Dirty tricks in California governor race

Malkin’s all over it and has links galore.

Here’s the gist of it:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The campaign of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Democratic rival acknowledged Tuesday that it downloaded – and leaked to the media – a recording of a private meeting in which the governor described a Hispanic legislator as having a “very hot” personality.

But Cathy Calfo, campaign manager for Democrat Phil Angelides, said the campaign had done nothing wrong because the file was available publicly on the governor’s Web site.

“No one hacked,” Calfo said at a news conference to address the role played by the Angelides campaign, first reported by The Sacramento Bee. “They accessed information that was available to the public.”

Schwarzenegger spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said someone would have had to snoop to find the audio file.

“The file that was leaked to the Los Angeles Times was in a private area of the governor’s server not accessible to the public without manipulation of information,” he said.

Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary, Andrea Lynn Hoch, said the sound file was stored in a password-protected area. She said she forwarded the Internet Protocol address used to download the file to the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating.

Calfo said she was unhappy that two campaign staffers had passed the audio clip to the Times without her knowledge. Angelides did not know about it, either, she said.

“We’re looking into it now,” she said. “Am I happy? No.”

They won’t be happy in November, either.

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