Jerry Brown Goes on Dr. Phil

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Matthew and Laura Eaton appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show last fall to share their story, aided by a video of their three small children accompanying them on a three-day shoplifting binge.

    Attorney General Jerry Brown, the former California governor and current governor hopeful, will be in Los Angeles for an appearance on the Dr. Phil show.

    The official purpose is to talk about prescription drug abuse and his efforts to combat it here in California.  But being on television in such an authoritative role certainly won't hurt his campaign.

    Brown's message to Dr. Phil is true. Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem throughout the country.

    The attorney general's office has investigated more than 200 cases against both physicians who have abused their title and patients who abuse the system. One of those cases was an investigation into a massive San Diego-based prescription drug ring that supplied drugs to former actor Corey Haim. Brown claims the ring operated by ordering prescription drug pads from authorized vendors using stolen identities of physicians. That investigation was linked more than 4,500 fraudulent prescriptions to the drug ring, but only lead to one arrest.

    But he will be telling the good doctor about the problem as both a candidate and a prosecutor and that is where it becomes political.

    Brown has about $14 million in the bank for his campaign, but you would be hard-pressed to prove how he has spent any of it.  Dr. Phil is more free advertising for Brown -- one of the perks of  being an elected official while running  for higher office.

    His top Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, has to spend her own money for air time.  Whitman is on a record-breaking spending spree -- her campaign just reported she has spend $46 million so far.  That breaks down to $249 a minute.  Dr. Phil doesn't even make that kind of coin.

    Today's gig will give Brown the equivalent time of several ads -- and it won't cost him a penny.

    For the record: Whitman's GOP rival, Steve Poizner, has given his campaign $19 million of his own money and has $14 million left in his campaign war chest. Poizner says he plans to spend most of his funds on an ad blitz in the last weeks before the June primary.