Legal Pad isn’t sure whether to be offended or pleased not to have been among the reporters that AG Jerry Brown’s ex-flak, Scott Gerber, surreptitiously recorded.
Either way, the transcripts (.pdf) of those conversations between Brown and reporters, five of which have been made public by the attorney general’s office, make for some entertaining reading.
At times defensive, more often philosophical, Brown touches on his well-known family’s history, analyzes the governor’s race that he’s still not officially a part of, and mocks Hillary Clinton’s political resume.
"Didn't work with Mother Teresa," after the jump ...
“She didn’t work with Mother Theresa (sic),” a transcript of an April interview between Brown and an AP reporter reads. “She didn’t spend six months working in a Zen Buddhism. She didn’t take Linda Ronstandt (sic) to Africa. She didn’t have her own astronaut. I had Rusty Triker, an astronaut. I put him on the state energy commission.”
Later, he bristles at a reporter’s suggestion that soliciting thousands of dollars in charitable donations from businesses regulated by his office could pose the appearance of a conflict.
“The AG is enforcing environmental, labor, banking education … so you could say we regulate the entire state,” Brown says to a Los Angeles Times reporter. “… So by your logic, then, everyone is a question because the AG can sue anybody, and in fact does.”
A report (.pdf) released Monday night by the attorney general’s office concludes that Gerber acted alone when he recorded reporters’ conversations without their knowledge. Chief Assistant Attorney General Dane Gillette wrote that Gerber had been told in late 2008 by Chief Deputy Attorney General James Humes not to tape phone calls — Gillette doesn’t say what led Humes to issue the directive — but the press secretary did so anyway.
Gillette concludes, however, that Gerber didn’t break any laws because the reporters’ conversations did not constitute “confidential communications” that require a participant’s consent to recording.
Gerber, a former communications director for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was Brown’s third press secretary in as many years.
— Cheryl Miller
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