Jerry Brown Aide Secretly Taped Reporter Calls

Scott Gerber recorded a reporter's calls, potentially violating California phone privacy laws

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Oct 30, 2009  |  Updated 12:45 PM PDT
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Jerry Brown Aide Secretly Taped Reporter Calls

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Jerry Brown has a lot of 'splainin to do after an aide secretly recorded conversations with reporters about possible political favors for a campaign donor.

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Scott Gerber, a spokesperson for Attorney General Jerry Brown's office, has admitted to secretly taping phone calls between Brown and a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle.

The taped conversation was an interview between Brown and reporter Carla Marinucci where the two discussed allegations that as Attorney General Brown changed the language on a ballot measure to benefit a campaign donor.

Brown's office omitted the fact that the measure might raise auto insurance premiums for many Californians.

Brown had raised $13,000 from insurance company Mercury General, which supports the measure.

In California, it is illegal to record a conversation unless everyone knows the conversation is being recorded and have consented, something you might think an Attorney General might know.

Gerber further admitted to secretly recording calls with other reporters as well.

Pundits are chiming in that it bears a striking resemblance to former President Richard Nixon's practice of recording conversations in the Oval Office.

However, in Nixon's defense, that was at least technically legal.

Jackson West wonders why Gerber thought it was a good idea to correct the record by presenting a transcript to the very organization he was secretly taping.

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