California’s $ 100 Million Primary
Considering that California is essentially broke, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner sure do want to spend a lot of money for the privilege of leading it:
The Republican gubernatorial primary in California could cost more than $100 million as the two wealthy front-runners continue to spend their own fortunes attacking each other.
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner released his latest salvo earlier this week, using a Web video to argue that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman created a “special site for the sale of pornography and sex paraphernalia.”
“Meg Whitman oversaw the creation of a special website just to sell pornography and amassed millions in profits from it,” Poizner spokeswoman Bettina Inclan said in a statement. “If Californians wanted a governor who made a fortune off pornography, then Larry Flynt would now be in office.”
The Whitman camp noted that Poizner’s outlandish attack was released shortly after former Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed Whitman in an op-ed in the Orange County Register.
“Is Steve Poizner seriously trying to tell us that eBay is a pornography site?” Whitman spokesman Dan Comstock said in a statement. “eBay’s millions of users, including my grandmother, will find that a little hard to believe. Steve Poizner is desperate. He lacks momentum. He lacks grassroots support. Most of all, he lacks honesty.”
The main reason that the primary is so expensive, of course, is the simple fact that California is a large state with at least three (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego) of the more expensive media markets in the country. Also, the fact that Poizner has closed the distance in the polls during the final weeks of the campaign necessarily means that Whitman is going to pour more of her own money into the race. It’s just ironic that the two of them are spending so much to become Governor of a state in such terrible financial shape.