Lukewarm LAT endorses Jerry Brown

See which Hollywood heavyweights are throwing him a party

The Los Angeles Times has chosen sides in California's gubernatorial race -- though it wasn't overly enthusiastic about its endorsement.

The newspaper is backing Democratic candidate Jerry Brown over his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, in the Nov. 2 election. But the Times writes that both candidates "fall well short of our current needs."

"We will have to wait for the governor with the talent and courage to shake the state loose from the structural dead-ends into which voters continue to push it," the Times writes.

Brown, the Times argues, has a "nonlinear, unscripted style [that] sometimes leaves his listeners wondering what exactly they’re going to get." He also "jumps far too quickly at the chance to echo populist sentiment," the Times writes.

Whitman, on the other hand, has "disappointing and empty policy approaches and her assertion that having no experience in government is the best experience" and is "a stranger to the political and governmental landscape."

Brown is "not the ideal candidate for California, but what he does bring is the reality-based, seen-it-all-before wisdom of a political veteran."

"Brown offers a different kind of leadership, and although it might not be our first choice, it will do," the Times argues. "Rather than the dynamic leader of new ideas from the 1970s, Brown comes to us now as a sort of grizzled mechanic of the state's failing machinery. He knows which parts can hold out a few more weeks, which rattles can be ignored and how much tension the timing belt can handle before it fails."

Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen are chairing a fund-raising party for Brown next week at Soho House in West Hollywood.

Among those in the industry who are serving as co-chairs are J.J. Abrams, Annette Bening, Warren Beatty, Ari Emanuel, George Lucas, Alan Horn, Rob Reiner and Jimmy Iovine.