The Book on Meg
Back in the days of Dr. J and Moses Malone, the late Philadelphia 76ers announcer Dave Zinkoff had a most entertaining way of telling fans that someone had failed to turn off their car’s headlights.
After a couple of conventional pleas, Zinkoff would tell the Spectrum crowd: “Your lights are still on . . . but they’re growing dimmmmmm……errrrrr”.
And that’s the Meg Whitman-Steve Poizner contest in a nutshell. Whitman has widened her lead to 49 points in the latest Field Poll (now 63%-14%, compared to 45%-17% in January).
Is it still a race? The primary isn’t for another 75 days or so and Poizner has yet to unleash a full-throttle media blitz. That said, we’re getting late in the game. And the lights . . . for Poizner, they’re growing dimmer.
Which might explain why Team Whitman pivoted yesterday and, with an eye on November and an opponent other than Poizner, released a policy agenda.
48 pages in length, it will help dispel the perception that the former eBay’s chair is long on style and short on substance.
It’s also very glossy, so brace for lots of snarky media comments about a Whitman’s Sampler that was far more expensive to produce than a box of chocolates.
As you’ll see from reading it, the policy tome plays straight down the middle of the California political fairway. Nothing controversial — and nothing that makes it predictably easy for Jerry Brown and the Democratic IE hit squads to portray her as an ideological kook, or a dangerous neophyte.
Among her ideas:
Make the Legislature part-time (an idea headed for a ballot showdown);
Provide a $10,000 tax credit for purchasers of new and existing homes;
Tax credits for green-tech job creation;
A spending cap tied to growth in California’s GDP;
Merit pay raises for state workers;
A grand-jury style panel to look for fraud in state government;
Reinvest $1 billion in savings from welfare/reforms in the UC/CSU.
1) Which of these ideas would/will Jerry Brown second?
2) Which of these ideas would Whitman be willing to give up in a horse-trading deal with the Legislature;
3) Which ( if any) of these ideas is Whitman willing to take to the ballot assuming the same Legislature gives her agenda a two-word response?