The media may have buzzed with uncertainty over what would happen when eMeg and Jerry shared a stage with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Women's Conference yesterday, but our guy exceeded expectations and delivered a stunning performance.
The crowd of more than 14,000 (mostly female) attendees erupted into applause after Jerry pledged to remove all negative advertising should our opponent do the same. When eMeg failed to agree, however, the audience responded less than favorably.
This isn't the first time a majority of women seemed to prefer Jerry. In fact, in a recent Los Angeles Times/USC poll, Jerry led among female voters by 21 percent. And when asked which candidate was more truthful, women chose Jerry over eMeg by a 25 percent margin.
In other words, us girls aren't fooled by her fibs.
Women have other reasons to come together in support of Jerry, though. As Governor, he named females to nearly one-third of the state's posts, more than any of his predecessors. He also signed a flurry of bills protecting women in the workplace, including laws that prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of gender and granted state benefits during pregnancy.
eMeg, on the other hand, can add reproductive rights to her long list of election season flip-flops. After announcing her candidacy, she claimed she was pro-choice, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that she supported public funding for abortions.
Not long after, she circulated mailers throughout the state touting her opposition to federally-funded abortions while attacking her primary opponent, Steve Poizner, for having a "100 percent pro-choice rating" from Planned Parenthood.
Maybe that's why groups like the National Organization for Women and NARAL Pro-Choice California have soundly endorsed Jerry.
As a California woman, I couldn't agree with them more.
For footage from Jerry and eMeg's exchange at The Women's Conference, click to watch the video below.
Seven years ago, a candidate for California governor emerged with an appealing message.
After a successful career as an action film star, this gubernatorial hopeful pegged himself as a political outsider. Claiming to run the government like a business, said candidate declared himself void of special interest influence and argued the state needed a fresh perspective. Californians elected him wholeheartedly.
Two terms later, Governor Schwarzenegger's approval rating has sunk to a mere 22 percent. The state is in shambles, facing record unemployment and imminent debt. The legislature recently squeaked out a budget--four months late.
Enter Meg Whitman. Armed with the same throng of Republican consultants Arnold engaged during his run, eMeg is dominating airwaves and stump speeches with a familiar claim that California needs an outsider with a business executive's mind to lead us toward better times.
It's befuddling just how similar her campaign rhetoric is until looking at the list of strategists on eMeg's payroll. Of her record-shattering $140 million campaign, $14 million of the pot has been doled out on the same folks who advised Arnold.
You'd think someone with eMeg's self-proclaimed business sensibility would have the good sense to spend her fortune on consultants who do more than mold her into Governator Part Deux. But she's insistent on portraying herself a certain way, thus exposing Californians to the same empty words they heard during the early aughts.
Don't just take my word for it. Behold the identical campaigns below.
Jerry and eMeg faced off in their final of three debates on Tuesday night. And I have to hand it to him—our guy has taken the trifecta.
Moderated by Tom Brokaw, who’s no stranger to asking tough questions, Jerry remained direct, engaging, and on-message for the duration of the evening while his opponent struggled and failed to derail him with false attacks.
eMeg opened her arguments with a glowing discussion of how her family was lucky enough to achieve the “California Dream.” I think I heard the person next to me groan out loud.
Doesn’t the California Dream suggest a rags-to-riches, failure-to-success, against-the-odds struggle? White Collar Whitman graduated from Princeton before assuming a series of high-powered business executive roles. Doesn’t exactly conjure up an image of Horatio Alger washing up on the shore with nothing in his pocket.
Following the depiction of her family’s humble rise to the top, eMeg began her first of many barrages against the state of our state. It’s true that California has seen better times; the entire country has. But by the way she discussed our situation, you’d think the entire west coast was coated in a layer of radioactive sludge.
Jerry, on the other hand, opened with a much more positive discussion about our state’s potential, its 38 million residents, its history of growth and innovation. It reminded me of arriving in San Francisco after college with nothing but two suitcases and taking in the Pacific coastline for the first time, filled with a sense of possibility.
I’d rather be inspired than anxiety-addled, and I’ll bet the majority of Californians agree with me.
However, our next leader will have to face the unfortunate reality of 12.8 percent unemployment, and one thing both candidates agree on is the importance of job creation to our state’s future.
The similarities stop there. When Brokaw asked how each gubernatorial hopeful would create jobs, Jerry talked about his pioneering, detailed plan to expand the clean energy sector and invest in green technologies.
eMeg, on the other hand, peppered more bleak statistics with that pesky capital gains tax promise again. I have discussed at length how flawed this proposal would be for our state. When Jerry pointed this out to her, however, she back-peddled into a pre-packaged theory about how a tax on capital gains is a tax on jobs.
I fail to see how eliminating a multi-millionaire business owner’s tax on his stock purchases would inspire him to do anything more than buy a house in Tahoe. I therefore appreciated Jerry’s explanation that removing the capital gains tax would only benefit California’s wealthiest demographic, after which he asked, “Ms. Whitman, how much would you save?”
eMeg tried to hit back by touting her record as a job creator at eBay. But she conveniently dodged the fact that in her last year at the company, she walked away with $120 million while just months later, eBay laid off 10 percent of its work force.
When job discourse transitioned into budget talk, Jerry reiterated his promise to begin negotiations as early as November. eMeg, as usual, offered no specifics as she tried to peg herself as a newcomer with a fresh approach.
Don’t forget that under the leadership of another political outsider, the legislature finished this year’s budget almost four months late. I simply don’t believe someone who has never balanced a state budget before will do a better job than someone familiar with the idiosyncrasies involved.
Ditto for pension reform. Jerry discussed the need for a two-tiered pension system and his willingness to bargain with labor groups. Again, eMeg tried to play the independence card. But the unexplained elephant in the room—her exemption of public safety workers from any form of pension adjustment—proves that, contrary to a popular phrase of hers, she may indeed “owe something to someone.”
In fact, for all her insistence that she’s running an autonomous campaign, our opponent conveniently dodged another truth. Last week, the Los Angeles Times published the appropriately titled, “Donations to Whitman undercut her no-special-interests claim.” The piece included a report that eMeg has actually collected more in outside donations than Jerry.
That didn’t stop her from pouring an additional $20 million into her effort just this week, shattering her own spending record.
No matter what reality distortions eMeg presents within the confines of a 60-second debate response, the fact remains that she simply did not bother to vote or show any glimmer of political interest for almost 30 years. Brokaw rightfully questioned her on it, and she responded with the same sheepish apology she always gives.
Regardless of party, positions, and personal philosophies, you will never convince me to vote for a person who didn’t care to vote herself. That’s like hiring someone to perform open-heart surgery who couldn’t be bothered to go to medical school.
I hope voters think long and hard about this. After all, perhaps the only true statement eMeg made during the entire debate came when she said Californians need to look at what the two candidates have done, and not at what they have said.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.
Camp eMeg must be running out of material, because their latest ad simply recycles a slew of stale false claims against Jerry.
The spot, dubbed “Hide Your Wallet,” is a misguided attempt to convince voters that Jerry will raise taxes once elected – even though he’s stated in earnest, numerous times, looking directly at the camera, that he would implement “no new taxes without voter approval.”
In her usual habit of distorting the truth until it crumbles into oblivion, the ad presents a series of inaccurate statements about Jerry’s record on taxes. My regular readers know I feel pretty strongly about presenting voters with the truth, and this is abysmal ad is no exception.
The piece opens claiming Jerry called Prop 13, the state’s landmark limitation on property taxes, a “fraud and a rip off.” But it neglects to mention how as governor, once the proposition passed, Jerry enthusiastically implemented the will of the people. Even Howard Jarvis, Prop 13′s author, voted for Jerry for re-election.
Meanwhile, Pete Wilson, eMeg’s own campaign chairman, vehemently opposed Prop 13. But she decided to skirt that little detail in her ad.
The spot goes on to declare that as governor, Jerry raised the gas tax and pushed for higher taxes overall. Did she mention that Republicans throughout the state nearly unanimously approved the tax increase, which turned out to be a measly two cents? Of course not.
As for higher taxes, Jerry proposed a tiny 0.25% sales tax increase in order to increase funding for prisons and police officers. A measure which the citizens of California themselves approved before implementation.
Enter Pete Wilson again, who’s quickly becoming the man of the hour here. When Wilson was governor in the nineties, he signed a bill allowing for a $4 billion gas tax increase, and a $1.5 billion sales tax increase. In fact, our opponent herself has publicly stated that she embraces the actions Wilson took to increase taxes as governor.
But none of this matters in eMeg ad-land, where convenient truth aversions reign supreme.
The commercial then criticizes Jerry for attempting to raise property taxes in Oakland when he was mayor. In actuality, all tax increases were approved by voters…and they ultimately benefited the city’s school system.
The ad’s closing line serves the audience a bald-faced lie that out-whops all other Whitman whoppers: A claim that, if elected, Jerry will ask voters for more new taxes. Does he not state over and over again, in almost every ad of his own, that he will implement no new taxes without voter approval?
It baffles me that eMeg can so blatantly look truth in the eye and say, “Sorry, you don’t matter to me.” Clearly, her latest attack on Jerry does just that, and it’s not fair to voters. For a more in-depth deconstruction of these 30 seconds of fiction, visit our Meg-A-Myths website and take a look at the most recent article.
I'll admit it. I had a hunch Jerry would emerge victorious over eMeg at last night's debate. He's such a dynamic person to swap opinions with around the office, I could only imagine how he'd appear in a larger arena.
But I was pleasantly surprised by just how compelling and capable our candidate appeared next to his opponent. Throughout the conversation, Jerry remained authentic, direct, colorful, and engaging, while eMeg came off stiff, canned, and even nervous at times.
After spending a significant time researching eMeg's pledge to abolish the capital gains tax, I'm pleased Jerry brought up the issue more than once. You can read about how dangerous this would be for California in an earlier blog post; in a nutshell, such a measure would provide even more tax breaks for the wealthiest residents while drying up funding for resources extremely important to the rest of the state, such as education and health care.
Read: eMeg and her fellow million-and-billionaires would soak in lavish returns while California's budget continues to shrink.
In fact, it amazes me that our opponent even attempted to distinguish herself as 'independent to special interests' when she is clearly beholden to the interests of her affluent peers. When she tried to ding Jerry for his connection to the California labor force, Jerry rightfully pointed out that she still has yet to disclose the donors behind the Chamber of Commerce 'slush fund' being used to run attack ads all summer. He called for a 24-hour disclosure period; here's hoping her camp has the integrity to make this happen.
Speaking of campaign finance, I had to cringe when eMeg declared with her signature smile that she doesn't 'think you can buy elections.'
Come again? Did she not pour $119 million of her own money in an effort to secure the state's top position?
Sure, her explanation that she was spending so lavishly because voters deserve access to the truth would be great, if her ads and claims weren't laden with inaccuracies. Sorry, eMeg, I don't think the majority of Californians believe that your self-funded campaign has much to do with spreading the truth. That's just another lie, this time about the act of lying. Not only a mega myth...but a meta myth.
Jerry, on the other side, was quick to point out his legendary frugality. Believe me, the man knows how to make the most of his money; I see it firsthand every day at work. I'm glad he mentioned the fact that he was the only governor in recent history to veto pay raises for state employees. He frankly and realistically answered questions about budget cuts to various state programs, a sharp contrast to eMeg's economic fantasy land where the state magically procures resources without consequences.
Jerry made it clear that he had the breadth and depth of knowledge to face challenges like wrangling the state budget because, as a lifelong California resident and public servant, he's experienced the state government firsthand from all angles. In addition to mentioning his plethora of leadership roles (Secretary of State, Governor, Oakland Mayor, Attorney General), it was touching to hear him discuss watching his father, California hall-of-famer Pat Brown, navigate state government starting when Jerry was just five years old.
What did eMeg have to offer in return? The same sheepish apology for her failure to vote or participate in California politics for nearly 30 years.
Issues aside, their overall stage presence was miles apart. I want a leader who will discuss his positions comfortably and dynamically, giving me incentive to sit up and pay attention. Jerry peppered his arguments with entertaining asides and his quintessential quips (catch some of the highlights in the video below). I appreciated the human element that came through even while he navigated complicated issues. eMeg did offer up one stab at humor, something about Dracula and a blood bank, but it fell flat and just made me feel kind of uncomfortable.
Myriad media outlets agree with me, including conservative columnist Debra Saunders, who frequently leans towards right-wing candidates. And the Sacramento Bee online readers poll has Jerry winning by a mile - as I write this, he's ahead 75 percent to eMeg's 16.
I may be prone to hyperbole, but as a newcomer to working in the political world, I was simply dazzled by our guy's debate performance. And that statement is no exaggeration.
Yesterday, the campaign released a powerful ad criticizing eMeg's pledge to eliminate the capital gains tax if elected.
This would be a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Let's start with the basics. Capital gains are profits resulting in the sale of non-inventory assets, which include stocks, bonds, and property. A capital gains tax simply taxes those profits.
According to the Franchise Tax Board, in 2008, 92 percent of the capital gains tax was paid by individuals who reported more then $200,000 in taxable income. Read: taxes on really, really rich people. Like eMeg.
Back in 2007, when the economy was chugging along quite smoothly, California collected $10.8 billion in capital gains taxes. Undoubtedly a sizable chunk for the state budget.
As you will see in our ad, economists find eMeg's proposal extremely flawed. It's no secret we're facing a grim $19 billion deficit. Eliminating the capital gains tax would plug up a major source of revenue, thus leading to additional cuts in spending.
Does it really seem fair to kiss your daughter's middle school arts program goodbye because California's wealthiest residents think they deserve a tax break?
The plight of the affluent has been part of the political zeitgeist lately; just yesterday the New York Times published an opinion piece by Paul Krugman called "The Angry Rich and Taxes." eMeg's stance aims to capitalize on this - and serves as yet another piece of evidence that she is beholden to the interests of her fellow billionaires.
Check out our ad below for more.
Last week, eMeg became the biggest self-funded candidate in our nation's history when the price tag for her personal campaign contributions reached a staggering $119 million.
That's right, instead of hiring 1,185 police officers, Californians can look forward to more glossy mailers. Instead of providing 25 million school lunches to children in need, we get even more false Whitman promises saturating the airwaves. Instead of preventing 1,280 teacher layoffs, it's going to be all eMeg, all the time, touting her vague plans and campaign cliches everywhere we look between now and November 2nd.
Oh, wait. Those figures listed above come from a video released when her campaign spending was a measly $64 million. So use your imagination to figure out what other myriad of worthy causes throughout the state $119 million might help. The possibilities are endless.
Members of the GOP are no strangers to financing their political runs. Federal Election Commission filings show that one-third of the 39 candidates that have reached the second tier of the NRCC's three-step campaign organization program have contributed significantly to their own efforts. And in setting the new United States record, eMeg edged out Republican New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Will these money-is-no-object campaigners meet with success? History suggests not so.
According to a survey by the San Diego Union-Tribune, only one in 18 notable self-funded candidates since 1964 won their races. I cited this article from the Washington Post in an earlier blog entry, which showed that just eleven percent of self-funded candidates emerged victorious in the past decade.
One such self-funded success story we're all familiar with is that of our own Governator. But he only pumped $6 million into his election bid. It's sad to say, but that may as well be a dry-cleaning bill compared to eMeg's megaspending.
Those negatively affected by the current economic climate - a group that, unfortunately, comprises the majority of Americans - don't tend to look upon exorbitant campaign spending with friendly faces.
Remember the backlash against the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling earlier this year, which granted corporations free reign to spend on political advertisements? And in a lesser-known but equally-poignant story, last year a former state commissioner from New Jersey proposed imposing a 'luxury tax' of 33 percent on candidates who finance themselves.
Camp eMeg defends its wasteful, walloping figures by crowing that their candidate will be "independent to special interests and only accountable to the people of California." But that statement neglects to mention the additional $24 million in donations she has received from other sources, as well as the mysterious "small business action committee" funding a series of smears against Jerry.
We won't know for 42 more days if money will buy a winner. But if the latest poll is any indication, Meg Whitman will likely meet a fate similar to the majority of her self-funded counterparts.
Those on Barack Obama's mailing list received a powerful message today: The President of the United States wants Californians to come together in support of Jerry Brown.
In his email, Obama talked about Jerry as a 'champion for the people,' citing Jerry's creation of two million new jobs as governor and revitalization of Oakland's economy as mayor.
"To each of these jobs, he's brought an unparalleled passion for helping the people of California," the president said. And it's true: I can't think of anyone else in the world who knows our state's complex political system to the extent Jerry does. With each office held, he has navigated the maze and delivered results foremost for the people.
Obama closes his message urging readers to support Jerry, and links back to our website.
Meanwhile, others have taken measures to champion our candidate recently, too. Yesterday the LA County Democratic Party released a tongue-in-cheek video telling eMeg California is not for sale. Watch below, and be sure to take our president's advice by joining the effort.
I'm not a superstitious person. But I couldn't help but notice eMeg's latest payment to herself.
13 million dollars, disclosed on Friday the 13th, listed as the 13th donation? Does she think sending herself a bad omen will have the opposite effect on her campaign?
And thus, the wall of cash separating our opponent from having a real conversation with voters has grown 104 million dollars thick. That puts her just four million shy of the largest self-financed political campaign in history - and she is poised to dethrone billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg from the honor sooner rather than later.
But don't get mad. Get even! A donation to our own cause takes only a few simple clicks.
And in the mean time, here's hoping eMeg writes her next check to herself while walking under a ladder in front of a broken mirror.
Keeping track of eMeg's endless fibs and flip-flops can be an arduous task.
So we decided to put them all in one place. Yesterday, the campaign launched Meg-A-Myths.com, a one-stop resource for Californians to keep track of our opponent's many falsities as the election draws nearer.
Check out the site for a comprehensive roundup of articles aimed at exposing the truth. Each time a new piece comes out shedding light on eMeg's lies, we'll be sure to post it.
You can also follow MegAMyths on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, and sign up for the "truly perplexing Myth Mail." I suggest doing all of the above, not only so we can generate a big following, but more importantly so you, the voters, can stay informed.
As always, feedback welcome in the comments section. In the mean time, happy myth busting.