Politics & Government

In California race, Brown runs risks attacking Whitman's wealth

Political consultants gathered for a recent meeting in Sacramento debated whether Meg Whitman's personal fortune would matter to voters in this year's governor's race.

They were in complete agreement, however, on one point: Her Democratic rival Jerry Brown will keep bringing it up. In doing so he risks a certain counterpunch: Brown, the Democratic nominee, has enjoyed some of the same advantages of wealth and power for which he criticizes Whitman.

He invested money in a tax shelter and sat on a corporate board. He accepted free memberships to exclusive clubs and a Gold Pass to a less exclusive one, Disneyland. He lives in a $1.8 million house.

Neither of the candidates has released copies of their tax returns, and it's impossible to say just how much they are worth. But as a longtime public figure, Brown has left a trail that provides a picture of his standard of living.

Although he's clearly not in Whitman's financial league, the average Californian would consider him wealthy. "Jerry Brown did not grow up in a little log cabin," Claremont McKenna College government professor Jack Pitney said.

Read the complete story at sacbee.com