Entries in Meg Whitman (12)


Hot on Google: South Carolina Governor-Elect Nikki Haley

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley won more than the top political job in her state this year -- she ascended to the heights of search engine stardom.

Haley was the fastest-rising political figure in Google’s search results, according to year-end statistics compiled by the company. That means that Haley, who will be the first woman governor of the Palmetto State, was among the politicians whose names spiked the most on the site from last year to this year. 

Rounding out the top five fastest-rising politicians on Google were failed GOP California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Senator-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Senator-elect Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The data come from Google’s “Zeitgeist 2010” report, which includes information on what terms Internet users in the United States and around the world were searching for the most over the last year.

Haley’s search traffic shot up during the spring and early summer -- around the same time a conservative blogger accused her of having an extramarital affair. Haley denied the allegations and went on to win the GOP primary in June and this November's general election. It was a feat that earned Haley a place among the rising start of the Republican Party.

Another emerging Republican mover and shaker, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, was the sixth fastest-rising political figure on Google, followed by Nelson Mandela, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., former presidential candidate John Edwards, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


ABC News: He's Back! Jerry Brown Wins Race for Calif. Governor

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- In a flashback from the past, former Gov. Jerry Brown won back his seat against Republican candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, ABC News is now projecting.

Brown, who served as California governor for two terms beginning in 1975 and is currently attorney general, began to gain momentum leading up to the polls in what has been an incredibly tight race. The only bump in what was otherwise a calm campaign came a few weeks ago, when one of his staffers call Whitman a "whore" over pension reform. Brown quickly apologized, but never identified the staffer.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted: "Just called to congratulate @JerryBrown2010. Looking forward to Maria & me getting together w/ him & Anne to talk abt a smooth transition."

This election season has shattered precedents in several arenas, not least of which was the size of Whitman's war chest. The biggest spender of them all, Whitman poured more than $141 million of her own money into her campaign. It broke the record for the most expensive self-financed campaign ever, and she reportedly said she was willing to spend up to $160 million if it could get her the win.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Breaking Down the Most Heated Races for Governor

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Continued economic anguish and anemic job growth has caused the great army of voters that was once backing Democrats in 2008 to scatter in many directions this election season. Now, as the midterm election draws to a close, it's the Republicans that are gaining strength.

Republicans took 28 governorships after the 2004 elections, but only 22 spots after 2008, with runoff elections in New Jersey and Virginia in 2009 to bring the total to 24. Now, it seems GOP momentum will be carried through in 2010 with a record 37 governor seats on the line.

Several gubernatorial races from coast-to-coast have seen strong shake-ups in states where Democrats once had a comfy home, a possible precursor to what could lie ahead in the 2012 presidential elections.

This election season has shattered precedents in several arenas, but none has been more talked about than the size of some of the war chests.

The biggest campaign spender of them all, former CEO of eBay and Republican candidate Meg Whitman, has poured in over $141 million of her own money into her California governor campaign. It's already the most expensive self-financed campaign ever, and Whitman has reportedly said she is willing to go up to $160 million.

It wouldn't be an election year without a curve ball in Florida, and recent polls have shown a dead heat between wealthy businessman Rick Scott and Democratic candidate Alex Sink, the state's elected chief financial officer.

Another big spender, Scott and his campaign have been plagued by a Medicare fraud scandal at a hospital corporation he once headed and he has spent $60 million of his own money to stay in the race. Both parties acknowledged the contest remains a toss-up.

Everything is bigger in Texas, and incumbent Republican Rick Perry's decade-long tenure -- which makes him the longest serving governor in the state's history -- hasn't scared away Democratic donors from dumping tons of cash into challenger Bill White's faulting campaign. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


California Governor Candidate Meg Whitman Says 'We're Going to Win'

Photo Courtesy - Eric Draper | Meg Whitman for Governor 2010(LOS ANGELES) -- With eight days left until Californians head to voting booths, the Republican candidate for governor, Meg Whitman, says she's confident of victory even though she trails Democrat Jerry Brown in the most recent polling.

"We're going to win this," said Meg Whitman in an interview Monday with ABC News.

Whitman has spent some $141 million of her own money for a fighting chance at the governor's mansion, but the former eBay CEO is still 13 points behind Brown in the latest Los Angeles Times poll.

"Is that a hit in the chest?"  ABC News asked Whitman. "No, because the L.A. Times poll is biased and it's bunk," Whitman replied.  "Every year, the L.A. Times comes out with a poll about a week before the election that's very heavily skewed to the candidate they choose.  Who did the L.A. Times endorse?  Jerry Brown."

Whitman said that her own campaign's polling puts the race much closer. "Maybe I'm a point or two behind," Whitman said.  "What's happening in California, and you can see it in the rest of the country, these polls are bouncing because people are unsure about what to do."

California voters have certainly had no shortage of people telling them what to do.  With record spending on advertising, the airwaves have been filled with political messages for months, and even for billionaire Whitman, $141 million is a lot to spend on the race.

"Well, I think that people need to understand the unions...pour money into politics in this state.  They run Sacramento," Whitman told ABC News. "Because I have invested my own money, I don't owe anyone anything. I only owe the voters of California."

Whitman has also dealt with accusations that she knowingly employed an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper.  Her former employee, Nicky Diaz, came forward in September, saying Whitman had fired her just before the campaign after nine years of service when she asked for help with immigration problems. "I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage," Diaz said at a press conference organized by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.

Polling among California's Hispanic voters has shown that they disapprove of Whitman's handling of the housekeeper, but today Whitman said there was nothing she could have done differently.  She says she fired Diaz when she learned of her illegal status.

"We had to follow the law.  We had to let her go," Whitman said.  "It broke my heart that she was undocumented.  I chose not to turn her in.  And Jerry Brown and his union friends made an example of her.  They pulled a political stunt with her."

It's certainly been a long race. Whitman launched her campaign at the beginning of 2009.  With just days to go before a final result, she says she's happy with her choices.

"I would do it all over again in a minute because you know why?  California really matters.  And we can lead the nation out of this recession."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Meg Whitman Campaigns At Internet Retailer Selling Anti-Whitman Merchandise 

Zazzle dot com(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- Meg Whitman campaigned with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday in San Jose, Calif. at a company called Zazzle, which bills itself as “the leading platform for quality custom products.”

Turns out has an extensive collection of anti-Meg Whitman tee shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, mugs, posters, key chains and all manner of paraphernalia with unflattering slogans like “Neg on Meg,” “eMeg” and “Meg MAID for governor” as well as depictions of Whitman wearing a queen’s crown.

Zazzle carries a wide array of less-than-complimentary items featuring Mayor Bloomberg too, including a button that calls him “the worm in the Big Apple.”

To be fair, the merchandise is created by outside sellers -- micro-retailers in Silicon Valley -- who promote their wares on the Zazzle Web site.

Of course, Zazzle carries pro-Whitman merchandise as well along with gifts for supporters and opponents of her gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Jerry Brown, the two contenders vying for the state’s U.S. Senate seat -- Sen. Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina -- and just about every well-known political figure.

The company’s home page also hints at bi-partisanship.  Featured items include a Palin 2012 tee shirt with an icon of a moose in American flag stripes on sale next to a button with the slogan “Dems Do It Better.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Arnold Schwarzenegger on Meg Whitman: 'Appalling When Anyone Sells Out'

Photo Courtesy - Gov dot CA dot gov(NEW YORK) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used his Twitter account on Thursday to scold both Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman over the controversy that erupted after a recording of a private discussion among members of the Brown campaign surfaced.

One of the governor’s followers asked him, “What do you think about eMeg selling her vote to the police union?”  Schwarzenegger responded:  “It's appalling when anyone sells out.”

The question was a reference to allegations heard on the Brown phone message indicating that the Whitman campaign was trying to cut a deal with the Los Angeles police union in order to secure the group’s endorsement.

The recording also captured a Brown staffer calling Whitman a “whore” -- a blunder that has become a major Whitman talking point in the final stretch of the election.  Brown has since apologized, saying it was wrong for a member of his team to use the word.

Nevertheless, when another Twitter user asked the governor, “What do you personally think about the ‘WHORE’ comment made by Jerry Brown's campaign?" Schwarzenegger wrote: “That word is unacceptable.”

The governor, whose popularity in California has plummeted since he rode into office during the state’s 2003 recall election, has not endorsed a candidate in the race. Recent polls give Brown an edge, but the contest remains tight.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Attacks Get Personal in California Gubernatorial Debate

Photo Courtesy - Eric Draper/Meg Whitman for Governor 2010(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The two candidates for California governor sparred over taxes, illegal immigration and whether it’s fair game to describe one another as “whores” in their final campaign debate at Dominican College in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The race pits a perennial politician against a billionaire businesswoman. Democrat Jerry Brown is the state’s attorney general, as well as a former governor, a former mayor, and the son of a former governor. Republican Meg Whitman is the former CEO of eBay.

Tuesday night, the moderator, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, held Brown to account for a comment made by one of his aides. When the candidate thought he hung up the phone after leaving a voicemail message for a union leader whose endorsement he sought, one of his aides was overheard suggesting they call Whitman a “whore.”

“We’ve heard no outrage from you,” said Brokaw, noting that the harsh language “to many people is the same as describing an African American using the N-word.”

“I do not agree with that comparison,” Brown said. Some audience members booed.

Whitman pounced. “It’s not just me, it’s the people of California that deserve better than slurs,” she said.

Brown said he’s sorry the incident was made public, suggesting someone broke the law by releasing the recording from a call he made five weeks ago.

But Brown did not exactly retract the sentiment behind the word.

Whitman has broken all spending records for a self-financed campaign -- spending more than $120 million out of her own pocket. She defended that largesse, claiming it means she would not be beholden to special interests.

“I am spending my own money in this race,” she said. “But I will not owe anything to anybody.”

But Brown questioned Whitman’s independence, saying she has also raised money from business executives who would benefit from the tax cuts she proposes.

Brokaw also held Whitman to account for her proposal to hold “businesses and households to account” for hiring undocumented workers given that it recently came to light that she employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny and housekeeper for nine years.

“If you couldn’t tell you were employing an undocumented immigrant in your own home, how can you expect businesses to figure it out?” Brokaw asked.

Whitman insisted she trusted an employment agency to vet the nanny and insisted it employed Nicky Diaz in good faith until the day it learned otherwise. She said businesses need an e-verify program to help them ensure the workers they employ belong in this country.

Brown dismissed the nanny issue as a “sorry tale,” but couldn’t resist swiping Whitman for employing “foreign serfs” and for not hiring an immigration lawyer to help Diaz when the going got rough.

On some issues the candidates agree. Both oppose Proposition 19, the provision on the November ballot that would essentially legalize marijuana in California.

Both said they continue to support Prop 13, the decades old anti-tax initiative that has held down property taxes for many longtime homeowners while pushing the burden onto newcomers and causing deep problems in the effort to balance the state budget.

Both support the state’s Three Strikes law, the anti-crime measure that imposes mandatory life prison terms for felons convicted of a third felony offense.

Recent polls show Brown slightly ahead of Whitman. But surveys show as many as 20 percent of the voters are undecided so the race is still up for grabs.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Fiorina on Brown Associate Calling Whitman a "Whore": "Insult to All Women" 

Photo Courtesy - Carly for California(WASHINGTON) -- During an ABC News interview Friday, California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina was asked what she thought about an unnamed aide to gubernatorial candidate and former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown calling his opponent Meg Whitman a “whore.”

“I am glad he promptly apologized,” Fiorina told ABC News.  “It is an insult to all women.”

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that voicemail captured the sound of Brown talking with an associate who referred to Whitman as a “whore” for agreeing to save pensions for law enforcement personnel while working to get endorsements from police organizations.  Brown had thought he had hung up after leaving a message with an official with the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

“Do we want to put an ad out?” Brown asks the associated.  “That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions…that they’ll go to Whitman, and that’s where they’ll go because they know Whitman will give ‘em, will cut them a deal, but I won’t.”

“What about saying she’s a whore?” asks the associate, whom the Brown campaign has refused to name.

“Well, I’m going to use that,” Brown says.  “It proves you’ve cut a secret deal to protect the pensions.”

“It is terrible language,” Fiorina told ABC News. “He ought to be ashamed of himself.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Meg Whitman Called "Whore" in Jerry Brown Phone Message

Photo Courtesy - Eric Draper/Meg Whitman for Governor 2010(LOS ANGELES) -- California Attorney General Jerry Brown, the state's Democratic candidate for governor, left a phone message in early September for a union official whose endorsement he was seeking, but apparently forgot to hang up -- because a lively discussion between him and some staffers afterward is caught on tape. And either Brown or a staffer -- there is some dispute -- uses the word "whore" to describe his Republican rival Meg Whitman.

The recording, obtained by the Los Angeles Times from the L.A. Police Union, is muffled and hard to hear. But the word "whore" is definitely thrown around several times at the notion of Whitman making a special deal with union officials to protect their pensions.

"Do we want to put an ad out?…That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions, I will be -- that they'll go to Whitman, and that's where they'll go because they know Whitman will give 'em, will cut them a deal, but I won't," Brown said.

Then someone says, "What about saying she's a whore?"

It is not entirely clear if that last part is said by Brown or an aide.

"Well, I'm going to use that," Brown responds a moment later. "It proves you've cut a secret deal to protect the pensions."

Whitman's campaign quickly jumped on the leaked recording and the use of such a derogatory term.

"The use of the term 'whore' is an insult to both Meg Whitman and to the women of California. This is an appalling and unforgivable smear against Meg Whitman. At the very least Mr. Brown tacitly approved this despicable slur and he himself may have used the term at least once on this recording," said Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei.

Brown's spokesman apologized.

"At times our language was salty. We apologize to Ms. Whitman and anyone who may have been offended," Brown's campaign manager Steven Glazer said in a statement Thursday night.

Beyond the use of the word in the recording, Brown seems to be saying that if he won't give the union pensions special treatment in pension reform plans, they will send their endorsement to Whitman. Brown says on the call that it seems who he says has told the unions she will cut them a special deal on their police pensions. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Former Meg Whitman Housekeeper: 'I'm Not Anyone's Puppet' 

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Nicky Diaz, the former housekeeper of California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Tuesday denied claims that she is being manipulated by the campaign of Whitman’s Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.

“I make my own decisions.  I’m not anyone’s puppet,” she said of her public allegations of mistreatment by her former employer.  “Meg Whitman was wrong when she said someone put a gun to my head.  Nobody did.  I wanted to speak out because I wanted people to know who Meg Whitman is.”

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who has ties to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, also appeared with Diaz and refuted Whitman’s recent claims that Nicky is being used as a political tool.

“The truth is Nicky never asked or expected to be part of Whitman’s family.  But she expected to be treated family,” Allred said. “She certainly did not expect to be kicked to the curb and thrown out like garbage.”

Whitman fired Diaz, an undocumented immigrant who had worked as a cleaner and caretaker of the her children for nine years, after learning she had been living in the country illegally.

Whitman campaign spokeswoman Andrea Jones Rivera responded to Allred and Diaz's press conference by calling it a "circus" that is drawing focus from the "serious challenges" facing California voters.

"After nearly a week of press conferences, Gloria Allred still refuses to disclose who is paying her fee and who has helped her orchestrate this stunt," Jones Rivera said in a statement.

A Hill Research poll conducted this week shows that 68% of Californians view Gloria Allred unfavorably, and that despite the Brown campaign’s best efforts to capitalize on the controversy, the race remains neck-and-neck.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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