Top-flight pros that we are, Calbuzz does not take it personally that we’ve been repeatedly stiffed on our multiple requests to interview Meg Whitman.
Just because eMeg has shined on our bid for a sit-down for six months, refused us access to one of her fundraisers in our own backyard and blown us off when she came through town the last time, doesn’t mean she’s trying to avoid us. We understand that she’s very, very busy, and has lots of important stuff to do, like braiding her horse’s tail (or kissing other horses asses, like Dick Riordan).
So the Calbuzz Department of Soirees and Social Planning decided to make it easier for her to clear some time on her calendar. Right around Labor Day, we visited the Whitman for Governor web site, clicked on the icon to “Request Meg to attend your Event” and emailed her a personal, special invitation to a lovely private event, namely Chinese dinner with the entire Calbuzz staff at Zen Peninsula, conveniently located in Millbrae, not far from her home.
Almost immediately we got back a pleasant response: “Thank you for your invitation,” said the subject line on the email from eMeg’s very own “Director of Scheduling” who said:
“Thank you for submitting an invitation for Meg Whitman to participate in your event. Our team will review your request and get back to you as soon as possible with any follow up questions in regards to the Dinner with Calbuzz.
“In the meantime, please sign up on our website at www.MegWhitman.com to receive regular email updates. Also, you can check out our website for news about the campaign and information about upcoming events with Meg.
“Thanks for supporting Meg and thank you for your invitation!”
Oh boy, oh boy, we thought, we’re finally on our way to getting to some serious face time, rubbing our hands at the delightful prospect of really, really getting to know Her Megness in what you might call your up and close personal way. Be still my beating Fleischeart!
Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing, nada, not a word.
Finally, when we had just about decided our invite must have been squeezed out by Meg’s spam filter, we heard from the lavamoric Sarah Pompei, Whitman’s campaign press secretary, who rang us up on September 29.
“Meg appreciates your invitation to dinner,” she said, without a hint of disdain or irony. “This just isn’t a good time, but she really looks forward to having dinner with Calbuzz. We’ll get back to you.”
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, we thought. We studied up on dim sum, went out and rented tuxes, lined up a limo and launched a Google search to find out what her favorite flowers were so we could bring a bouquet.
Sadly, we’re still waiting by the phone for Meg to call. We can’t for the life of us figure out what’s happened to our invite now. All we can say is, please call us eMeg, your flowers are wilting.
Speaking of annoying things about eMeg, we wonder if anyone is as deeply offended as we are by her campaign slogan: “I refuse to let California fail.”
Really? You refuse? All by yourself? And you’re gonna’ save us? All by yourself?
Her tagline goes directly to what we find most troubling about Whitman’s candidacy, about which we’ve ranted oh, say, 12 or 13 times: the underlying assumption that being governor is kind of like being queen, where you just decree that things will happen and everyone else falls in line.
As a practical matter, politics is a team sport, and the idea that “I” can accomplish anything, no matter how a big wheel you were at eBay, is simply ludicrous. Governing – as opposed to being governor – requires a great deal of emotional intelligence and insight, and the ability to convince, cajole, con, wheedle, flatter, threaten, reward and punish. As we’ve wondered aloud before: What in eMeg’s background demonstrates that she has any clue how to handle the Assemblyman from Parlier who says, “Sure, I’ll vote for your budget just as soon as you include $4 million for a swimming pool in my community center”?
We can see the commercial now. eMeg in armor on horseback: “Je refuse de permettre à la Californie à l’échec.”
New greasy tax: The last time Californians had the chance to impose a severance tax on oil companies doing business in the state, they turned it down, big time.
By a 55-to-45 split, voters in 2006 rejected Proposition 87, a measure backed by a coalition of environmental, health and consumer groups that sought to impose a tax on companies that extract oil in the state and to earmark the revenue for alternative energy and green technology projects.
But Assemblyman and Attorney General hopeful Pedro Nava, who unveiled a bill Monday to impose a 10 percent severance taxes on California oil producers, thinks the political landscape has changed considerably since then.
“People are now in a position where they can actually feel the cuts we made last year,” said Nava, who represents oil spill central in Santa Barbara.
Nava’s legislation, known as AB 1-6X since it’s being introduced in the Legislature’s sixth special session, would generate about $1.5 billion annually for the general fund. He said he so far has 15 co-sponsors in the Assembly, which he reads as sign that public sentiment is running in favor of California joining every other oil producing state in levying an extraction tax.
“When the public realizes (oil companies) are the only industry that gets this special treatment, support will grow,” he said.
You read it here first: The folks from Exxon Mobil and Chevron won’t be kicking into Pedro’s campaign for AG. Always trust Calbuzz scoops.