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Brown, Whitman spar on spending

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Brown, Whitman spar on spending
California Attorney General Jerry Brown arrives for the 20th annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Jan. 24, 2009. (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen) | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, June 9 (UPI) -- The two major party candidates for governor of California opened the general election campaign Wednesday with sharp words on spending and education.

State Attorney General Jerry Brown, who easily won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary, held a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday and said Republican nominee Meg Whitman's campaign stance on waste and abuse is at odds with her record as chief executive officer of the online auction site eBay.

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"She paid herself $120 million, and then EBay had to lay off 10 percent of its workforce," Brown said. "Now, is that waste and abuse? Is that what you want?"

Brown -- who served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983 -- also questioned Whitman's expenditure of $71 million of her own money on her campaign to date, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Whitman only has a history of spending money wildly to get whatever she wants," Brown said.

"When I was governor of California, we built up the largest surplus in history -- $4.5 billion. We created 1.9 million jobs. We reduced taxes by billions, OK?"

Whitman has accused Brown, as mayor of Oakland, of being responsible for California's takeover of Oakland schools but Brown said the school board was at fault.

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Whitman said Wednesday Brown has not been as specific as she has in communicating policy proposals to voters.

"What I would say is Jerry Brown, instead of calling for debates, he should lay out his plan for California," she said, noting she has issued a 48-page book detailing her proposals.

"Go to Jerry Brown's Web site, there's nothing there," she said. "He ought to put a specific plan down, and then we can have a good debate."

Whitman, a political neophyte, claimed victory in California's Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday and Carly Fiorina won the GOP Senate nomination.

Fiorina, also a political newcomer, defeated former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell and state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. Fiorina, a former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who also recorded a phone message that went out to California Republicans during the campaign, the Los Angeles Times said.

Fiorina will challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in November. Boxer faced no serious opposition in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

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