tv NBC Bay Area News Decision 2010 NBC October 12, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
decision 2010, the road to the state house. the exchanges have been fiery. >> you have blamed her, blamed me -- >> a political stunt. the ads have been nasty. >> governor jerry brown again? >> meg whitman's nose keeps growing. >> meg whitman and jerry brown if a virtual tie tonight. >> the stage is set for a history-making moment, and it all comes down to tonight, the final debate. and you are looking live right now at dominican university's n angelical
broadcast throughout the entire staff california. good evening, i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm tom sinkovitz. the debate set to begin in 30 minutes. the audience has filed in to the auditorium now, the candidates are prepared as they're going to be. tom brokaw, the moderator, will be on stage shortly. as this final debate is taking place on this intimate campus that was founded back in 1890, today it is a place of higher learning for about 2,000 students. >> and we've got unprecedented access. we have a team inside, and on top of that we have our nbc bay area news reporters stationed throughout the entire campus covering every single aspect of what's going to be happening in tonight's debate. not only the issues and topics but the impact that it has to california and the voters. and we even have protesters out here to mix it up, tom. >> part of the education here at dominican university, that's for sure. >> and nbc bay area's garvin thomas is inside the debate awedgens. we have jodi hernandez with us
and vicky nguyen on the ground to talk about jerry brown and meg whitman, as well. >> and this will be the last time both candidates share a stage before the november election. nbc news veteran tom brokaw is the moderator tonight, the sole moderator on stage. he's going to join us with a behind-the-scenes look at the debate. and nbc's deputy political director mark murray will also join us with insight on both campaigns and the impact potentially of tonight's debate. >> so where do we stand going into this debate? we know that every vote counts, and the candidates certainly know that, too. especially aware of that this evening with a new poll just released that proves that. want to show you what it looks like. of 670 likely california voters polled, 47% say they'd vote for brown. 43% support whitman. of course, that poll has a margin of error of 3.9%, which basically means that it's neck in neck. 2% say they're still undecided, but other polls show that that margin of undecided voters is
much bigger than that. so really tonight could be the make it or break it night for each one of those candidates as those undecided voters hear what the candidates have to say and decide which one is for them. >> it's the independents who have held sway for a long time now in this state. both candidates have a rich bay area history, and certainly strong ties to the community. we're going to begin with meg whitman, formerly as we all know, ceo of ebay. a fiscal conservative, a moderate to conservative on social issues. she worked for a san francisco consulting firm as well as disney and hasbro before she retired as ceo of ebay. she wants to cut state spending by an additional $15 billion and reduce the state work force by 17%. she has been criticized for her spotty voting record, only recently registering as a republican. if whitman wins, she would be the first woman to serve as governor of california.
so nbc bay area's vicky nguyen joins us live with the details on meg whitman and what she has to prove to voters tonight. >> reporter: tom, she is certainly within striking distance. she is fresh off the endorsement from the california statewide law enforcement association, as well as the reverend samuel rodriguez, president of the nation's largest latino christian organization. but her laser focus will be on the economy and her plan to create two million jobs. >> thank you -- $140 million. 20 months on the stump. countless campaign ads. >> californians want californian to be great again -- >> reporter: now just three weeks remain until voters decide between meg whitman and jerry brown. >> i am benefited by having run a very large organization. ebay was an $8 billion company with 15,000 people. i actually know how to utilize technology to do more with less. i know how to lead, and most
importantly, i know how to hire. >> reporter: the 54-year-old former ebay ceo has said she wants to run california like a business. but in new ads she's also said she knows -- >> i know government isn't a business, and it shouldn't be. >> reporter: with a net worth of $1.3 billion, she's been branded queen end in by labor groups, and she's still dealing with housekeepergate. >> she treat me as if i was not a human being. >> reporter: the october surprise arrived a couple days early when her fired housekeeper went before the press. the undocumented worker claims she has documents showing whitman knew she was working here illegally, but only fired her once she decided to run for office. >> i made the hardest decision i have almost made in my life, which was to let her go. >> reporter: but whitman is firing back against her and opponent brown. >> a political stunt. and i think you should be shamed -- putting jerry brown in
charge of negotiating around pentag pensions, around how many we have in state government is like putting count dracula in charge of the blood bank. >> reporter: now with only a few minutes before her third and final debate, whitman is looking to gather momentum in the homestretch of her bid for california's top job. ♪ >> reporter: we expect this to be the liveliest of the three debates. our moderator, tom brokaw, has leeway to ask as many followup questions as he sees fit. he will keep any heated discussions going. we'll be watching the debate with student here at dominican and will bring you their reconciliati reaction at 11:00. >> all right. vicky nguyen watching meg whitman closely tonight. thank you. >> let's talk about jerry brown now. obviously the democratic candidate, a well-known name in california. he's a lifetime career politician. born in san francisco. he attended st. ignatius high school, then studied at santa clara university. brown as many know intended to be -- he wanted to be a seminary, a catholic priest. but he changed his mind and
entered u.c. berkeley. he's always had a fascination with religion and a deep thinker. he at 72 years old, jerry brown is currently the attorney general. he's served as oakland's mayor from 1999 to 2007. brown spent two terms in california -- as california's governor, from 1975 to 1983. obviously if he wins in november, it will be his third time at the state house. now because he served as governor before the passage of term limits, he is eligible to serve a third term. the whitman camp says brown is a sacramento insider who won't change what's wrong with sacramento. and joining us now you is nbc bay area's jodi hernandez. i know you spent time with brown talking to him about what he hopes to get out of this evening. >> reporter: as you know, jerry brown loves the debate setting. he is very comfortable debating the issues. and his campaign manager says expect to hear him talk from the heart and from the head tonight. he says brown is ready to show he's the real deal. jerry, how you feeling? >> good.
thank you. >> reporter: brown told me he feels really good when he arrived to the debate hall just after 4:00 this afternoon. he appeared calm and relaxed with his wife by his side. his dad says he's very well versed on the issues, and he's ready to show it. >> i've been preparing my whole life for this job that i'm now seeking. >> reporter: with two terms as governor, two statewide offices and even a few bids for president under his belt, jerry brown says no one's more qualified to take on the state's challenges. >> i can tell you since i've done this job before, there's no school for governors. other than being governor. >> nobody knows california politics, american public policy like jerry brown. >> reporter: political analysts say jerry brown's not only got the resume but the fire in his belly for the job. cal east bay political science editor carl ballgins says no one
knows the issues better. >> he's mastered public policy. he understands more than any elected official of energy policy, why it is important, why it's the central issue. environmental policy, water policy, what was bad about welfare policy. he is the true maverick. >> reporter: while brown's not afraid to say how he feels, what some see as his greatest strength can also be his biggest weakness. [ bleep ] >> reporter: the audiotaped sexist slur uttered by a campaign aide during what brown thought was a private conversation has dogged him for days. experts say another slip of the tongue during the final stretch of the campaign could be disastrous. >> he doesn't edit himself. and i'm always cowerious when i hear him, is he going to be over the top, is he going to say something just too honest for -- to say out loud why campaign managers are running end in, no
one runs jerry. he says what he thinks. he says it every time. >> reporter: again, brown's staff says they realize that tonight the debate is very important with just three weeks to go. they feel that more people will be watching this debate, and they believe that's going to help jerry brown. >> one of the criticisms from the whitman camp is that the candidate, jerry brown, hasn't addressed himself or apologized personally, jerry brown, for that comment made by an aide. to we expect to see anything like that tonight? >> reporter: i asked his campaign manager just that, and i clearly expect that issue to come up tonight. and he says that jerry brown is prepared for that. he says expect to hear him apologize again, and then move on. >> okay. >> jody hernandez, thank you very much. as for the candidates, they are backstage preparing. they are, as we pointed out, inside andw dan gelical hall.
on stage, that's a small image, but i'm going to is aassume that that is the president of dominican university, joseph think, who is welcoming a lot of people to angelical hall. essentially he said over the weeks this he think this is going to be a real political sciences lesson for his many students who are majoring in that field here on campus. the candidate will be on stage moments before 6:30, tom brokaw is also going to be speaking to the audience tonight. which is made up of students and vip guest who include senator dianne feinstein, representative lynn woolsy, debra bowen, secretary of state, john chambers is the ceo of cisco, and nbc bay area's garvin thomas is on the ground floor with backstage details for us. >> reporter: jess and tom, one of the interesting thing about the debate is they asked the audience here to be in their seats by 5:30. an hour before the debate began. so what you have are some heavy hitters in california politics sitting around for an hour,
waiting around with nothing to do but talk to each other. could be as entertaining as the debate. now as to what folks want to hear about, we have a gentleman here, director of the field hall. mark, we've heard a lot from these candidates about each other on tv. what does the voter want to hear now? >> well, they'd like to know how the state's going to get out of the budget mess that we're in. and neither candidate really has fully addressed that. they're dancing around the issue. it's a hard one to address because really it's really administering pain. whether you're going to make budget cuts or tax increases, not something voters really like to hear. so the candidates are avoiding it. >> specifics is what the voter wants to hear, but you don't expect that's what they'll get? >> i doubt it. and i think they'll probably try to focus on the weaknesses of the other candidates which is what we've been hearing the last two or three weeks. so i think that's probably going to be more of the same. >> director of the field poll. thanks for joining us. enjoy the debate. a final word on the format of the debate. tom brokaw, moderator, of course, will ask questions.
the candidate has 90 seconds to respond. there is 30 seconds allowed for rebutted and followup but only if the moderator thinks it's necessary. that's the latest from inside the debate hall, tom and jess, back to you. >> thank you very much, garvin. want to give you another quick, live look inside what's happening inside angelical hall. the debate a few minutes away. tom brokaw is getting ready, as are the candidates. and joining us from the brown campaign is sterling clifford to talk a little about what we can expect tonight. so what are we going to see from jerry brown? and what are we going to hear new that we didn't hear in the previous two debates? >> well, a lot of that's going to depend on mr. brokaw and the questions he asks. i think his reputation is in-depth questioning, part of the reason both campaigns are here. obviously we're going to talk about some recent developments in the campaign. i think you'll hear more detail about jerry brown's plans for the -- fixing the budget. his plans for turning around california's economy. and bringing california back to
prosperity. >> what's the main message that jerry wants to get to those undecided voters that still haven't decided whether he's their man? >> that he has the experience, the knowledge, and the independence to turn california around and to make a breakthrough in sacramento. >> speaking of turning around, how does he turn back that staffer comment likening meg whitman to a lady of the night, to put it respectfully? >> obviously that was inappropriate language and not something that's really consistent with the way we want to run our campaign. steve glaser, our campaign manager's, apologized, and we're ready to move on. >> sterling clifford of the brown campaign. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> again, the latest polls shows brown leading among women who are likely to vote despite the release of that phone conversation. and that's something that we will deal with as we move along. >> we're also -- we want to let you know that we are going to be talking to a spokesperson from the whitman campaign. we'll be live streaming the debate on the web site, nbcbayarea.com. click on "watch live" on the home page.
that will take you you to the debate instantly once it does get started. below, you have a live stream. you can join the conversation as we'll be live tweeting. and you can follow us on twitter and at propzero. e-mail us your thoughts, the subject, obviously, debate. we'll have your reaction on post debate news coverage, as well. the final gubernatorial debate just about 15 minutes away now. and things are certainly heated up just a short time ago. one candidate was being led away. we'll tell you what that was all about. >> and tom brokaw, the vet newsman, has known every governor in california personally since 1966. he'll be moderating the debate tonight. how will he get the candites to be candid? we go one on one with him before the debate gets started. >> we are broadcasting live outside angelical hall. as we go to break, we asked voters what they're l foongkior in california's next governor. >> looking for someone that's
welcome back. you are watching nbc bay area news as we host the final debate at dominican university. it will begin at 6:30. we've got 12 minutes now. we'll be live streaming it on our home page, nbcbayarea.com, and click on "watch live." >> and obviously this is the final chance for the candidates have to go head to head. nbc bay area's vicky nguyen is standing by live with a little more about what we can expect this evening. also there the different protesters and all the different types of people that are here this evening. >> reporter: jess, what is a debate without some excitement? we have several dozen protesters just off the way. you can hear them from the set. we also have our first arrest of
the night, and it was none other than green party candidate laura weldon. it happened there. we spotted the commotion and followed her as she was escorted out by campus police. now her representative -- a representative from her party has confirmed that she was arrested. we have a photo of her being put in the back of a squad car. our understanding is that she was not invited, although laura wells claims that she was given an invitation to this event. she -- you can hear her passionately speaking her mind. [ inaudible ] >> joining us now you is rob sussman, the political adviser on the meg whitman campaign. he's joining us now to discuss what we're going to hear from whitman before -- obviously as we talk before. what are we going to hear tonight? what are the chief -- one of the chief complaints is that she seems very scripted.
she stays on message, and we really don't know the real meg whitman yet. are we going to a different person? >> i think end in communicates warmly, and she'll communicate as she has in the other debates about her plan to create jobs in the state. plan for two million new jobs in her first term, also about fixing sacramento. a chance for us to draw the sharp contrast. if you want to fix sacramento, don't send a career politician like jerry brown. send somebody with fresh idea, different life experience like meg whitman. >> excuse me, jessica. a poll after the nikki diaz incident suggested that end in was beginning to fall behind jerry brown to a certain extent because of the incident involving the staffer's comment about meg whitman. do you think that is pretty much neutralized now you? is that going to help meg whitman? >> well, i think the race finally now comes back to issues. each campaign has had to deal with a bit of crisis in the last couple weeks. now we get to reset, talk about issues. we think unemployment work for us. the state government's broken, and end in has good messages and plans for all of those things. in contrast to a career politician. we're looking forward to getting
back to issues. >> how do you contend with people who say she's spent $121 million of her own money and she's trying to buy people's vote? >> well, like end in says, voters are smarter than that. you have to communicate in the state, big state, very expensive to do so. voters are going to decide who they want. career politician or an outsider with job creation experience. >> and yet jerry brown has about $30 million in the bank. can we expect after the debate that ms. whitman is going to contribute more money to her campaign? does she need more to continue this -- >> we won't get outspent. you make a good point. jerry brown and his union allies are spending tens of millions over the next several weeks. it's not as if he's an unfunded candidate. >> is she still expecting to get the latino vote? >> yes, historic candidate pushing for the latino vote. we'll continue to do that. >> rob sussman, appreciate you stopping by. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. there is certainly a lot the on the line in this debate.
wow. >> yeah. there is a lot on line in this debate, and the pressure is certainly on not only for the candidates but for moderator tom brokaw as well. with so many undecided, people are looking for straight answers from brown and from whitman. we talked to brokaw earlier today about how he plan to manage this debate. >> i've moderated debates that jerry's been in before. he's gone completely off the tracks on me a couple of times, but he's always engaging. eye known end in for quite a while now. she's a ceo's ceo. she got to where she is because she's very focused, goes down the line. and, you know, i'll -- i don't want them to come out of character necessarily, but i do want them to be responsive to these very important issues. >> now the debate is not only important for california, but really the country given that california is the seventh largest economy in the world. the governor's office has paved the way to the white house in the past, and many cultural and
political movement were born here, as well. so brokaw says it will make for a lively debate for anyone to watch. but even more exciting for voter who decide who goes to the state house. >> this particular campaign really is an jackpot of american politics -- an intersection of american politics. jerry's been in politics his entire career. meg whitman who didn't even vote in california for most of the election cycles is a pure product of one of the most exciting economic developments in the nation's history, which is dot-krr -- dot-com and silicon valley. she has an attitude about what the state needs that is contrary that to what jerry has in mind. that's what makes great tension, and an important, if you will, climate for voters to make a choice in. >> and tom brokaw says that he wants to address the cynicism, so many voters don't really
think anything is going to change no matter who you put in the state house. and that special interest groups say -- it's playing such a part in this election, he says he really wants to see if he can get beyond that so that voters can hear some real messages or something that speaks to them. >> that's the challenge because both candidates intend to get certain messages across. he's going to have to put up the metal, for sure. where do the candidates stand on controversial proposition is? >> and prop 8, votersed passed it but a judge overturned it. now it's headed to the appeals court. where do the candidates stand? >> we're live on the campus of dominican university, of course, where the final gubernatorial debate now just minutes away. as we go to break, bay area voters, again, weigh in on what's important to them. >> someone that, first of all, honest. somee who canring more jobs to this area.
gerston is joining us you. you've been watching this closely. the last debate very much dominated by the nikki santigan story. do we think that it will play as big a part in this debate? >> i think they're going address both problems, both faux pas. the main issue, what came out of the brown campaign, in the another -- in the end, it comes down to this. brown must motivate the base, period. she must get to independent voter because democrats outnumber republicans 44-31. put it all aside, and that's what has to happen more than anything else. >> okay. given all the money that's been spent in this campaign, they're virtually evening, who has the most to lose tonight, larry? >> you know, whitman had the most to lose simply because she is the challenger because he is the incumbent de facto if you will and he's the person because of that may have a more gubernatorial appearance. she has to score big. he can't blow it. they both have something to lose
that way. >> obama is coming to the state later this month. can he help brown energize the democratic base? >> both obama and clinton will be there to energize the base. democrats need a big turnout, whitman needs the independents. >> larry gerston, you'll be back to break it down and talk about what the candidates had to say. thanks for being with us. we want to look at how the candidates stand on some of the more controversial issues in front of voters. let's start with prop 19. brown and whitman are again the measure to legalize marijuana. that would make it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to agree, buy, or own pot. in 1996, california of the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana. age may play a big role in prop 19. young voters seem to likely vote for it more. >> the candidates do have a different take on suspending california's landmark global warming bill, prop 23. it would ignore the greenhouse gas emissions cap until unemployment drops to 5.5% for a full year. brown is against prop 23.
whitman, a little more ambiguous. she has dodged the issue before announcing a few weeks ago that she is against it, but she plan to suspend the cap for two years if she is in office. >> and what -- tonight's debate is really a multimedia event. lots of different things happening. not only are we streaming it on the web, not only are we on tv, but of course you have to add twitter to this factor. it now plays a factor in everything. nbc bay area's diane dwyer joins us to talk about the tweets and how you can be part of our coverage with this. diane? >> reporter: all about tweets these days. there are all kinds of ways you can join in the conversation, share your opinions during the debate. go to our web site, nbcbayarea.com, on the left you can click on some link about tom brokaw and some other things there. you can also click here, on the faces of jerry brown and meg whitman. and that will take you to our debate web headquarters. one you're there, you'll be able to watch live streaming video from the debate right here in this video box.
another option, scroll on down the page a little bit. here we go. come on. there it is. you can share your thoughts on the debate as it happens, we're having a few technical difficulty. there's plenty of people already here sharing their thoughts on the candidates at nbcbayarea.com. we'll have our political analyst tweeting all of his opinion. all there at nbcbayarea.com. for now, the debate is about to begin. let's send it back. >> that means you've got to get your fingers going. get them ready. exercised for this debate. it's almost time for the candidates to head on stage. stay with us. after the debate, we'll have in-depth post analysis. larry will be with us, we'll find out how voters feel about the candidates, what they heard, and what message they heard. we'll also have nbc's deputy political director with us also for analysis. >> and indeed we will. again,a we say, this is the third and final debate tonight. this is the last chance for the candidates to influence a statewide audience. this is, in fact, the first time that a debate is being broadcast
statewide. so much is on the line. tom brokaw, the sole moderator for tonight's debate. he is ready to begin the debate in just a minute. and we will join that debate when we return. >> we are one mi awaom the nafibate. [ male announcer ] taxes. so who called prop 13 a "fraud" and a "rip off?" jerry brown. who raised the gas tax as governor, and pushed for higher sales taxes? jerry brown. who tried five times to raise property taxes in oakland? jerry brown. who supported higher statewide income taxes?