Cash Bonus

Can Whitman Buy Her Way to Governor?

Is $140 million and counting worth the governor’s mansion? That’s a question many are asking about California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who’s spent that figure so far—outspending her opponent, Jerry Brown, by a factor of 10 to 1. Whitman, the billionaire former executive of eBay who spent $71 million alone to win the Republican nomination, has opened nearly 90 campaign offices throughout the state in a campaign designed to cater to each individual voter, New Hampshire primary-style. While the race between her and Brown—who himself is part of a California political dynasty—remains close, many question whether the payoff will be enough, win or lose. One anonymous Republican consultant even said “you could hold a gun to my head, and I couldn’t tell you why she’s running for governor. All people know is that this is a very rich person.”