Meg Whitman: The $71 million candidate
June 6, 2010
According to public campaign records, Meg Whitman has so far spent $71 million of her personal fortune to become the next governor of California–and that is just for the primary. [Associated Press]
The former eBay CEO is expected to prevail in Tuesday’s Republican primary, setting up a general election race in the fall against Democrat Jerry Brown.
The Whitman campaign has spent a total of $81 million on what critics call a “lavish campaign,” including a gaggle of high-paid political consultants and a tsunami of paid advertising. Her top political consultant Mike Murphy, for example, is being paid $90,000 a month.
A Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, Smart Media Group, has already been paid $47 million for its services to Whitman.
The personal spending stands in marked contrast to the Whitman campaign platform, which calls for a dramatic cut in state spending and a “common sense” budgeting approach for California.
Staffers defend the heavy spending, saying Whitman is trying to run a “smart, strategic campaign and wants to make sure all Californians hear her plans before they choose their next governor.
Jerry Brown, by contrast, filed spending reports of $400,000, including $4,400 for flights on Southwest Airlines.