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Will Brown aide's slur of Meg Whitman tip California governor's race?

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Jae C. Hong/AP/File

(Read caption) Meg Whitman was the target of 'salty' language by a Jerry Brown campaign aide in a voice mail released Thursday.

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Someone from Jerry Brown’s camp has been caught on tape using an extremely inelegant term to refer to opponent Meg Whitman. Will this remark make a difference in the already-heated California gubernatorial race?

Well, we won’t know for some time whether it has an effect on the polls. The Brown-Whitman contest is already a boiling cauldron of charges and counter-charges, so the airing of the slur may make the tone of the campaign only marginally harsher.

But this slip by a Brown aide may give Whitman a much-needed chance to get past the issue of whether she knowingly employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. For the media there’s a new flap in town – what did Brown know about the use of this language, and how did he respond to it?

That might push the controversy between Whitman and her ex-employee, Nicky Diaz Santillan, out of the headlines for the moment. And with the election now only weeks away, and Democrat Brown opening a slight lead in the polls, even that slight respite might help Whitman, the GOP candidate and ex-eBay CEO.

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