Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

In California, Whitman celebrates GOP nomination for governor while attacking Brown

By Sandhya Somashekhar

Former eBay chief Meg Whitman on Tuesday won a swift and decisive victory in the Republican primary for California governor, pitting her against former governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown in what is likely to be a bitter fight to lead a state in crisis.

Whitman, 53, poured $71 million of her own money into her campaign for the nomination against Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, making it the costliest primary fight in California history. A newcomer to politics with a spotty voting record, Whitman is trying to leverage her business background to show she can manage a state grappling with a $20 billion budget deficit.

"Career politicians in Washington and Sacramento be warned, because you now face your worst nightmare: two businesswomen from the real world who know how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things done," she told the crowd gathered at a Hilton ballroom at Universal Studios. Her comment also referred to former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who on Tuesday won the GOP nod to challenge U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) in November.

Whitman's victory was widely expected. She took the stage around 9:30 p.m. joined by about two dozen of her "VIP" supporters and against an elaborate backdrop that proclaimed, "Jobs are on the way."

Her speech was one part celebration and one part sharp take-down of Brown. Despite this year's anti-establishment mood nationally, Brown has cast himself as a veteran politician whose decades of experience in state and local politics will allow him to tame a state budget run amok. But Whitman characterized it as a "40-year record of politics-as-usual. I say California can do better."

Brown, 72, who serves as state attorney general, took a jab of his own on Neil Cavuto's Fox Business Network program shortly before polls closed: "Do you hire somebody who ... says, 'Hey, I woke up one morning, I have this money, I think I'll be governor'?"

Whitman enters the general election race somewhat damaged from a bruising fight with Poizner. She was forced to the ideological right on several issues, including illegal immigration. She has already been the subject of harsh criticism for her lavish spending on the campaign trail. But she tried to spin the critiques into strengths, arguing during her victory speech that she's now "battle-tested" and that her self-financing simply means, "I don't owe anyone anything. My opponent can't say that, can he?"

She must also convince voters that she will do a better job than the last candidate to make that self-financing argument: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a registered Republican whose approval ratings have plummeted. At Whitman's election night party, supporters said that despite his Hollywood bank account, Schwarzenegger had become beholden to unions. They hoped Whitman would be different.

"You never know what you get until the person takes the oath of office," said Ira Forkish, an insurance broker from Irvine. "We hope that she won't go the same way, but we don't know. Jerry Brown certainly will."

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  June 9, 2010; 2:41 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Whitman will face challenge on immigration issue in California general election
Next: Nevada Senate: Reid still has a fight on his hands

Comments

As a shareholder in HP under Fiorina I lost plenty as she drove the company into the ditch, then collected a huge golden parachute. So no only is she incompetent as a leader, she also believes in personal corporate bail outs.

Posted by: ssterno | June 13, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Any political candidate that brags about "busting unions" and, base their qualifications for public office on making billions by taking advantage of gullible consumers, and align themselves with tea-baggers, is not my kind of candidate. Meg Whitman would not be good for California. Yuck! No way, no Whitman.

Posted by: KLTLUVRLT1 | June 10, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Based upon my first hand experience, viewing the activities of the California Legislature's Democrat majority, and its legislative committee members activities, over two legislative sessions, AS A PERSON LOBBYING FOR DEMOCRAT/ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES, I have to say that the majority of the California Legislature's Democrat members are profoundly corrupt, morally, intellectually, and in terms of who finances their campaigns. The vast majority of the Democratic majority will sell their own Democrat constituents down the river for a buck.

As a result, when Gray Davis was recalled, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor, I had some hope that Arnie could use his celebrity and some "macho b.s." to get the crooked Democrats to take the public relations advantage and "photo op" of being Arnie's macho buddies, to impress their constituents, and that Democratic majority legislators straighten themselves out.

Instead, the majority corrupt Democrats had no interest in being "macho good guys" and simply continued the same garbage which had occurred in previous years. The State of California's finances, liveability and future has become all the worse, not for lack of the Governator's trying, but because of the morally and intellectual corrupt Democrats who control its Legislature.

So now this crazy woman, Meg Whitman, has spent more than $80 Million of her own money to get herself the Republican nomination to run for Governor. The woman is naive and delusional. If Ms. Whitman had bothered to go and observe the Legislature's committees in action, she would have realized that she was and is wasting her time and money. Ms. Whitman will accomplish nothing as Governor of California. In fact, she will accomplish less than Governor Schwarzenegger, because in large part the Democrats in control of the Legislature are chauvinist males.

Ms. Whitman's $80 Million would have been better spent running campaigns to destroy the Democrat majority in the California Legislature. I say that as a progressive Democrat.

And as to the beloved, cerebral Jerry Brown's chances of accomplishing anything with the California Legislature, as Governor, good luck to him. He will quickly be told by the crooked Democrats in the Legislature to shut up and stay in his office...which he will probably do.

Attorney General Brown was a huge disappointment to the progressive community, not prosecuting meaningful environomental cases, meaningful political corruption cases, nor meaningful securities fraud cases like the Attorneys General of New York have done. In reality, it is hard to understand exactly what, if anything, Attorney General Brown accomplished in the last 4 years.

California is a hopeless, disfunctional, insolvent banana republic. Maybe, if the U.S. asks nicely, Mexico or Canada will take it off our hands.


Posted by: Jennifer555 | June 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't say that Californians remember but I do. Wasn't it Brown who was blamed for the mess California was in when they elected Arnold to fix it? Unfortunately, Arnold showed himself to be a RINO over time. So, why would Californians want Brown redux. Whitman should be given a chance.

As for Boxer, I believe you should give Fiorina a chance to voice her positions and listen to them. Boxer's crew in Washington has made quite a mess of things so far.

Incumbents beware as the populace is angry about what you and your cohorts have done.

Posted by: gfafblifr | June 9, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh. Most of the comments about the Califa election are totally lacking in any real knowledge of Califa. They're full of cliches about taxes and spending and unions. Blahblahblah.

I'm not holding my breath that Jerry Brown will do much different, but he'd certainly be much better than the bozo running against him. I like the idea of her giving her gazillions to the State instead of spending the money on her election.

Until Prop. 13 is revamped, cutting out the gigantic tax breaks for businesses, this state will be in a perpetual state of crisis. I'm all for the personal property tax savings for ordinary citizens, but corporations are not ordinary citizens.

The 2/3 vote for passage of bills in the legislature is also a big mistake.

Well, at least Californians came to their senses about something this election! They voted down Prop. 16! Huzzah!

Posted by: oakjoan | June 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Brown just challenged Meg to ten townhall meetings. Will she take him up on it? At her own risk.

Barbara Boxer just challenged "Carly" to a debate. Will she take her up on it? At her own risk.
Barb's delivery may be a little rough, but her truth will break Carly back down into the Polymer Sellout Republican we've all come to despise.
No more paying politicians to work for corporate interests and against the American public.

Posted by: ThePoliticalStraycom | June 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Brown just challenged Meg to ten townhall meetings. Will she take him up on it? At her own risk.

Barbara Boxer just challenged "Carly" to a debate. Will she take her up on it? At her own risk.
Barb's delivery may be a little rough, but her truth will break Carly back down into the Polymer Sellout Republican we've all come to despise.
No more paying politicians to work for corporate interests and against the American public.

Posted by: ThePoliticalStraycom | June 9, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Brown just challenged Meg to ten townhall meetings. Will she take him up on it? At her own risk.

Barbara Boxer just challenged "Carly" to a debate. Will she take her up on it? At her own risk.
Barb's delivery may be a little rough, but her truth will break Carly back down into the Polymer Sellout Republican we've all come to despise.
No more paying politicians to work for corporate interests and against the American public.

Posted by: ThePoliticalStraycom | June 9, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Liberals and the unions control this state and they deserve what they get. There broke

Posted by: farmsnorton | June 9, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The problem is, most flaky Californians don't know or even care about the horrendous economic problems California's facing. That's the biggest hurdle.

Posted by: ohioan | June 9, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Americans have short memories. Does the name "Governor Moonbeam" ring a bell. Brown was off center the first time he was Governor. What makes you think he's all grown up now? I wonder if he will marry Linda Ronstadt this time?

Posted by: Bockscar | June 9, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

WOW, memories sure are short. Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina both weren't total successes as CEO's. Doing business with Whitman back in her short lived career at EBAY was an absolute nightmare. She blew more great growth opportunities for that company than the two deals she made during her tenure. Don't forget her stock SPINNING days with Goldman Saks. A practice that was highly unethical when she did it and is illegal now. Makes Martha Stewart look like a girl scout with her insider trading. And Carly...hmmmm, let's see, wasn't she FIRED from HP. We have two women who are trying to buy their way into California offices. They will have control of our tax dollars. With the way they are spending obscene amounts of money in this campaign doesn't that say it all? Do your homework people.

Posted by: fortheartz | June 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Whitman & Fiorina can both draw on their business experience to fix an all too broken California economy.Both have had to make the hard choices real businesses demand and do so living under the microscope of press review and shareholder demands.Both have learned what accountability means. The Dems offer us 2 caustic candidates:
the other world Jerry Brown who has spent more time in dreamland than in reality and who will only spend more than California can afford and the tired old Ms Boxer.

Whitman & Fiorina should follow the Mike Bloomberg model of the confident successful businessperson who can bring those experiences to regain control over government and do away with failed policies, programs & institutions which merely drain the state's already depleted resources.

In reading some of the comments here, I already detect that classic double standard applied to successful women which would never be applied to a man in a similar situation.Sad to say that sexism is alive & well in the "minds" of these bitter posters.

Posted by: arnnyc | June 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dear Sirs,
I don't remember either Meg Whitman or Fiorina ever denounce Wall Street.
President Ronald Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, was indicted on charges of stock fraud when his company declared bankruptcy within a week of his resignation!
Business as usual?
Clifford Spencer

Posted by: yankeefan1925 | June 9, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Business woman this
Buy the election that
Governor moonbeam this
Rich white women that
Blah, blah, blah
Yada, yada, yada
AD NAUSEUM

The bottom line* is California must stop spending money it doesn’t have! This ain’t nuclear physics, sports fans! So when do the silly socialists catch a clue?

Tea Party!

*IS THE BOTTOM LINE!

Posted by: sosueme1 | June 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Washington post readers, before you state off the cuff opinions, be wise and do the following.

Watch and see, prior to judging this California Govenor, let us actually see if this opulent businesswoman can actually play in the political arena. We have already seen the damage of one millionaire's inability to manage the 6th largest economy in the world. Yes, he was nearly a complete failure in all facets of this position. This next one will face serious problems in this state. California is now a state where ignorant opinions flourish, where the average child is undereducated, where millions of dollars are spent each year on such things as figuring out why trees don't grow in the concrete jungle of LA, or creating ladders for salmon to swim up stream and allowing illegal immigrants to have better access to resources than US citizens do.

She faces a HUGE very uneducated, self righteous, opinionated front. As a resident of California, I hope she helps rather than detracts.

TRULY!

Posted by: Twaddling | June 9, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

OK - Meg Whitman I can see why her voters would be duped. I don't like her politics and I think eBay is a joke because of her - but I think she's electable.

But Carly Fiorina? Please tell me this is a bad dream! How?????? I can only speculate there are enough people who don't know anything about her stint at HP to nominate this woman.

Because of her anti-social tendencies, she will need to embrace a Palin strategy and just cry victim everytime she hits a bump. And there are enough voters who know nothing and will simply be inspired by a female ex-CEO and who will run to defend her. Even though she's quite possibly the worst female ex-CEO ever. (Well, Marge Schott or that other crazy lady who owned the Rams could give her a run)

Posted by: MollieKaye | June 9, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

California is the U.S.'s "Greece".
You have to do things differently to get yourselves out of the mess you're in, you need different leadership across the board.
"More of the same" won't cut it.

Posted by: ohioan | June 9, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

TIMNGUYEN1,

Posted by: ApostasyUSA | June 9, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You sound like a hateful little propagandist. Say hi to the Chenney's for me!

Please wanna know what 100 million can get you? Just ask the Republican Party's new candidates for Senate and CA Gov.

You Republicans toe tappers can go suck an egg as far as I'm concerned. None of you hacks even batted an eye when GW and freinds sold the White House to the highest bidder.

Now you want me to blame Obama for passing a Healthcare bill? Last time I checked, many of the long list of accomplishments of the Democrats over the last two years are good for Americans and are in place to protect us from the burdens of greed and incompetence.

The government will have to be run by people who care about regulating. Republicans don't want regulation and they will tell that to your face. So why would I vote for a Republican? So they can put people in regulatory bodies that could care less about regulating in the name of protecting average Americans?

No thank you.

Democrats will get my vote for years to come.

Posted by: ApostasyUSA | June 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, California's been "run by Unions", yes, run into the ground by unions, run into bankruptcy by irresponsible unions who promised service workers a ridiculous pension and benefit program the state can't even afford; and an education system that's a joke.. lead by people like the L.A. head of board of education who's pushing her brand of politics, and her opinion about illegal immigration on children.
Get the Flakes out of California and the state will prosper.

Posted by: ohioan | June 9, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

You sound like a hateful little propagandist. Say hi to the Chenney's for me!

Please wanna know what 100 million can get you? Just ask the Republican Party's new candidates for Senate and CA Gov.

You Republicans toe tappers can go suck an egg as far as I'm concerned. None of you hacks even batted an eye when GW and freinds sold the White House to the highest bidder.

Now you want me to blame Obama for passing a Healthcare bill? Last time I checked, many of the long list of accomplishments of the Democrats over the last two years are good for Americans and are in place to protect us from the burdens of greed and incompetence.

The government will have to be run by people who care about regulating. Republicans don't want regulation and they will tell that to your face. So why would I vote for a Republican? So they can put people in regulatory bodies that could care less about regulating in the name of protecting average Americans?

No thank you.

Democrats will get my vote for years to come.

Posted by: ApostasyUSA | June 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The GOP always has people with hundreds of millions of dollars speaking as if they know the needs of the little people. I would have voted for Republican candidates who lost to Whitman and Fiorina, but I will not vote for these women who have no idea that a state or country cannot operate on the same basis as a corporation. They can't fire the politicians who disagree with their ideas.

Besides what is the REAL agenda that the women who spent well over $100 million dollars for the nomination?

Posted by: sperrico | June 9, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Meg Whitman spent millions on consultants shaping her campaign and election strategy. $71 million of her own money bought a primary victory. California is not a new pair of shoes.

As business executive, she spent millions on consultants shaping her company's policy and business strategy. California is not a business. There is no California, Inc. The current governor tried to create California, Inc. and failed because a government and state has responsibilities to its citizens that far exceed any business model that Ms. Whitman has ever created or experienced. If there is any doubt that a business model fails miserably as a way to govern people with diverse needs, .just look at BP's response to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill and Clean Up response. The people in the region who are affected by the spill aren't asking for a more business like response to solve their economic crisis, they are asking for the full force of the government to intervene.

Ms. Whitman, like the current governor of California, has absolutely no experience managing people who aren't being paid by her and who owe their very livelihood her. Bottom line, she has absolutely no idea or experience "herding chickens" and knowing how to herd chickens is a prerequisite to leading California out of its current economic crisis.

Posted by: monte7340 | June 9, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The last thing California needs is a 70-yr. old career politician like Brown, or a nearly 70-yr. old career politician like Boxer!
California is in deep trouble, it needs new blood, fresh faces, (people who understand economics and business and can bring new jobs into California --- Not politics-as-usual.

Posted by: ohioan | June 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

HaHa, at first I read the previous comment as "... there is going to be a huge demand ... for Medical Bling. That too!

Posted by: pyellman | June 9, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Just think Whitman could have just given that 71 million to the state with the express instructions that it go to specific programs. Now how much is she going to waste on the actual election? Yeah she's a real smart business woman. What a waste.

And her little comment about two business women who know about job creation? BS!!! Carly Fiorina has been a staunch supporter of the H-1B visa program to bring in employees from out of the country at a lower wage. Exactly how much did the employee ranks rise under her tenure at HP? Quite the opposite. She broke the company up sold off bits, merged with Compag and laid off a ton of people and closed locations. Now that's job creation you betcha! They had to hire at the unemployment office to handle all the new enrollees.

Whitman would be much better off concentrating on her own campaign and distancing herself from Fiorina.

Or better yet just loaning the money to the state at a below market interest rate.

Posted by: 1FLWB2 | June 9, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

When was the last time a "business person" was elected and showed they could create jobs and balance budgets? Arnold was a good businessman, too. Fiorina was a failure at HP; they were thrilled to be rid of her. Whitman, so far, is someone who just wants to buy an election. If she was so interested in California, before, how come she didn't get involved in politics...or vote? When Brown was governor the last time he drove around in a beat up old Dodge and chose not to live in the Governor's mansion. Does that sound like someone on the take? The US and California are getting our butts kicked because the Chinese can out-produce us with their low labor rates. The suicides show us that that wall is not unbreachable. What we need are smart people, caring people, not rich people who are bored with their lives and want to control ours.

Posted by: rob15 | June 9, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

This is a no contest!

A quote from a recent article from Thomas Del Beccaro

"Brown can’t talk budget cuts – unions don’t like that. Brown can’t talk bringing regulations into balance – environmentalists don’t like that. Brown can’t talk education reform – the CTA doesn’t like that. Brown can’t talk cutting tax rates – nobody on the Left likes that. So exactly what concrete proposal will Brown propose to fix California?"

Posted by: Lib4ALL | June 9, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

In response to Jerry Brown's wisecrack, I could respond "What, we're going to vote for a guy who says 'Hey, my dad was governor, I think I'll do that too?'"

Jerry Brown doesn't have any real arguments, so he's reduced to snide comments. He has no intention of balancing the budget or keeping taxes level with today's rates.

Posted by: Fazsha | June 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are failing at furthering and deepening political corruption with rich white men.

Now they are using rich white women hoping for the same result. Controlling state and federal legislation giving the rich more money and more power.

I have to give them credit they are doing this with self righteous evangelic Christian zeal.

Posted by: ArchieHaase | June 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"Brown will trounce Whitman.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 9, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse"

You wish. Gov Moonbeam had his day, wake up, it's the 2010s now, not the 1970s. Put down the bong and face reality: California voters want a leader with business experience. Brown ain't got it.

Posted by: linguist64 | June 9, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Brown will trounce Whitman.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 9, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

No vote from Vietnamese community of 500,000 people for pro-communist gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, who, as governor of California in 1975, strongly opposed Vietnamese refugees settling in California while supporting amnesty to illegal immigrants from Mexico. In fact, he works for the interests of unions and illegal immigrants only, not for California. Worst still, Brown sided with notorious Cuban dictator Fidel Castro demanding a lift of U.S. embargo on communist Cuba for its human rights violations during his visit to Cuba in July 2000 to formalize the relationship between Brown's city of Oakland with its sister city Santiago de Cuba.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 9, 2010 4:21 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA FOLLOWS BANKRUPT GREECE MODEL!!!
Stubborn, arrogant liberal Obama still pursued his unpopular, costly healthcare reform (more than one trillion dollars), a copy of bankrupt Greece model, even after the people of Massachusetts, which is one of the most liberal states, had spoken against it. And he never wants to enforce immigration laws so illegal immigrants can keep receiving welfare and healthcare benefits as in the case of Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango, an illegal immigrant from Kenya yet lived in taxpayer-funded public housing complex in Boston for many years and also contributed $260 to Obama's presidential bid. In fact, Obama, with his immigration reform, wants to naturalize twelve million illegal immigrants so they can get healthcare coverage and vote for his Democratic Party. Worse still, without California's votes, Obama would have never become President, but he refused to give financial aids to California while bribing Nebraska, Louisiana, and Arizona to accept his healthcare reform. And both Barbara Boxer and Loretta Sanchez, who are facing re-election this year, are hardcore supporters of Obama's unpopular healthcare and immigration reforms.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 9, 2010 3:23 AM | Report abuse

Are you unemployed and worried? It is time to plan, With the new Health Care Plan, Government is going to insure additional 33 Million people. Survey says that there is going to be huge demand for Medical Assistants, Medical Billing, Medical Coding, Pharmacy Assistant & Pharmacy Technician across the nation at least a million. We can help you get a training during weekends and evenings and get a degree in few months. The course is easy, contact for free consultation at http://bit.ly/cdojNk make use of this opportunity.

Posted by: sonhann | June 9, 2010 3:19 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company