Capitol Alert

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Note: This is a copy of the unrevised ad.

The California Teachers Association added the word "could" to its TV ad slamming Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, prompting the cable carrier Comcast to resume broadcasting it.

Whitman's campaign had sent Comcast and other TV stations letters threatening legal action over what they said was the "slanderous" ad. Comcast pulled the ad Tuesday.

The union fiddled with the spot, which accuses Whitman of proposing $7 billion in school cuts and 100,000 teacher layoffs. Instead of saying Whitman proposes the cuts, the ad now says "Whitman's plan" proposes the cuts, according to CTA spokesman Mike Myslinski.

Listening to the new ad, however, Capitol Alert caught some more substantial changes.

Instead of "Whitman says we should cut another $7 billion from our schools" in the original ad, the new spot says "Whitman's plan could cut another $7 billion from our schools."

The new ad also features in small print the words "Assumes proportional budget cuts."

That's because the union came up with its figures by crunching Whitman's promise to cut $15 billion from the state budget. The union says K-12 and higher education funding makes up about half of the state budget so those areas would naturally be hit by about half of the $15 billion in cuts.

Whitman's campaign has called that assertion a "lie."

The edit, however, was good enough for Comcast, which will start running the ad again Thursday morning, said spokesman Andrew Johnson. Comcast reaches 2 million homes all over Northern California.

"Our legal team reviewed it and it's good to go," Johnson said. "It meets our guidelines and we'll start running it tomorrow."

Whitman spokeswoman Andrea Jones Rivera said, "This ad run by Jerry Brown's union allies continues to be false. Meg's plan to fix California schools would direct more money into the classroom. it would reward outstanding teachers. It would institute a system that grades our schools on an A-to-F scale and eliminate the cap on charter schools. Once again, the CTA gets an F for accuracy on this ad."



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