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Politics

Meg Whitman "Whore" Controversy: Los Angeles Police Union Official Appalled

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Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM

click to enlarge Scott Rate - LAPPL
  • LAPPL
  • Scott Rate
LAPPL
Scott Rate
The Los Angeles police union official who received the voicemail in which Jerry Brown or his aide called Meg Whitman a "whore" said Friday that he was appalled by the remark.

"I was absolutely appalled that he would make that type of disparaging remark about Meg Whitman," said Scott Rate, a director at the Los Angeles Police Protective League. "It was absolutely shocking and unforgivable whether he thought anybody was listening or not."

Brown called Rate on Sept. 7 in an effort to shore up his support with police unions. On the voicemail, he says he has heard that the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association would be backing Whitman.

"He was in a panic because of that group going in another direction," Rate said. "He was trying to lock down the endorsement."


CSLEA endorsed Whitman on Sept. 9. The LAPPL gave its endorsement to Whitman on Sept. 12. Rate did not return Brown's call.

After he tried but failed to hang up the phone, Brown can be heard complaining about a "secret deal" between Whitman and the police unions to protect public safety pensions.

Whitman and Brown have each vowed to crack down on the state's bloated pension plans. Brown has suggested raising the retirement age and boosting employees' contributions to keep the pension fund solvent.

Whitman has proposed switching new state employees to a 401(k) plan. But as far back as March 24, when she addressed the Alliance of California Law Enforcement, Whitman has promised to carve out an exception for public safety employees, who she believes deserve to keep their defined benefit plans.

Whitman said the same thing in her endorsement interview with the LAPPL on Aug. 12. By contrast, Brown has declined to explicitly exempt public safety employees from his pension proposals.

On the recording, which the LAPPL released to the media on Thursday, Brown suggested running an ad against Whitman, saying that he would crack down on public safety pensions but Whitman would not. Someone -- it is not clear who -- says "What about saying she's a whore?" Rate said he believed Brown had made the remark, while the Brown campaign has attributed it to an aide.

The LAPPL has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats in the past. The organization withheld its endorsement from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 because Schwarzenegger had gone after public employee pensions.

"It poisoned the well," Rate said. "There was no way our membership was going to get behind him."

Rate said the group's endorsement of Whitman was primarily due to her plan to restore California's economy and her tough positions on crime, and only secondarily because of her vow to protect public safety pensions.

"The pension thing is always going to be an issue while we're having the rough economic times we're having," he said.

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