130 Miles From Texas?

Brown For Governor Campaign

Oakland - Brown campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford today issued the following statement in response to Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's launch of a new ad, titled "130 Miles," which decries the distance between Sacramento and the innovation of Silicon Valley:

As part of her multi-million dollar campaign of falsehoods, Meg Whitman has launched another misleading attack ad.

In the ad, Whitman says she made the dreams of small businesses come true. But the small business she chooses to highlight, EasySale, isn't even a California business. Not only is EasySale based in Texas; the company isn't even registered to do business in California.

Her ad also touts the innovation of Silicon Valley and notes that it is the home of companies like Apple Computer. But what she doesn't tell California is that Apple was founded in California when Jerry Brown was governor. Whitman also neglects to mention that Jerry Brown created an environment where businesses thrived, 1.9 million new jobs were created, and eight Fortune 500 companies were founded when he was governor.

If Meg Whitman ran California the way she ran eBay, what would it mean for small businesses? If past is prologue, her record at eBay would suggest continually higher fees, and less profit.

The facts are clear: Jerry Brown is the only candidate with the knowledge and experience to get California Working again.



Sacramento and Silicon Valley are only 130 miles apart; they may as well be on different planets.


Sacramento, mismanaged, ineffective.



Silicon Valley gave us Apple, Intel, eBay.

APPLE WAS FOUNDED WHILE JERRY BROWN WAS GOVERNOR. Steve Jobs chose to start Apple in California in 1976, while Jerry Brown was Governor. [Apple.com, Steve Jobs bio, accessed 8/25/10]



DURING BROWN'S GOVERNORSHIP.  At least eight Fortune 500 companies started in California when Jerry Brown was governor - Apple Inc., Oracle, Amgen, Symantec, Synnex, Ingram Micro (a successor of Micro D), Sanmina-SCI, and Electronic Arts.  Sun Microsystems, a 2009

Fortune 500 company, was also launched in California during Jerry's governorship and was purchased by Oracle in 2009.  [Fortune Magazine: The Fortune 500 2010, accessed 7/5/2010; Apple.com; Oracle.com; Amgen.com; Symantec.com; Synnex.com; IngramMicro.com; Sanmina-SCI.com; EA.com; CNet, 1/27/2010]

Here, Meg Whitman started with 30 people, led them, managed them.

MEG'S STYLE OF LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT INCLUDES ASSAULTING EMPLOYEES. In 2007, Whitman assaulted a subordinate at eBay, resulting in a reportedly $200,000 secret settlement paid for by the company.  Meg's idea of leadership meant a $200,000 hit to the company's shareholders.  [New York Times, 6/14/10]

WHITMAN'S CLAIMS OF 30 PEOPLE HAVE HOLES: HOW MANY WERE THERE REALLY? According to Adam Cohen's book, The Perfect Store:  Inside eBay, Cohen notes there were at least 36 employees before Whitman even interviewed for the job. [Adam Cohen, The Perfect Store:  Inside eBay, pp. 84, 85, 89, 115, 123, 122, (2002)]

According to Randall Stross' book, eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work, there were at least 35 employees when Meg arrived at eBay. "Against the advice of her boss, her colleagues, her friends, everyone on the East Coast that she knew, Meg Whitman decided to take the leap and join a thirty-five-person company no one she knew had heard of." [Randall E. Stross, eBoys:  The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work, p. 60, (2000)]

eBay's own 1998 prospectus says, "The Company's total headcount grew to 41 by December 31, 1997 and to 76 by June 30, 1998." [eBay, Inc., Form 424B4 Prospectus, filed 9/25/98]

Executed the plan that grew this main street company to 15,000 employees and made small business dreams come true.

"SMALL BUSINESS" FEATURED IN AD ISN'T A CALIFORNIA BUSINESS. EasySale, an eBay consignment seller, is located in Arlington, Texas. [EasySale, accessed 8/25/10]

EASYSALE NOT REGISTERED TO DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA. EasySale, the business highlighted in Whitman's ad, isn't registered with the California Secretary of State to do business in California.  The company was formed and is registered to do business in Texas. [California Secretary of State, accessed 8/25/10; EasySale, Inc. Certificate of Formation, Texas Secretary of State, filed 3/4/09]

EBAY UNDER WHITMAN CHOKED SMALL BUSINESSES WITH EVER-RISING FEES. Whitman boasts that she helped build small businesses at eBay.  But what she doesn't talk about is that eBay continually raised fees on their small sellers to generate profits. "'For a long period of time, eBay generated revenue growth by raising fees on sellers,' said Scot Wingo, the founder of Channel Advisor, which helps small businesses sell on the Internet. 'Now everyone is starting to realize that was unsustainable.'" [New York Times, 2/22/09]

WHITMAN 'JACKED UP FEES' ON EBAY SELLERS. "Sellers also complain that, under pressure to meet Wall Street expectations, eBay under Whitman repeatedly jacked up fees, driving off many sellers and making the site far less profitable for others."

[San Jose Mercury News, 10/4/09]

APPARENTLY MAIN STREET IS LONG ENOUGH TO REQUIRE $3 MILLION IN PERSONAL JET TRAVEL. While CEO of eBay Whitman's personal jet use cost shareholders $3.3 million, including more than $1 million in 2006 alone, which "flabbergasted" one analyst.  The personal jet use was called an "extravagant perk." [eBay Inc., SEC DEF 14A filings; The Street, 9/30/09]

COMPENSATION AT EBAY SKYROCKETED TO MORE THAN $120 MILLION IN FINAL YEAR, STOCK TANKED. Whitman went from earning $294,455 in 1999, eBay's first full year as a public company, to walking away with more than $120 million when stepping down as eBay CEO in 2008. [eBay Inc., SEC DEF 14A, 4/19/00; Forbes, 9/10/08]

As Whitman's compensation soared over her final years at eBay, the stock price fell by 49% from a high of $58.89 on December 30, 2004 to $29.84 on March 31, 2008 when Whitman stepped down as CEO. [Nasdaq Stock Charts, accessed 7/26/10]

To change California let's send Meg Whitman up the road, about 130 miles.


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