Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown have been short on important specifics so far, but their contest has heated up with accusations of using TV spots to lie. Did Brown really raise taxes when he was governor 35 years ago? What does Bill Clinton have to do with it? Do Whitman's plans to reduce spending really mean cutting $7 billion from education? Who's setting the agenda, and who's on defense? In a close race, is either candidate reaching the Independents who will decide the election? Also, will the LA City Council approve tough new rules on accepting free tickets to public events? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, there are 2.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines in the United States, enough to circle the Earth a hundred times. Last week's deadly explosion near San Francisco raises a troubling question: are Americans living with unacceptable risk?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Last week a natural gas explosion killed at least 4 people, injured many more and destroyed more than 37 homes in a quiet neighborhood of San Bruno, a suburb of San Francisco. Pacific Gas and Electric's 30-inch gas distribution pipe that exploded had been installed underground in 1956, some years before the houses were constructed. PG&E oversees more than 6000 miles of transmission lines in Northern California.
David Eisenhauer, Spokesman, PG&E
Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News (@PaulRogersSJMN)
Jim Hall, former Chairman, NTSB
Carl Weimer, Executive Director, Pipeline Safety Trust
Christina Sames, Vice President Operations and Engineering, American Gas Association
Sidney Shapiro and Rena Steinzor
We'll get to the issues later. Maybe the candidates will, too. In the meantime, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are exchanging accusations of lying in television commercials. The Whitman campaign went back to a moment in 1992 when Brown was running against Bill Clinton in the presidential primaries, and has used that moment in her own TV spot.
California Teachers' Association ad
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has admitted that he's attended dozens of concerts, sports events and award ceremonies for free, and without reference to whether the source of the tickets had business with the city. He says it's all about performing "ceremonial functions." Yesterday the City Ethic's Committee said that's a bad idea and recommended that the City Council impose a ban on the practice by all high-ranking officials. David Zahniser covers city government for the LA Times.