September 16th, 2010
04:04 PM ET
4 years ago

Whitman sets all-time spending record

 Meg Whitman has broken the all-time personal spending record for an American political candidate.
Meg Whitman has broken the all-time personal spending record for an American political candidate.

(CNN) – Former eBay chief executive and current California gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, has broken the all-time personal spending record for an American political candidate, dishing out $119 million in her bid for the governors mansion.

Whitman who is running against Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, surpassed the previous self-financed campaign record of $109 million dollars set by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his 2009 reelection campaign.

Cashing in on your personal savings does not always guarantee a victory and according to a CNN/Time/opinion Research Corporation survey released September 8, the gubernatorial battle is too close to call.

The poll indicated that Whitman has a two-point advantage over Brown, 48 to 46 percent, which is within the sampling error.

Whitman believes she has gotten her money's worth stating, "I've invested in an entire campaign. I'm delighted with where we are." Adding that it takes a lot of money to be competitive in California, a state that has 2.3 million more Democratic voters than Republican voters and her job is to "spend money to get this message out, and to make sure that every Californian has the information they need to make an informed decision."

Is there a limit to the billionaire's spending spree? Whitman says the money is "not unlimited" and she wants to continue to be "smart and strategic" in the final 47 days of the campaign.

The winner of November's general election will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted September 2-7, with 866 registered voters in California. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Jerry Brown • Meg Whitman
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    So she's using all the money she got from the company she ruined to buy the governors office, so she can ruin the state. Did you every wonder why she is spending 119 Million Dollars to get a $100,000 a year job? Why is that?

    Vote NO in November to the party of NO.

    September 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Brown's fiscal record in CA is a disaster. Voters really should be looking long and hard at his record.

    September 16, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Clwyd

    In Wisconsin we just had millionaires Ron Johnson and Mark Neuman spending up to 4$ million. Now Meg. Is that all the Party of No has in it? Millionaires and multi-millionaires. Are those the kind of people who would have a clue as to the needs of Americans or just the needs of the rich?

    September 16, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Robert

    This is what I called "hungry of power" If i were this woman, I'd would given away this money to fix the budget deficit or donated to charity.
    Power, power, power. Another example of what money can buy.

    September 16, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Mr. Moderate

    When a person can non-chalantly throw away over $100 million to essentially try to buy a political seat, I think it proof positive that the rich can pay more in taxes.

    September 16, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Tinkers Dam

    They should all have to spend their own money. Campaign contributions from outsiders should be illegal.

    September 16, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Jay

    It's tragic that we live in a world where money influences (and buys) everything.

    This woman is obviously trying to buy the election. Maybe if you had enough original solutions that made sense you woudn't need to try to buy the election Meg.

    But hey, what else do you expect from a Republican? Use money to get elected to help people with big money.

    September 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. barry

    It is great that a American believes change is needed to the point of spending their own money. Jerry Brown needs to retire. He is just another career politician in it for himself.

    September 16, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Ferret out the BS

    She wants to buy the governorship then onto .... who knows what.

    September 16, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. bbrooker

    Are you kidding me? Does California really have to suffer through another rich person's egotistic fantasy of buying the governorship? Is Meg Whitman really the answer? Of course she isn't. Not even close. Regardless of how you feel about Jerry Brown, our government offices should not be for sale.

    September 16, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Corey, Maryland

    Talk about buying the seat......

    September 16, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    I hope you lose – you're a disgusting elitist billionaire fraud that thinks you can literally purchase your own government with monopoly $

    September 16, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Todd

    Way to purchase an election Meg!

    September 16, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. Jon

    Disgusting. I hope Californians don't fall for it. The last thing we need is more billionaire politicians who feel like their money entitles them to power. If anyone wonders what's wrong with American politics, they need look no further than Meg Whitman.

    September 16, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Mag whitman has ten billon dollars what does she care about the poor amd middle class

    September 16, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. mark

    Should be illegal how much money a candidate spends and they shouldn't be allowed to spend their own money. It's all political bull$hit.

    September 16, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. JFS

    I wonder how many POOR conservative folks in the Southen United States could have used that money for food ? Education ? Teeth ? I hope she loses her fortune AND the election.

    September 16, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Peter s

    A fool and her money are soon parted!!!

    September 16, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. AEJ

    The only reason I can conclude why this woman would spend so much money to win a seat – her ambitions must be to become the President of the United States and she want to get her feet in politics. No other reason I can come up with.

    She desperately wants to get into politics. I. What a waste

    September 16, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Disgusting. Pure and simple.

    September 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Dave

    Over 100 million dollars spent from her personal fortune, and she wants Californians to believe that she is fiscally conservative? Did I get that right?

    September 16, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. bj

    I guess no one told her that California is a Blue State. The current Governor was voted in because he was the Terminator....not a good choice. California is BLUE!!!!!

    September 16, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. water bearer

    Boy those self-proclaimed "fiscally conservative" TeaPublicans sure like to spend, spend, spend don't they? Good thing she's a billionaire.

    September 16, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. who cares!

    She can spend all her money and i STILL wouldn't vote for her! what a joke that she's trying to buy her way into this position...show some integrity rather than your wallet Whitman! show me your ideas, not how powerful you are with all that loot! you disgust me! JERRY BROWN 2010!!!

    September 16, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. carlos

    buying the election just like rick scott is doing in florida........they will be booted out........vote NO repugnants anywhere

    September 16, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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