The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown apologized Thursday after one of his aides was overheard referring to Republican rival Meg Whitman as a "whore" in a taped telephone message.
The recording of the conversation was circulated to the press Thursday. It was captured on a telephone answering machine when Brown left a message after calling the Los Angeles Police Protective League last month.
After Brown apparently believed he had hung up the telephone, the machine continued to record a conversation between Brown and his aides.
The Democratic candidate complained that the union, which endorsed Whitman, wanted him to soften his support for pension reform.
"Do we want to put an ad out?" Brown said. "That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions that they'll go to Whitman, and that's where they'll go because they know Whitman will cut them a deal?"
At that point, what appears to be a second voice interjects: "What about saying she's a whore?"
Brown replies, "Well, I'm going to use that. It proves you've cut a secret deal to protect the pensions."
Brown's campaign didn't deny the conversation took place.
"This was a jumbled and often inaudible recording of a private conversation," Brown campaign manager Steven Glazer said in a statement. "At times our language was salty. We apologize to Ms. Whitman and anyone who may have been offended."
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