The Meg Whitman Campaign: Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish
I have officially diagnosed the political corpse of: California a “goner”, so I haven’t had the energy since November 2 to deal with what went wrong in: the Meg Whitman for governor: and Carly Fiorina for Senate races.: It’s exhausting and really not any fun being a conservative in California, surrounded by the millions of liberal “sheeple people” who just overwhelmingly returned: the fossilized Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer to office.
Those of you who are regular readers know that I supported Chuck DeVore for Senate in the primary and Steve Poizner for governor. I predicted that both Meg: and Carly would be “flawed” candidates in a general election. Nonetheless, I was the good GOP soldier and supported both women vociferously. There should be no doubt, that despite their individual problems as political candidates running in this blue state, both Meg and Carly are far preferable to the dinosaur Democrats who won.
That said, there is some “unfinished” business this week with Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor of California that requires discussion. And then I hope to never talk about her ever again.
“Cheaping out” on nanny’s $10,000 severance became a $140 million problem
The discouraging “hold-over” from the governor’s race for Meg Whitman is “Nanny-gate.” About a month before the election, California voters got a “surprise” in the governor’s race that was no surprise at all to the Republican candidate. : Since it wasn’t a “surprise” to Meg, she and her staff should have been primed for any attack on this issue.: For what Whitman was investing in her race, alibis should have been air- and water-tight in October.
Instead, Nicky Diaz became: the “campaign Godzilla” that kept grabbing headlines.
Whitman’s long-time housekeeper/babysitter showed up blinking: in the television lights, lawyered up with liberalista ambulance-chaser-from-hell Gloria Allred. There were alligator tears. There was name-calling. Nicky Diaz claimed she was fired after 9 years on the job last year because she was an illegal alien. She claimed Whitman could have helped her with her legal plight, but refused because she was going to run for governor, that she was treated like a “piece of garbage….sob, sob….to be thrown away.”: : : : Yada.
Due to the Whitman campaign’s abysmal “ops” on this, there was no good way for Whitman to handle it once the story was out.
Diaz played herself to the hilt to the Latino broadcast audiences in California. : Whitman stayed rigid in her insistence that she had “no choice” but to let Diaz go when she learned of her illegal status.
Meanwhile, noone in the liberal lapdog California mainstream media bothered to ask Gloria Allred, “Who is paying your fees?….what is your connection to the Jerry Brown campaign?: Why did you wait a whole year, until just before the election, to come forward?”
Diaz had been hired through an agency and admits giving Whitman and her husband, Griff Harsh, false papers to prove residency when she was hired. : Whitman had the documentation to show that Diaz had committed felonies by perjuring her citizenship status.: While that may be good for a court argument, it isn’t the kind of thing that wins the hearts and minds of the very diverse California electorate. Meg needed to say more and do more for Nicky.
Nicky Diaz was a “lose-lose” proposition: Whitman would lose credibility for supposedly “not knowing” Diaz was illegal. She would lose again for “not helping” a long-time employee with her fight to stay in the country with her American husband and child.
There were other things that were terribly, terribly wrong with the Whitman campaign: mushy message, flip-flopping on immigration, aloofness from the media and the public, a non-existent voting record as an adult, “class” envy and distrust by Democratic and independent voters who rightfully perceived her as an elitist, and (sad to say) a face only a paid board of directors could love. Two years of wall-to-wall television and radio ads were toooooooo much Meg mug. This election should be studied for years in political science classes.
On Wednesday this week, two weeks after becoming America’s textbook “Titanic” campaign, there was one more: ironic twist.
The billionaire ex-eBay CEO who has just blown $145 million of her fortune to lose BIG, refused to settle with Diaz ahead of time, went to a labor hearing and had to be ORDERED to pay a paltry $5,500 to satisfy Diaz’s claims.
If Meg Whitman had paid that $5,500 for overtime pay and mileage owed LAST year when she fired Diaz, or let’s say she even paid her a little more, just to be nice, let’s say 15 grand, would Nicky have come forward this year on her political kamikaze mission? Does Meg even understand how bad this makes her look, all over again? How about STUPID? Will anyone tell Meg how miserly, mean and STUPID this makes her look?
There is no way that Meg Whitman can ever, ever run for office again after this week.
(Of course, that doesn’t mean that she WON’T, or that greedy-grubbing campaign flacks won’t come running again to help her in her next Quixote campaign.)
$omeone will alway$ love to get paid to ju$t $ay Ye$.
Meg Bloggola….(sigh) another day
On the flip side of Meganomics, let’s review who really took Meg for a ride. I have said all year that Whitman was being poorly counseled and managed by her campaign staff. I have said all year that the problem with Meg’s candidacy was that she is so wealthy and was spreading around so much money through advertising, everyone wanted to make money from her, NOONE wanted to tell her what she needed to hear.
Let me single out for special attention a certain “conservative” blogger who was snuffling up so much monthly revenue in inordinately high “advertising” from the Whitman campaign that he lost any ethics that he might have once had.: He actually blocked me (twice) from my diary account on his website when I wrote a story critical of Whitman. His website was : nothing more than shill for Meg Whitman and look where it got us.
Six Million Dollar Man?
Now let’s discuss the top-dog: Meg Whitman campaign crony in this race, former “John McCain-ite” Mike Murphy.
Mike Murphy is the one whom Republican Steve Poizner said offered him a “deal” to quit the governor’s primary race last spring. Poizner said Murphy threatened to spend $40 million “tearing up” Poizner if he declined to leave the race. Sure enough, Poizner didn’t quit before the primary election, and Meg’s people launched a series of attack ads. It was one of the reasons her campaign spending went into the financial “twilight zone” long before the general election campaign even began.
Time Magazine reported Meg was paying $90,000 per month to the firm run by Mike Murphy. It has been estimated that Murphy has made at least six million dollars for his consulting “prowess.”: If he was also taking a cut of her advertising buys, as is alleged by some, is it ethical of Murphy to start expensive pissing matches with rival Republicans to gin up ad buys??: : Just asking.
Let’s review what all that high-priced Murphy “moxy”: brought for Meg:: She spent more than $144 million of her own money to lose by more than 12 points.: Even worse, someone even “counseled” her to drop a final $2.6 million on Election Day. Why??
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, a Democrat and political pundit, was heard to opine after the election that Meg should sue Mike Murphy for malpractice.
Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle has some questions for Mike, too……
2. On Election night, why did you insist that an “upset” was in the works and the polls were practically even — and you lost by 13 points? Were you reporting from Prop. 19 headquarters?
3. In your last major gigs, you have been the architect of two high-profile LOSING campaigns that have spent roughly $240 million combined (2005 Gov. Schwarzenegger special election and Meg Whitman for Guv). Should NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg be expecting a call?
4. You insisted to us that you didn’t make $6 million on the Meg campaign. What did you make? And did you really get a percentage on the ad buys, as the rumor mill has suggested? No matter what, can you buy the press corps a round of beers at the next GOP convention?
The final Murphy insult to Meg Whitman? After her miserable 13 point loss on Election night, Murphy showed up on “Meet the Press” to give his Einstein: “insights” on Election 2010. After his ignominious performance, did Murphy take any responsibility?: If campaigns were pastries, Meg Whitman’s result was the equivalent of a shaving cream pie in the face….you have all the mess and can’t even eat it to make it go away.
Murphy, : the MTP : “news pundit” : glibly flipped it all off lightly:
“It’s a very blue state, and it’s getting bluer. As the red, you know, wave, kind of went one way, there was a bit of blue riptide coming the other way.” He also said big labor unions were to blame because they run the state and have spent $300 million on counter-campaigns in recent years.
If that is all Murphy can say to justify his expense, shouldn’t Meg get a refund?
“The campaign that Murphy and company executed was pedestrian at best, saturating the airwaves with advertising that never really said anything or persuaded voters that Whitman could make their lives better. Even the negative ads on Brown were lackluster, even though his long political history was a potential gold mine…….
He was given a virtually unlimited budget to run a campaign against a 72-year-old former governor with a relatively tiny campaign treasury. But he either gave his client very bad advice — such as concealing the bombshell of hiring and then firing an illegal- immigrant housekeeper….
It was a campaign that, done right, could have succeeded. But it was a mediocre campaign that deserved to lose.”
Bottom, bottom line
Meg Whitman could have spent $15,000 to $20,000 in severance last year when she fired her housekeeper for being an illegal alien. Considering Diaz’ long service, why wouldn’t she go the extra distance and help her out financially?
Meg could have spent millions and millions less on her tiresome television campaign and should not have trusted the person who had just driven the John McCain presidential campaign into the weeds.
Who will be Mike Murphy’s next “useful” idiot? Or can he retire on his Whitman takings?
Do us a favor and stay way away from our candidates, Mike. : We’d really like to win in 2012.
By Jane Jamison