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Whitman, Poizner make final push for Ca. GOP gubernatorial nomination

By Sandhya Somashekhar

LOS ANGELES - On the last day of campaigning before Republicans choose their nominee for California governor, the two candidates are zigzagging around the state in a last-ditch attempt to scrounge up votes.

But attention lately has zeroed in on former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who polls suggest is the frontrunner by far over insurance commissioner Steve Poizner. Over the weekend, the media marveled at the enormous amount Whitman has spent in trying to win the nomination: $80 million, including $71 million of her own money. Much of it has been spent on chartered jets and Washington consultants, according to the Boston Globe.

Poizner, who spent $25 million of his own money on his bid, called Whitman's investment "obscene." Former governor Jerry Brown, her likely Democratic opponent, released an Internet video ad titled "Enough Already!" excoriating both candidates for their lavish spending at a time of economic duress.

And in a narrative sure to pick up momentum as the general election campaign gets going, some critics are asking whether such a big spender can be relied upon to cut government spending, as Whitman has promised to do as governor.

In an e-mail, Whitman campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said the investment is necessary to spread the message about the campaign. "Meg is the only candidate who has balanced budgets and who will take on the status quo to end the continuous overspending in Sacramento," she wrote. "During this campaign, Meg will invest the resources necessary to let voters know she will take on the union bosses supporting Jerry Brown who are determined to see she doesn't have the chance to change business as usual."

Even though Whitman is ahead of Poizner by as much as 25 points in recent polls, she has not let up. She got some help over the weekend from former presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) and former California governor Pete Wilson (R), who joined her for multiple appearances on Saturday and Sunday.

Her remarks at a Sunday afternoon rally in Elk Grove, outside of Sacramento, rally suggested the weekend was as much the kick-off of a general election campaign as the end of a primary run. "Jerry Brown was already governor 35 years ago, and it was not a great run," she told the crowd, according to the LA Times.

On Monday, she will make a couple of appearances in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas before heading back to her home region of the San Francisco Bay Area for a rally.

Poizner spent the weekend communicating with voters and volunteers across southern California, precinct-walking in Orange County and holding a town hall meeting in Riverside. On Monday he holds rallies in Pasadena and Santa Clara.

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  June 7, 2010; 10:24 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Move over Hollywood: The California Republican races are all about Silicon Valley


Wonder how much Corzine spent in NJ and little comment?
CA is in such a fiscal mess as is NY, IL, MA NJ, CT, KA that even a so-called bad CEO is better than the corrupt leftist that created the mess!!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | June 8, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Meg Whitman was a bad CEO at eBay and would be a bad governor of CA. I do not know anything about Poizner, but given that he did essentially nothing about the outrageous Anthem/Blue Cross insurance rate raise while being insurance commissioner, he also does not seem like a candidate with any qualification. That leaves Brown. I am not crazy for him either but given the republican offering this seems to me like a no-brainier.

Posted by: simon7382 | June 8, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

The only reason Jerry Brown is upset is because he doesn't have $71 million of someone elses money to spend. You can bet, if he had $71 million, he wouldn't spend it to become elected governor.

Actually, I don't believe it makes any difference who is elected governor of California, the only solution would be to throw out every Democrat from office and start from scratch. I'm not even sure Chris Christie could help California. They need to go broke and start over again. The Democrats will never let a Republican governor be successful.

Posted by: bflat879 | June 7, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Simple fact? Meg Whitman will be colluding with the Liberal-Democrats who carries all the power in the Sacramento Assembly. But Steve Poizner--although not perfect has promised to eradicate the "Sanctuary laws" that has crippled California's welfare system for US citizens and legal residents. He will fight the Liberal extremists who are heavily taxing you, to pay for--ANCHOR BABIES, the family and the millions of illegal aliens.who collect from the IRS your money. NumbersUSA for those who want to learn the major consequences of illegal aliens.

Has the general Public any conceivable idea, if we stopped finally supporting the illegal alien invasion. If taxpayers money was stopped paying for business welfare, emergency medical treatment, education and hidden entitlement programs?? Every state one way or another has been crippled by anti-sovereignty, pro-illegal alien Senators and Representatives, who have been corrupted by open-border lobbyists. The ball is already rolling as Sen. Arlen Specter, Coakley that lost their seats in Washington. Not essentially because of their standing with President Obama's on the Health Care bill, but because they have terrible records in catering to the illegal alien occupancy.

WE COULD PAY FOR TWO FOREIGN WARS, FROM WHAT IS EXTORTED BY THE IRS TO SUPPORT Illegal labor, families and their children. NumbersUSA has the full grades on all politicians including--SENATOR HARRY REID (D-NV) who must be ejected from his office. He is a polluting the Capitol in trying to force through another financially crushing Amnesty. His incumbency must be eliminated on June 8? In a silent conspiracy denied American workers he nearly killed E-Verify and the federal policing law 287(G). Nevadians go to the voting booth and send a harsh message, to all those pushing for--AMNESTY. Dump all incumbents who are against the American worker. Sen.Harry Reid has a immigration voting record of (F-) Who wants to join him out-of-work?

Posted by: infinity555 | June 7, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

When Corzine spent millions of his own money to buy the governorship of New Jersey that was good politics, now that a Republican women is spend her own money to finance her campaign to be the next governor California its the Wicked Witch of the West trying to buy her way into office. As the old saying goes, "It all depends upon whose ass is being gored." Or, is it just Politics as usually, you know, buying votes, bribing candidates to drop out of the primaries or ear marks to benefit one's district to ensure future votes. A plague on all their parties!!!

Posted by: chaplainn | June 7, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Stick a fork in this obscene lady. She's done, along with her new BF, Pete Wilson.

Posted by: edfunk1 | June 7, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

And by "clearly cited," I mean by the Boston Globe on its webpage that is linked.

Posted by: _fraggle_ | June 7, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

That Boston Globe report was actually an Associated Press dispatch. The AP is clearly cited.

Posted by: _fraggle_ | June 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

You gotta wonder why a politician like Meg Whitman would spend $71 million dollars of her own money to get a job that pays less than $200,000 per year.

Seems like she's planning to make a lot of money if she makes it, and it WON'T be from her salary.

Got some wheeling and dealing you like to use the California Governor's seat for Meg?

Sure seems like it, and she can't make any money off of us people cause we're all broke.

Posted by: lindalovejones | June 7, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is the Boston Globe doing commenting on California politics. They can't even get their stories straight about Massachusetts politicians.

And why would the Washington Post pick up this story unless they are trying to influence California politics.

Posted by: mike85 | June 7, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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