Commentary: Brown has foot firmly in mouth over aide's slur

Until Jerry Brown came along, Trice Harvey had offered the worst apology for calling someone a "whore" – and ole Trice wasn't trying to be sincere.

Harvey was a Republican assemblyman from Bakersfield in 1994 when Republicans won control of the lower house and thought they could elect a speaker.

Willie Brown didn't give up without a fight. Calling in a chit, he persuaded Republican Paul Horcher to vote for him, ensuring the San Francisco Democrat could retain his speakership for a little longer.

Harvey denounced Horcher as, what else, a "political whore." Democrats demanded an apology, and Harvey obliged: "I'm sorry he's a whore."

You would think that at age 72, having once been a seminarian, Jerry Brown would have learned the power of repentance and apology. But once again, Brown has compounded a blunder by failing to own up to it.

Speaking to a reporter while jogging in June, Brown likened Republican Meg Whitman to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Brown has spent four decades in politics, but lamely explained he thought it was "off the record."

In September, Brown committed a stunning act of technological incompetence by making a cell phone call, leaving a voice message with a Los Angeles police union that was endorsing Whitman, and failing to disconnect the call, recording what he thought was a private talk among his campaign workers.

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