Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman greets well-wishers at an event announcing her candidacy for the 2010 Republican gubernatorial nomination on September 22, 2009 in Fullerton, California. Whitman will vie for the Republican nomination with state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell. Gov. Arnold Shwarzenegger is prevented from running again under term limits. Whitman has already received the endorsement of former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who will serve as her campaign chairman.
In 2009, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman spent $15.6 million more on the quest for California's chief executive job than the two other gubernatorial hopefuls, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and Attorney General Jerry Brown, combined.
Too bad the election isn't an eBay auction, because if there was a "Buy it Now" button, Whitman would have already won.
Her total includes payments to a financial consulting firm that just happens to employ her eldest son, Griff Harsh V; $5.2 million, total, on campaign consultants; and $3.8 million on radio advertising.
Thanks to millions of her own money, she still leads both candidates in campaign cash on hand, with over $10 million at the end of the year and a fresh infusion of $19 million from her personal billions reported this month.
Poizner, who's challenging Whitman for the Republican nomination and trailing mightily in recent polls, spent a mere $3.7 million last year, mostly on consultants, leaving his campaign with $17.8 million.
Hhowever, subtract the $19.2 million contributed by Poizner himself, and his campaign has raised only $1.6 million from donors, compared to $10 million raised by Whitman, who's been barnstorming back east on a book tour -- a strategy that seems to be working, with 25 percent of donors from outside California.
As for Brown? Former Governor Moonbeam, who has yet to formally declare his intent to run, spent less than $150,000 on his non-campaign, but raised nearly $4.5 million from donors -- though with no opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination, he can save his pennies for the general election.
Jackson West is clearly in the wrong business -- he's now looking for work as the son of a billionaire Republican running a lavish campaign.