The Drudge Report is headlining that someone from Jerry Brown’s campaign (or possibly Brown himself called Meg Whitman “a whore.” The comment was made during a private conversation that was inadvertently recorded on voicemail.

Obviously, it’s inappropriate to use this term when referring to one’s opponent. It’s offensive, and when used about a woman, is particularly suggestive and demeaning.

But this story is actually more interesting that just sexist name calling. Brown’s campaign didn’t just use the word “whore” as any old nasty name for a woman: they were referring to the fact that Whitman has apparently cut a deal with a police union: she would exempt their pension program from her reform plan, and they endorse her and support her campaign. Brown’s campaign is mad because this is the equivalent of selling government favors and policy in return for support.

This criticism resonates: it is inappropriate to give away taxpayer dollars (this time through the pension system) in return for votes. Yet it’s a little ridiculous to hear such a complaint come from a Democrat since Democrats do all the time, particularly with unions. Unions are voting creating a machines and have been cow-towed to by liberal legislators for decades.

The dynamic has been the worst in the case of public sector unions, since politicians have great control over their compensation packages and can essentially bid for the support of this powerful political group. This is one of the reasons why so many government pension programs are massively underfunded and threat to crush taxpayers in coming years-politicians have been jacking up pensions and benefits as a way to curry favor while passing an often unpayable bill to taxpayers.

The Brown campaign shouldn’t have used the term “whore.” But politicians of all stripes should also stop selling themselves and their policies for political support.