Not content with Meg Whitman's $59 million dollar spending, which has gone mostly to TV ads, the California Chamber of Commerce is jumping into the fray with their own ad, this one attacking Jerry Brown as some sort of tax-and-spend liberal. You can view the ad at right.
There's just one little problem with the ad: it is fundamentally, massively misleading. The ad distorts Jerry Brown's record as governor of California from 1975 to 1983, and leaves out key details and facts. It is as dishonest an attack ad as I've ever seen in my 30 years as a Californian.
The ad says that Brown opposed Prop 13. That is true. What it leaves out is that the day after it passed, he declared himself a "born again tax-cutter" in a press conference you can listen to for yourself. Brown promised and delivered cuts to state services to deal with the impact.
The ad goes on to say spending increased by "163%" - without explaining that most of that spending increase was Sacramento using the budget surplus to backfill lost revenues to schools and local governments as a result of Prop 13.
The ad then blames Brown for squandering the budget surplus - without explaining the surplus was spent on filling the Prop 13 hole, or even that the only reason there was a surplus in the first place was because Jerry Brown was very fiscally conservative, refusing to support liberal calls for greater spending on human services and instead cutting things like welfare payments. In 1975. See for yourself.
Apparently the truth is too much for the Cal Chamber to tell to Californians. Instead the Cal Chamber believes it has to mislead and distort history to smear Jerry Brown. If TV stations in the state had any ethics they'd refuse this ad and demand that Cal Chamber come back with something that was honest. We'll see if that happens.