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Brown camp not investigating Whitman slur

The Jerry Brown (D) campaign tells First Read that it has no plans to investigate who in its campaign used the word "whore" in reference to Republican gubernatorial opponent Meg Whitman.

When asked if they planned to fire the person responsible, campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford said he was uncertain the campaign would even be able to identify the staffer.

"I don't know that it's possible," Clifford said of identifying the person, contending there could have been a dozen or more people close enough to the phone to be heard. And they're not interviewing staffers to find out, he said.

An aide can be heard saying the word in a phone call recorded on a voice mail leaked to the Los Angeles Times. The call was placed by the Brown campaign to a union representative of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, seeking its endorsement. But Brown and the campaign did not hang up the call and the rest of their conversation was recorded on the union representative's voice mail.

News of the call, however, only surfaced last night, following a week of negative press for the Whitman campaign over the ex-eBay CEO's employment of an undocumented worker for nine years in her home. The Brown campaign contends Whitman promised to protect police pensions from potential pension reforms, whereas Brown made no such promise. The Whitman campaign accused the Brown campaign of orchestrating the immigrant lawyer story with lawyer Gloria Allred.

What the staffer said was "inappropriate," Clifford said. But, he added, it's clear it's not Brown who used the word. Clifford said he found it "interesting" that this recording surfaces just three days before their next debate, to be moderated by NBC's Tom Brokaw.