The California Chamber of Commerce gave Jerry Brown a 72nd birthday present last week — a TV spot slamming him as a big-spending liberal.
A day later, Brown sent it back, in effect, by successfully pressuring chamber officials to withdraw the ad, which they had portrayed, somewhat disingenuously, as an informational piece, not an attack on his candidacy for governor.
The dust-up lasted long enough for Brown's friends in the blogosphere to emit spasms of outrage, one calling it — grandiosely — "one of the most fraudulent efforts in my memory of California's political history."
Not even close.
The circumstances under which the chamber's president, Allan Zaremberg, decided to make the reported $1 million media buy are somewhat murky, as are those under which he pulled the ad a day later.
Brown's pals allege that it was the work of former Gov. Pete Wilson, who serves on the chamber board and who chairs the campaign of Brown's almost certain Republican rival, Meg Whitman. Zaremberg, they note archly, once was Wilson's gubernatorial lobbyist.
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