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. Airforce One

    Just an FYI that is about 33 dollars PER BODY in the hard hit state of California......perhaps she should rethink showing off her money.....VOTE people VOTE

    September 16, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Papasan in AZ

    NutMeg is getting her moneys worth of abuse from Californians. She wanted notoriety, and now she has it as the biggest self aggrandizing megalomaniac to run for public office. $119 million well spent!

    September 16, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. sd in sg

    Too bad she didn't just give the $119 million to the schools in California.
    Jerry Brown FTW!

    September 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Russ

    And what's wrong with this picture? $119 million to get a $200,000 job. Just what's wrong with politics. Buy your way in so you can impose your idealology on the rest of us poor folk. What a jerk!!

    September 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Obozo VooDoo Economics 101: Spend your way to prosperity, tax your way out of recession.

    When you work hard and succeed, you can make a lot of money in America. I know this concept is foreign to many leftist loons that depend of the government for their needs. One would think you fools would appreciate these rich people who you constantly bleed for money to support your lazy habits.

    September 16, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Sherry

    Wow, she could have helped to pay down the national debt!

    September 16, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Tanbiker2

    Let's hope she spends lots more then loses the general election and ends up bankrupt. It's just what she deserves as a filthy, corrupt Republican.

    September 16, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Truman

    Apparently she's never heard the Beatles sing "Can't buy me love."

    September 16, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Dennis

    Unfortunate...seems hypocritical that the candidates are complaining about so much government waste in spending and then turn around and do the same thing.

    September 16, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Tiny

    This is why the wealthy do not need tax breaks and should pay more taxes....it they can spend 15 plus million of their pocket money to BUY a public office to tell the working clas we should PAY MORE in taxes WHY SHOULDN'T WEALTHY PEOPLE WHITMAN NOT pay more????

    September 16, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. key

    How many text books or scholarships could have awarded with that kind of money. But I your money spend it as you wish. Conservative with everyone else but spend on yourself as you please.

    September 16, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Thank you Meg, for your full effort to the benefit of the people of California. It's a great state and will only work better with your leadership. You know what needs to be done.

    September 16, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. JESSIE

    It seems she is going about this "campaigning" thing all wrong. With all that money, wouldn't Calfiornians vote for a person who pumped all that money into the state? She's leading a viscous smear campaign that people hate to see. If she actually wanted to win, she would have used her money to win the hearts of the people investing in the state she wants to lead. Deficit solution?

    September 16, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Tiny

    This is why the wealthy do not need tax breaks...matter of fact they should pay MORE. Point and case, WHITMAN. IF folks like her can spend 15 plus million to BUY a public office and if they are successful in buying a public office they then raise taxes on the working class...WHY NOT take the tax breaks from the likes of her? (Sorry about the spelling in an earlier post...I had steam coming out of my eyes I'm so ticked!)

    September 16, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Nick , California

    How smart or strategic is it to spend 119 million dollars for a position that makes $100,000.00 a year?!! How can you claim fiscal responsibility while spending so much money!!?? I don't know her true intentions, but it is almost silly to see where politics is these days!!

    September 16, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. RTB

    This is a pathetic individual.
    California deserves better.

    September 16, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. InlandEmperor

    Let's see....running for a job that pays a few hundred thousand a year ...at best... we have this supposed brilliant business person spending over a tenth of a billion dollars. To add insult to one's common sense this candidate is stressing fiscal responsibility in the ads currently being aired. To add further confusion this candidate airs ads that feature supposed facts spoken by a former election adversary of her opponent that has been proven to be in error...18 years ago. The citizens of the great state of California will not be fooled by yet another Bush "lite".... neo-con...phony economics... disciple.

    September 16, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Pa Santigie

    Hey, if she spent it in CA it will help that states economy. More power to them all. More rich people should run so they can spend their money this way more cash can e in the national economy. How about it Bill Gates, Donald Trump, et al can you spare a $100,000,000.00?

    September 16, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Carol in Northern California

    This woman wants to "buy" California and turn it into a corporation. She knows nothing about the middle class or average Californian trying to pay a mortgage, keep a job. She is a billionare ex-CEO. She does not speak for me or anyone I know. CALIF IS NOT FOR SALE, MEG. GO AWAY.

    September 16, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. normajean

    As a voter born in California MANY years ago. I have seen politicians come and go while our state has gone up and down like a roller coaster over these years. I feel like I've seen it all and I WILL NOT SELL OUR STATE to a person like Meg Whitman. Her questionable reputation precedes her and the way she wastes money {on pushing herself into Cal politics} makes me very uncomfortable as to how she would deal with the many financial problems our state now has. We need to seriously think about this because the country itself is in trouble and we won't get much help from the government.Read up on this and vote wisely,please!!!!

    September 16, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Robert

    Here's wishing a terrible midterm to Ms. Whitman and all other Republicants.

    September 16, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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