Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown admitted this morning that Republican rival Meg Whitman's heavy spending is paying off with women voters, as a new Field Poll shows the two candidates tied among women, who traditionally lean Democratic in the state.
Speaking to San Francisco radio station KGO-AM, Brown also said that "the current state salary commission" should be allowed to control the salaries of local officials such as those in the small city of Bell, where the city manager and others were paid salaries that far exceeded what state and federal leaders earn.
On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Bruce Reeves suggested forming an oversight commission to oversee city officials' salaries while speaking to legislators at a Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing.
Brown, however, referred to the "current state salary commission, which has the power to lower the constitutional officers' salary."
"I want that commission to be given the power to be able to set standards for these local officials," Brown said. "The local pay is much higher in many cases than what we see in the state government."
Brown added, "It's very important that we get an independent body that can put the brakes on and, where appropriate, roll back salaries that are not consistent with somebody being a public servant."
When asked about the Field Poll showing Brown and Whitman each winning the support of 41 percent of likely women voters, he replied, "This is amazing. This woman has spent now I think it's $130 million, more than Bloomberg who's coming out to support her and anyone else in the history of the American republic."
Asked whether he was implying Whitman was buying the female vote, he responded, "You want to say bought or paid for or as she likes to say invested. Buying 125,000 commercials, 90 percent of which are negative, it has to have an impact.
"And I just started 10 days ago. So I am very pleased with where we are. We have a very powerful campaign for the next five weeks."
Photo: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown speaks to reporters in Los Angeles in June 2010. (Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee)