that could play into the hands of a "victimized" candidate. It might even be a sound strategy to go on the offensive taking the victim card away from Whitman, someone whose dealings – in campaign and in business – can only be characterized as political prostitution. Note to Whitman strategy: not all women are opportunitistic whores/prostitutes so it would be clever NOT to paint everyone with that brush in seeking to appear the victim and just stay quiet (even above the comment) on the matter.

    That's just my immediate thoughts on the issue.

    October 9, 2010 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  9. thatguy371

    Jerry Brown's campaign called Whitman a 'wh ore'... an error to which they apologized.
    The actual title is 'money wh ore'. What a pathetic piece of work she is. Ra ping and pillaging the Ebay sellers with gargantuan fees til very few of them make more than just barely enough to get by. That's why she has billions to spend on a political campaign. Hopefully the good citizens of CA wake up and see the light.

    October 9, 2010 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  10. John

    Why females put up with these types of comments or actions is beyond me. Now matter if Dem or Rep woman organizations should condem this kind of talk. But they don't. They let politics dictate. Which is why nobody really pays attention.

    October 9, 2010 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  11. D=stand for moving America forward

    Thank you. California National Organzation for Women for looking at facts. We have election to win for women and the great state of California.

    October 9, 2010 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  12. Steve in North Carolina

    Big surprise! They gave Clinton a pass too. You can say or do anything you want if you are a liberal.

    October 9, 2010 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  13. Jerry

    NOW has no shame! Californians should not be allow themselves to be influenced by NOW's partisan politics and stupidity. When they don't support one of their own; who has been vilified as a whore, this moronic women's group should be shunned. And of course, Mr. Brown has less shame. I am a life-long Democrat but if Californians elect a idiot like Mr. Brown, they are even bigger idiots and deserve what they get.

    October 9, 2010 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  14. Ain't life strange?

    Here we go with the whore word again. The word, used in the contexet Brown intended, is to indicate Whitman sold herself (integrity) to a special interest. Lord knows if the word were used in a different application, like she sold her body, that would be a travesty!

    October 9, 2010 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  15. Jim

    This is typical of liberal groups whether they be women or men. Liberals have almost always followed a path of selectively ignoring when one of their own crosses the line or does something that goes against their beliefs while hammering the opposition if they did the same thing. The liberal mentality is as hypocritical as it gets. You will never see such double standards, hypocrasy and true lack of moral compass as you will with the liberal crowd.

    October 9, 2010 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  16. ChumBucket

    So, N.O.W. is in favor of the man winning instead of the woman.

    go figure..

    oh, and thank you obuma, for putting the ex VP of Fannie Mae in as the National Security Advisor, good pick!

    idiots.

    October 9, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  17. K Choice

    How can supposed National Organization for Women not support a woman? And a female pioneer at that?

    October 9, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
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