Knockdown of the Week: A big alleged story in the governor’s race bounding across the blogosphere this week had Meg Whitman pulling behind-the-scenes strings that supposedly yanked Tom Campbell out of the governor’s race and into the Republican Senate primary campaign.
But while certain members of the pajama-clad, tin-foil hat brigade spun dark conspiracy theories, Chronicler Carla Marinucci did a bit of what you might call your old-fashioned shoe leather reporting: yes, she actually called Campbell on the telephone and asked him about it.
At which point, not only did Dudley Do Right categorically deny the purported story, but also his campaign put out a statement from super-Sacto consultant Bob White, a key, unindicted co-conspirator in the alleged Whitman plot, which dumped several hundred more gallons of ice water on the paranoiac yarn.
Costco Carla’s knockdown left Julie Soderlund, campaign manager for Carly Fiorina, Campbell’s leading GOP rival, looking silly. Soderlund earlier sent out a heavy breathing e-blast trying to advance the uncorroborated blog report that portrayed Campbell as doing everything but lurking around Dealey Plaza with an open umbrella:
What did Tom Campbell know and when did he know it?
What conversations did he have with the Whitman campaign/Whitman’s supporters?
Was there some sort of quid pro quo in this situation?
And, last but certainly not least, what was he promised for jumping out of the Governor’s race?
Puh-leeze. Putting aside the fact that California voters have zero interest in this inside baseball narrative, rushing out with a bunch of unsubstantiated, stop-the-presses innuendo simply reinforces the widening perception of Demon Sheep Carly as a flake, especially coming on the same day she dug herself a nice big hole on the issue of California declaring bankruptcy, which required emergency clarification spin from the campaign.
Steve Poizner’s campaign looked only slightly less foolish, in also rushing to judgment on the Col. Mustard-with-the-candlestick-in-the-conservatory story line. Memo to Commish: You got your 15 minutes attacking eMeg over the now-infamous Mike Murphy email so give this line of attack a rest, man.
He calls ‘em as he seez ‘em and he always call ‘em Right: This week’s Nestor Chylak Award for first-rate umpiring goes to Jon “The Flash” Fleischman for his on-the-money essay calling on all the candidates for governor and Senate — he names no names, Meg Whitman — to debate at the upcoming Republican state convention:
This election cycle we have candidates running for major statewide offices that have no history in politics – and therefore no specific way to judge exactly what they will do…
If you are a major candidate for the GOP nomination for Governor, and you’ve not yet agreed to participate in a debate at the Republican convention, the time to do so is now. Show your support of, and respect for hard-working GOP volunteers (not to mention the other 39 million people in California -ed.) by appearing before them with your sleeves rolled up, ready to take whatever questions should be posited [at] the event.
All this, and he used the word “posited” in a sentence, too. Calbuzz sez check it out.
Virtual Steve vs. Virtual Meg: Just can’t wait to see eMeg and The Commish go nose-to-nose over who hates the Delta smelt more? Calbuzz Online Video Political Cartoon Consultant Don Ringe previews the GOP smackdown here. Spoiler alert: Watch for eMeg’s sucker punch at the end.
If he agrees with Calbuzz, he must be right: Former state controller and Democratic big stick Steve Westly, an eMeg eBay colleague in a past life, argues at Green Tech Media that the Great Woman’s rabid opposition to the AB32 greenhouse gas legislation is not only bad policy but bad politics as well. Whitman’s promise to suspend AB32 on her first day in office, according to the erstwhile Democratic contender for governor:
…would be a stunning step in the wrong direction. Most of the people I know throughout Silicon Valley realize that to be a colossal mistake. This is the highest growth job segment. This state’s job engine for the future is in clean technology. It is one of the key reasons you will see a Democratic governor in 2010.
As we’ve noted previously, her Smokestack Meg play may play well in a Republican primary, but it’s a loser as a general election strategy.
Oh, wait, we’re already in the general election campaign, according to Whitman campaign chairman Pete “PiWi” Wilson, who claims in a this-just-in eMeg eblast:
Jerry Brown and his allies are beginning the General Election today. We must respond…It is now very clear that the entire Republican Party must unite behind Meg’s campaign. We have an outstanding party standard bearer. Since last summer, Meg has led among GOP voters in every independent poll by enormous margins, and those same polls show that she is the strongest Republican candidate against Jerry Brown.
We must unite. Meg and our campaign team are beginning the General Election today, and we are not wasting time.
Geez, who’s gonna tell Poizner? I know, let’s get Murphy to do it!
Life in imitation of art: Loyal Calbuzzers will recall that not long ago, we offered a learned discourse on the theory of political reporting known as Dull But Important, with a glimpse at the fictional magazine of the genre known as “DBI.” Imagine our surprise to learn that the eggheads and chrome domes at UC Bezerkely have broken the frame and are actually producing DBI for real.
Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Lady Gaga – she’s just like you and me.