After leaving a voice message for a union official, Jerry Brown chatted with someone who called his opponent Meg Whitman a "whore." "I'm going to use that," Brown responds. Too bad he didn't hang up the phone in between. Updated.

In the beginning of this recording, Democrat Jerry Brown asks an official from Los Angeles' police union for an endorsement. He slams down the phone, but it doesn't hang up. He then discusses with several people how to combat Republican Meg Whitman on the issue of government pensions: "I have been warned if I crack down on pensions... they'll go to Whitman." A male voice interjects, "What about saying she's a whore?" (1:00 in the above clip.) Brown responds, "Well, I'm going to use that. It proves you've cut a secret deal to protect pensions."

The police union gave the tape to the Los Angeles Times, which has the entire recording on their site. It's a bizarre glimpse into Jerry Brown's war room. "I'm a demagogue at heart," he muses. Brown's campaign apologized for their "salty language" and said Brown approved of attacking Whitman's "secret deal," not calling her a "whore." [LAT]

Update: Meg Whitman's campaign responds:

The use of the term 'whore' is an insult to both Meg Whitman and to the women of California. This is an appalling and unforgivable smear against Meg Whitman. At the very least Mr. Brown tacitly approved this despicable slur and he himself may have used the term at least once on this recording.