Democratic gubernatorial candidate proposes joint town halls with rival in California

12:59, June 10, 2010      

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown proposed on Wednesday that he and his Republican opponent Meg Whitman hold joint town hall appearances throughout California to discuss job creation, schools and the budget and take questions from voters.

"I'm inviting Meg Whitman to join with me to run a campaign that will put the focus on town halls where each of us, in an unscripted manner, will discuss our positions and answer questions, " Brown told a news conference here a day after defeating six little-known candidates to secure the Democratic nomination.

"Let's tell people how we'll manager their tax dollars, how we' ll hold down taxes, how we'll make government work better and more efficiently, how we'll fix our schools and how we'll create jobs."

Brown, the state attorney general who was governor from 1975-83, said the series of town halls would give voters a "full picture" of the two candidates and make television advertising less important.

"If I never see another political ad in my life, I'll be happy and I'll bet that most people feel the same way," Brown said. "Partisan bickering and attack-dog politics have created an awful mess in Sacramento, and I think Meg and I now have an opportunity to change the tenor of politics in California by conducting a responsible campaign that shows the politicians that there is a better way to do business," Brown said.

"Meg and I may not agree on many issues, but we can at least tell the truth and explain how we would approach the job of governor."

Whitman responded that Brown should give some specifics about his plans for closing the state's budget gap before calling for debates or town halls,

"There will be plenty of debates, ... but what I would say to Jerry Brown, instead of calling for debates he should lay out his plan for California," Whitman said at a rally in Anaheim of Los Angeles. "You know, his website has virtually nothing on it. I have put out a 48-page policy book that details the plan that I have to turn around California, so I would call on Jerry Brown to lay out a plan for California and then at least we'll have something to debate about."

Also on Tuesday, Whitman, the former billionaire eBay chief executive officer, thrashed main rival Steve Poizner in a landslide victory to become the first woman Republican to be nominated for governor in California.



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