Obama campaigning for Brown?
Brown just let slip that apparently President Obama is coming to California to campaign for him. That's news to us.
The immigration question
Brokaw raised an interesting question to Whitman: "If you couldn't find someone in your home was undocumented or illegal, how do you expect businesses to be able to do that?"
Whitman responded by repeating her support for a strong e-verify system, then launched into her immigration talking points -- including her opposition to the Arizona immigration law.
Brokaw goes after Whitman's voting record
Brokaw offered an opportunity for Whitman to explain ways that she spent her fortune to help California, outside of her campaign.
First, she deflected the question by apologizing for her voting record and spun it into an attack on Brown's union connections.
She briefly mentioned her family foundation, which she said contributed to education and health care causes.
Here comes the w-word
Jerry is getting slugged on the infamous use of the word "whore" by one of his campaign workers. He disputed Brokaw's assertion that calling a woman a whore was equivalent to calling an African American "the n-word," drawing a head-shake from Whitman and boos from the audience.
He followed that up by questioning whether that part of the conversation was recorded legally.
Brokaw once again brought up the issue of shared responsibility when he just asked what responsbility pensioners themselves have in fixing the pension crisis. It seems like he has a theme going here ...
If you don't know which way you're going ...
... any road will take you there, Whitman said (again).
Whitman also drew applause for pointing out that Brown's proposal to cut 10-15 percent of the governor's office budget would amount to less than one-hundreth of one percent of the budget deficit.
Capital gains zinger
Brown drew applause from the audience when he asked Whitman how much money she personally stood to gain if the capital gains tax was repealed.
Whitman shot back with attacks about Brown being a career politician with an anti-jobs record, drawing applause of her own.
Jerry put on the spot about Prop. 13
Asked whether Prop. 13 was sustainable, Brown made the point that although he now supports it, it has led to more centralized control of government in Sacramento. He has made much of the idea that control should be returned to the local level.
Ask not what your country can do for you ...
Both candidates agreed to forgo opening statements, but they still seem to have got hers in during their answers to the first question.
Asked first to tell Californians what kinds of sacrifices they need to make in order to turn the state around, both candidates spoke vaguely about "hard choices" and shared sacrifies.
It begins (6:30 p.m.)
Good news: Brokaw still doesn't look like a patsy. Meg goes first.
Fire up the spin machines and close down the roads.
Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman will be heading down to San Rafael today for their third and final gubernatorial debate – moderated by none other than veteran newsman Tom Brokaw (who, lest you forget, is no patsy.)
Brown and Whitman's first two debates were largely predictable affairs, peppered with frequent barbs, the occasional bit of good humor and at least one massive technical difficulty, just when things were getting good.
Over at our sister site, Politics Verbatim, we've been doing our best to chronicle what the candidates have said about all sorts of subjects since March – something we've found has been very useful for spotting repetition and contradictions as Brown and Whitman think on their toes in their head-to-head face-off.
When we blogged about their first debate two weeks ago in Davis, we found Whitman recycling a few of the same stock phrases she's trotted out this year on the campaign trail. It also helped us flesh out Brown's position on several immigration and budget issues.
We'll be live-blogging the debate tonight as well, but if you're looking for resources to help you put some meaning to what the candidates say, we've been compiling information on where the candidates stand on bigger issues, on top of collecting thousands of raw statements that either Brown or Whitman have said this year on the campaign trail.
For bloggers out there, we've also built this handy widget of recent statements (below left) that you can embed on your Web sites just by copying and pasting the code (below right):
Enjoy the debate, and tune in to Politics Verbatim tonight to get our take on the issues live. The debate will air at 6:30 p.m. on NBC affiliates statewide.