Posts Tagged ‘eBay’



eMeg’s Charm Offensive (Take 47); Foxy & Brown

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Meg Whitman’s new ad, “130 Miles,” is an attempt to use the glamor of Silicon Valley to reboot eMeg’s image as a can-do business executive whose skill is needed to repair California’s “mismanaged, ineffective” government. It’s polished and – if you knew nothing else about her, Silicon Valley or how government works – a persuasive 30-second argument.

But alas, reality bites. Give eMeg’s ad minions props for drawing a sharp line between Sacramento and Silicon Valley, which “gave us Apple, Intel, eBay.” Of course, as Jerry Brown’s campaign noted in its response, “At least eight Fortune 500 companies were founded in California during Brown’s governorship,” including Apple, Oracle, Amgen, Symantec, Electronic Arts and Sun (purchased by Oracle in 2009).

BTW, the choice of Apple, Intel and eBay is clever cherry-picking, but actually, the largest Silicon Valley companies in terms of 2009 sales were Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Cisco, Intel, Oracle, Google and Sun, in that order Then came eBay.

Calbuzz: The Prairie Years (With Actual Longhorn)

Brown can quibble but can’t really refute the ad’s assertion that Whitman “started with 30 people, led them, managed them, executed the plan that grew this main street company to 15,000 employees and made small business dreams come true.” But they did come up with a nice little gotcha: seems the eBay small-business success story featured visually in the ad – EasySale – is based in Arlington, Texas, and isn’t licensed to do business in California. Go Longhorns! Oops.

But we digress. What this very slick ad does not address is perhaps the most important question facing Whitman’s candidacy for governor: Even if she was a smashing success in Silicon Valley (and there’s certainly debate about that), what does that have to do with governing in Sacramento?

Since at least half of your Calbuzz team cut his teeth in Silicon Valley, we know that there are plenty of big fish who’ve come out of the Valley – Larry Ellison, Jerry Sanders, John Scully, Frank Quattrone, Mark Hurd, Steve Jobs, Scott McNealy to name a few – who don’t belong in politics. (Note: We’re not even mentioning Carly Fiorina.)

Running a company, answering to venture capitalists or a board of directors and shareholders, placing profit at the core of your soul, issuing commands to underlings, laying out an action plan and ordering people to implement it – these skills may serve the bottom line. But they don’t remotely resemble the abilities a governor needs: civic vision, coupled with facility for cajoling, compromising and co-operating, to name a small part of the collaborative, consensus-building skill set required of an effective political leader.

That 130 miles between Silicon Valley and Sacramento is indeed more like the distance between two planets. It’s Whitman’s challenge to demonstrate that she can do more than yammer about how she understands what it takes to create jobs. She needs to convince Californians that she could actually govern.

One more intriguing note: In this new version of eMeg’s Charm Offensive (she’s trying to get her favorables up from 40%) there are shots of her from four different magazines but no live footage of Her Megness Herself.  Guess they just ran out of time.

Department of burning pants: As we noted Wednesday, state Republican leaders are spinning like Schwins the claim that the GOP statewide ticket represents not only a breakthrough for their white man’s party, but, more broadly, a stirring display of never-before-seen diversity in the history of California politics.

The latest reporter to bite on this story is Araceli Martinez Ortega, writing at the Spanish language site Impre.com. Here’s a bit of a translated excerpt eblasted by the GOP:

As never before in its history, Republicans have managed to put together a formula that represents the diversity of the state – two female candidates, a Latino, and an African-American – with the goal of winning the general election in November…They face a Democratic ticket consisting primarily of Caucasians (emphasis ours).

Sigh. Ortega can probably be forgiven for peddling this canard; after all, for her him to have discovered that the two party tickets have exactly the same numbers of men, women, whites and minorities would have taken incredible effort, on the order of the complex and wide-ranging investigation Calbuzz conducted by counting up the demographic traits of those on the ballot.

But the state party is a different story.  They sent this stinky cheese around the state, knowing full well that the claim of an ethnic and gender difference between the two slates is a total crock.

For that we’re awarding them a copy of the shortest book ever published – “Richard Nixon’s Guide to Telling the Truth” (Introduction by Meg Whitman).

Out-foxed: There’s no bigger sacred cow in politics these days than small business (the phrase “small business is the backbone of the economy” Google generates 469,000 results).

Just now, for example, folks in Washington who favor extending the Bush tax cuts to the richest one percent of Americans constantly cloak their position in the self-righteous and cynical argument that anyone who opposes such an  outrageous homage to oligarchy is a pinko socialist determined to ruin poor old Uncle Chester’s hardware store, a stance that happens to be a lie.

In California, few are the equal of the wily Joel Fox in hoisting the small business fig leaf to disguise the big balls corporate beneficiaries of such policies. The resourceful Anthony York was the first to offer a glimpse behind this political pretense of plucky Main Street merchants, with a post detailing the actual sources of contributions to the Fox-run Small Business Action Committee PAC:

The SBAPAC revealed Tuesday evening that it received more than $1 million from alcohol, tobacco and real estate groups. Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, donated $500,000. Anheuser-Busch, which brews Budweiser, gave $200,000 and the Wine Institute chipped in another $50,000. Los Angeles-based Cypress Management Company gave the group $250,000.

Ah yes, Anheuser-Busch, your favorite neighborhood brewer, and good old Philip Morris, who runs the family farm out on the old River Road. Sheesh.

The $1 million detailed in the SBAPAC’s new spending report is only a fraction of the total amount of contributions to the group. That’s just the money earmarked for campaigns over two ballot measures, Propositions 25 and 27, in which corporations are fighting to preserve their sacred right (in California, anyway) to avoid being taxed just because a mere majority of lawmakers elected by the voters thinks it’s a good idea. Perish the thought.

What the SBAPAC report does not account for is another $3 million in contributions now being used to air ersatz “issue ads” whose clear purpose is to rip Jerry Brown’s face off on behalf of poor little rich girl eMeg.

Fox’s group uses a gaping loophole in the law to avoid disclosing those special interests donations, an avoidance he’s tried to tart up in the flag, the First Amendment and the Boston Tea Party several times over at his Fox and Hounds web site (we’d link to his recent pieces but F&H appears to be crashed at the moment).

Your Calbuzzards, however, think he got much closer to the nut of the matter when he told York: “I’ve got two lawyers who have looked at all of this, and there are different rules for the PAC. This has all been lawyered to death.”

We just bet it has.

Why ‘Spinning,’ Now Illegal, Was Always Unethical

Monday, April 5th, 2010

What Calbuzz does not know about corporate finance fills mountains of textbooks. But because we expect it won’t be long before we’re hearing a lot about charges of stock spinning against Meg Whitman, when she was CEO of eBay, we asked David Shapiro, a specialist on financial fraud at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, to spell it out for us. Here’s his offering:

By David Shapiro
Special to Calbuzz

In April 2005, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay from 1998-2008, settled – without admitting wrongdoing – a case in which she and others had been charged with “spinning” initial public offerings (IPOs) that had been made available to her at a discount by Goldman Sachs in exchange — it was alleged — for Goldman getting eBay’s investment banking business.

Whitman and co-defendants Pierre Omidyar and Jeffrey Skoll agreed to disgorge their profits and pay $3 million (Whitman’s share was $1.78 million) into an eBay fund that was supplemented by a payment of $395,000 from Goldman Sachs. (Robert Kagle, another co-defendant and former member of eBay’s Audit Committee during the relevant period, did not contribute to the fund apparently because he did not earn any profits from spinning IPOs.)

“Spinning” is obtaining, from securities firms such as Goldman Sachs, shares of stock in start-up companies’ IPOs at a preferred price (that is, a discount) not available to ordinary retail investors. This enables investors like Whitman to make a short-term profit by selling the stock in the secondary market, days if not hours later, to retail investors at non-discounted prices.

The practice is now expressly illegal because it was deemed to be theft by favoritism.  The social harm that now is outlawed entails the wrongful delivery of the monetary value of the discounts to preferred investors selected by securities firms. The start-up company selling the IPO could have obtained a higher price by selling directly to ordinary investors if the securities firm had not sold them to selected investors at a discount.

Whitman has insisted that Goldman Sachs’s motivation in giving her opportunities to spin IPOs was due to her status as a pre-existing wealthy client of theirs, which she was, and not as disguised kickbacks or commercial bribery from Goldman Sachs to get eBay’s investment banking business, which they did in fact obtain.

The issue has been spun by Whitman apologists and others into: What were Goldman Sachs’ and Whitman’s respective motivations and intentions in giving and accepting the opportunities to spin?

Issues such as the appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest, breach of ethics, breach of duty of loyalty, etc. presumably take a backseat, while voters in California ponder:  What exactly were those motivations and intentions?

I seek to avoid this “he said, she said” cul-de-sac.

Conduct has two parts under our legal system:  The act and the accompanying state of mind of the actor.

Apparently, the best that Whitman can argue is that while she did perform the acts – receiving and then rapidly selling discounted shares unavailable to ordinary retail investors from a vendor (Goldman Sachs) competing for work from her principal (eBay) – she is not a criminal because Goldman Sachs had other reasons for favoring her: for example, she was rich.

No formal fact-finder such as a judge or jury has passed judgment on what happened, including Goldman Sachs’s alleged innocence in demonstrating favoritism to Whitman, who also served briefly on the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs.  Therefore, she’s not a criminal under the law. But was she ethical?

The House Financial Services Committee released data to the public in early October 2002 regarding the spinning issues, naming beneficiaries of Goldman Sachs that included Whitman.  According to eBay’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics adopted by eBay in 2002 under the section “Receipt of Favors and Gifts” Whitman’s conduct in the spinning adventures would have been expressly unethical had these principles and rules been effective while she spun, notwithstanding her pre-existing wealth or Goldman Sachs’s alleged innocent reasons for favoring her.

Essential issues, such as whether Whitman requires express and detailed guidance from others in order to behave ethically and whether she can admit to having acted unethically, are still unresolved.

The excuse that “it wasn’t expressly prohibited when I did it” might have proven useful in fending off regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, but how persuasive is this excuse in the context of determining what is ethical?

Couldn’t Whitman have determined, on her own, the implications of receiving favors and gifts from vendors?  Is she to be held to the same standard as my 12-year-old daughter who ate all of the chocolate chip cookies because I didn’t say she couldn’t?

Whitman may be many things, but naïve is not likely one.  Unfortunately, receiving favors and perks on account of wealth and position is neither unusual nor novel, and determining precisely whether Goldman Sachs’s favors were attributable to her highly valued personal portfolio of investments or her position as eBay CEO is presently irrelevant.

The existence of express prohibitions in eBay’s Code of Business Conduct against receiving the kinds of favors and gifts that she had received from Goldman Sachs might have been a condition of settlement with regulatory authorities or perhaps indicative of the proverbial “closing the barn door after the horses have left.”  I don’t know.

Whitman has neither conceded that her spinning conduct was unethical nor conceded that there’s something broken in a social system that allows the wealthy to benefit at the expense of the ordinary. California voters will have to decide what that says about Meg Whitman’s ethics and her fitness to be governor.

Assistant Professor David Shapiro teaches courses in  Financial Accounting, Management Accounting,  Forensic Accounting, Forensic Financial Analysis, and Public Sector Accounting and Auditing. His research is focused on measuring and evaluating the relationship between law and financial fraud. He has worked extensively in the private sector, conducting numerous investigations of misappropriations, fraudulent financial reporting, and corruption in different types of organizations, including public filers and labor unions. He is a contributing author to the “CPA’s Handbook of Fraud” published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Happy 2010: Oy Vey, an Election is Breaking Out

Friday, January 1st, 2010

HangoverThe hoariest cliché in the news business – besides  Where Are They Now, the Irrelevant Anniversary yarn and frying an egg on the sidewalk during a heat wave – is the end-of-year Top 10 list.

And at Calbuzz, we’re nothing if not hoary clichés. Or maybe clichéd whores. Whatever.

As you find yourself face down in a bowl of gelatinous guacamole this New Year’s morn, trying to remember why you’re wearing rubber underwear and Raider wrist bands, here’s the Calbuzz Top 10 stories of the year, a 2010 primer for those who got drunk and missed 2009.

dianneworried2

Difi (Hearts) D.C. Calbuzz launched March 16, with a hiding-in-plain-sight perceptual scoop saying flatly that Senator Dianne Feinstein wouldn’t run for governor. Despite her septuagenarian coquette act and unstinting effort to keep a few moldering embers of interest flickering about a late-entry campaign, Difi’s demurrer was the biggest 2009 factor that shaped the race, which we’ve handicapped with updated analyses here and here. (This just in: she’s still older than the Golden Gate Bridge.)

jerryflippedThe re-incarnation of Jerry Brown.  Casting himself as “an apostle of common sense,” Brown sent a clear signal he was in it to win it when he gave Calbuzz an extended interview discussing the governor’s race, then promptly retreated to his tent to insist that he was  reviewing all his options. Right. While at least one would-be analyst suggested that Crusty the General cleared the field, he did no such thing: Brown’s singular status as the Democrats’ presumptive nominee emerged from the collapse of erstwhile rivals Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa as  the Philandering Twins proved to be little more than a sideshow.

Why Rich Guys Don’t Win Elections. Back before it was fashionable, we reported on the sorry history of wealthy folks trying to buy top-line offices in California, a bit of Calbuzz conventional wisdom that will be challenged in 2010, with three zillionaires running for governor or Senate.caveman

Where did all the cavemen go? Way back in March, we noted the oddness of a California Republican primary race for governor without a true-blue movement conservative in the field  and, beginning with Arlen Specter’s party switch, we’ve tracked the way the Tea Party’s national purge movement is manifest in California.

Why won’t this woman go out with us? Win or lose, eMeg’s campaign is poised to become 2010’s most entertaining show for fans of politicmegs as spectator sport. With an imperious manner not seen since Catherine the Great, a campaign budget bigger than the GDP of Belize and an army of consultants the size of the U.S. Postal Service, eMeg has already provided the cognoscenti lotsa laughs with a smash hit performance about her voting record, her messy corporate divorce from Craigslist  and her passionate bid to win the hearts and minds of people who don’t vote in California. That this titan of industry apparently lives in mortal fear of sitting down to Dim Sum with Calbuzz  just adds to the general hilarity (memo to legal dept: check on residuals and copyright for Calbuzz “eMeg” coinage).

outrageThe voters are outside, and man are they pissed. From the May 19 special election debacle to the real-life terror of living through a withering recession, Californians are in a foul mood for the ages. The electorate is changing and they want change, but no one now in the arena seems to know exactly what that’s supposed to look like.

Why California can’t be governed. The flip side of populist anger at Sacramento is the inconvenient truth that voters themselves are largely responsible for tying state government into knots, having approved three decades worth of low-tax-high-spending initiatives and a series of crackpot  reforms, from term limits to  the tyranny of minority rule, which add up to Capitol policy makers lacking the tools or clout to do what needs doing.

What does rsinclairpainteform look like? The upside of all the doom and gloom about state government is that it’s yielded some of the most interesting reform measures since Hiram Johnson was chewing on Abe Reuf’s leg. Despite the collapse of tax reform, led by the screw-the-pooch performance by Friend of Arnold Gerald Parsky, the seriousness and substance of policy questions being raised by advocates for a constitutional convention and for the California Forward reform measure are complex, intriguing and important – even when they get deep, deep into the weeds on issues from Prop. 13 to the crucial Sinclair Paint decision.

Environment vs economy. California’s economic decline has reignited a long-simmering debate about the economic impacts of the state’s sweeping environmental protections. eMeg has already thrown down the gauntlet, calling for a roll back of the landmark AB32 climate change legislation, which is likely to become a big deal in the election this year. The other environmental debate that just won’t go away is the bitter dispute about the Tranquillon Ridge offshore project, an issue whose weeds Calbuzz never tires of whacking.

calbuzzartThe Calbuzz Haiku Contest. Amid all the political and policy fun and games, the best thing about Calbuzz’s first year has been getting in touch with a community of highly informed readers, thoughtful commenters and roster of triple smart guest writers (thanks Penny Elia, Merv Field, Steve Maviglio, David Ferry, Jon Fleischman, Fran Gibson, Ron Kaye, Fred Keeley, Linda Krop, Greg Lucas, Mark Massara, Bob Naylor, Mark Paul, Heather Reger, Susan Rose, Jean Ross, Richie Ross, Marc Sandalow, Tanya Schevitz, Dan Schnur, Don Sipple, Phil Ting, Evan Wagstaff, Anthony Wright and the late Msrs. Dylan Thomas and Mark Twain, as well as the members of the Calbuzz Board of Anonymous Advisers – you know who you are and we promised not to say).

See you Monday.

Hump Day: Tom C, Tony V & eMeg’s eMails

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

tomtwirlWhen speculation began about Tom Campbell possibly switching from the governor’s race to the U.S. Senate contest, the instant conventional wisdom said such a move would help Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Stonehenge,  now tied with former HP CEO Carly Fiorina in Republican primary polls.

That idea rests on the notion – fueled by some knuckle-draggers on the right –that Hurricane Carly is a squishy, Silicon Valley moderate masquerading as a fiscal conservative. And, the argument goes, because former U.S. Rep. Campbell is also a Silicon Valley squish, he’d naturally draw votes from Carly, to the benefit of DeVore.

But wait! Facts intrude. Or at least, what we like to call potential facts, suggested by the recent Los Angeles Times/USC Poll in which DeVore and Fiorina were tied at 27% each.

As Calbuzz reported more than a month ago, DeVore voters favor Campbell over eMeg Whitman 42-35% in the governor’s race, with another 16% for Steve Poizner. More importantly in this context, voters who support Campbell in the governor’s race prefer DeVore over Fiorina in the Senate race by a whopping 42-24%.

carlychuckcollageThis means there’s some connection, in voters minds, between Campbell and DeVore; when we studied the crosstabs from the survey, we found it’s not gender, ideology, geography or age. What does seem to explain the connection is income – which makes some intuitive sense, as the two are the only poor boys in either race.

The poll found Whitman leading Campbell in the governor’s race 35-27% overall. But among downscale, gunrack Republicans – those with incomes under $50,000 who made up 37% of the sample – Campbell was beating Whitman 34-28%. That’s a huge swing.

And guess what? While DeVore and Fiorina were tied at 27% overall, among the trailer park Republican cohort, DeVore was leading Fiorina 34-17% — another massive shift.

So what’s up here? Lower-income Republicans (and for Campbell, the over-65 voters, too) seem to cluster around Campbell and DeVore. Which could well mean that if Campbell got into the Senate race, it could actually boost Fiorina’s share of the vote.

Here’s what Calbuzz believes: While Campbell would have a hell of a time winning the GOP nomination for Senate, he would be the most formidable opponent against Sen. Barbara Boxer in a general election because he’s pro-choice and a moderate on the environment, issues that would help him with independents in the general election.

antonionewyorker

Being 80 is the new black: Speaking of the Senate, the flat-out silliest political story in months was to be found on the home post of Huffpost in recent days. Headlined “Antonio Villaraigosa may call the U.S. Senate ‘home’ in 2012,” the piece predicted the L.A. mayor will be an all-but-certain bet to take over Dianne Feinstein’s seat two years hence.

It’s an abiding mystery why Huffpost editors thought this a worthy page one candidate (though we expect Arianna’s recent big push for her L.A. page provides a big clue) given the goofiness of the column, written by some guy named Feldman, a self-described “journalist and media consultant” whose current job appears to be doing “investigative reporting” for AM radio.

Under the Feldman Scenario, Villaraigosa’s march of triumph to the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body will be enabled by Difi either a) deciding to run for governor or b) choosing not to seek another Senate term because she’s just too damn old. As hard evidence for either option, Feldman cites the undeniable fact that…well, he really, really believes it might happen.

It is…probably foolish to make this next political prediction — and, if it turns out wrong — someone, somewhere, someday will no doubt cite it as yet another example of why such tea leaf reading is a dangerous art, indeed.

“Probably”? “Someday”? “Indeed,” indeed. At least he got the “foolish” part right.

diannePutting aside the fact that Tony V’s erratic performance as mayor better qualifies him as a used car salesman than a U.S. Senator, the notion that Feinstein will run for governor is sooo 2008 , and the idea that she’d give up her hard-earned sweet gig in D.C. if she was 112, fercrineoutloud,  ignores the fact that she’s been immersed in politics and government since 1956. She wouldn’t know what to do if she retired, except drive Dick Blum crazy by nagging him to prune the hedges or something.

In point of fact, Feinstein is already raising money for her 2012 race, and Calbuzz makes her a good bet to challenge Robert Byrd and the late Strom Thurmond in the oldest-coot-ever-to-serve-in-the-Senate sweepstakes.

“She’s not going anywhere,” one associate told Calbuzz, “and if Antonio runs against her, she’ll beat him like a drum.”

emegebay

Update from Delaware: All good Calbuzzers recall that we’ve noted the significance to eMeg Whitman’s candidacy of the big eBay vs. Craigslist civil suit smackdown now taking place in Delaware.

Absent a political record, Whitman has pointed to her experience as eBay’s CEO as the primary rationale for her candidacy for governor, so the trial offers some insider perspective about her values and performance in that role.

The case focuses on a dispute that followed eBay’s acquisition of 28 percent of Craiglist, at a time when Whitman was CEO of the online auction giant. eBay alleges that Craigslist violated terms of the agreement to deny them any say; Craiglist executives charge that eBay and Whitman used the agreement to obtain confidential information in order to set up a new online classified operation as a competitor.

On Tuesday, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster testified about an email exchange between eMeg and eBay executive Garrett Price that followed an interview Buckmaster gave to business reporter Matthew Boyle of Fortune; in response to a question about possible conflicts between the two companies, Buckmaster told Boyle, “our first instinct is to trust eBay to take the high road.”

Price emailed a copy to Whitman, asking if she had seen the piece:

Whitman: “Did. Pretty funny.”
Price: “Yes. I am glad to read that he trusts us.”
Whitman: “Love this.  :)

Referencing the email string, Craigslist’s attorney asked Buckmaster, “Did you think it was ‘pretty funny’ that you trusted eBay?”

“No,” Buckmaster replied sadly.

Following our earlier kvetching about a dearth of trial coverage, we’ve been pleased with the sudden stream of stories and commentaries that appeared this week (Coincidence? You be the judge).

Topping the list is our friend Jackson West, who reported over at NBC Bay Area about Monday’s appearance by Buckmaster,  who testified that Price at one point threatened him with being confronted by “Evil Meg” unless he went along with her designs on his company. As Randall Chase, the AP’s man in Delaware reported the Buckmaster testimony:

jim-buckmasterPrice said he needed to remind Craigslist officials that there were “two Meg Whitmans,” Buckmaster said

Craigslist officials, he was told, had met the “good” Whitman in July 2004, when she convinced Buckmaster, who had broken off discussions and decided not to do business with eBay, to go forward with negotiations that eventually resulted in eBay’s 28 percent minority stake in the online classifieds company.

Buckmaster said Price warned him that there also was an “evil Meg, and that we would best be served if we got with the program, or we’re going to meet the evil Meg.” Price added that Whitman, who is now seeking the Republican nomination for governor in California, could be a “monster” if she got frustrated, according to Buckmaster.

(Yikes! Memo to scheduling: should we rethink this whole eMeg dinner thing?)

The wily West got off the best line in the face of the emerging, unflattering portrait of eMeg, noting that “revelations about Whitman will actually play pretty well to the Republican Party base she’s courting in the gubernatorial primary.”

Swap Meet: eMeg of Oz Meets Craig, Scott & Inga

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

megsmugRants and raves: Amid a shortage of MSM reporting about the epic legal battle between eBay and Craigslist, political junkies wanting to track Meg Whitman’s role in the messy litigation can rely on Jerry DiColo’s coverage in the Wall Street Journal.

Unlike a batch of niche sites covering the eMeg vs. Craig Newmark online titan cage match staged back in Delaware, DiColo does a fine job of fulfilling the basic duty of journalism, to make the complex clear. For starters, his  stuff doesn’t read like it’s been translated from the Swedish, and he does nice work  boiling down the dry-as-dust issues involved in a suit that’s all about, heaven help us, corporate governance. (Punishment gluttons who just can’t get enough should check in on Corporate Counsel while total hardcore types can catch the live webcast at Courtroom View TV – who says we have no life?)

As a political matter, however, the one and only issue at stake is what the trial and testimony offer in the way of insight and evidence about the integrity of the corporate record of Whitman, who proved to be somewhat veracity challenged in the recent set-to about her voting failures.

With eMeg pointing to her CEO experience as  her prime qualification to be governor, her words and actions in eBay’s acquisition of 28 percent of Craiglist, and the messy falling out that followed, will be closely examined by her political rivals. Based on this week’s testimony by Newmark, whose idealistic, Golden Rule values define the online classified company’s brand, it’s a fair bet eMeg’s campaign won’t be micro-targeting the craiglists voting bloc (no worries – there are only 50 million users a day in the U.S. ).

Reporting on Newmark’s appearance on the stand, DiColo wrote:craig

Mr. Newmark said former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman assured him that eBay was content not to try and gain control of Craigslist during a “courtship period” of three years.

“eBay told us that we were ‘the play’ in classifieds, the definite article indicating exclusivity,” Mr. Newmark said. During a meeting in 2004, Ms. Whitman, he said, told him, “that they would be comfortable with a courtship period, where eBay would be completely happy with 28%.”

“eBay, specifically Meg Whitman, made commitments, and broke them,” Mr. Newmark said.

Huh. Maybe she is ready to be governor.

Meg Whitman Dinner Watch, Day 100: As Calbuzz waits patiently if expectantly by the phone for eMeg’s call to join her for dinner, we’re always eager for that thrilling shiver of schadenfreude we get each time we hear about Her Megness stiffing other members of the media too.

So we were surprised to learn only belatedly of how Whitman put the screws to conservative talk jocks Inga Barks and Scott Cox, who host a  show on KERN-AM in Bakersfield. It seems that Queen Midas refused to grant them permission to speak to her unless she was provided questions in advance and allowed to pre-tape the interview.

ingaDuring a live interview with GOP  rival Steve Poizner, who dropped by the studio a few weeks back while in town to speak to Bakersfield’s Chamber of Commerce, the two yakkers spilled the beans about eMeg’s shyness, after a few warm-up yuks about how much dough she is pouring into radio ads.

Cox: And you need to spend a lot more money advertising on this station, I just want to put that in there one more time. Meg is way outspending you here at American General Media. You can’t have that. It’s détente man, the race is on.
Barks: There you go. All right.
Poizner: Well fortunately you are all giving me equal access here. So thank you very much.
Barks: I give her equal access, but it has to be pre-arranged, they have to know the questions, and–
Cox: She doesn’t want to talk to me at all.wizard-of-oz-w24
Barks: –it has to be pre-recorded. She won’t take calls.

I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL eMEG! (Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain).

You can check the You Tube version here

Press Clips: We’re bummed as hell at the news that Editor and Publisher, the bible of news about newspapers, is folding. In recent years E&P has been aggressive, smart and scoopy in covering the demise of the industry and, let’s face it, where else will you find the story about 56 papers in 45 countries joining together to run the same editorial about climate change on the same day?

Why voters hate Sacramento, Chapter 871: The ridiculous spectacle played out this week over “Race to the Top” legislation, aimed at getting $700 million from the feds for education, had little to do with schools and Jennifers Clownsstudents, and much to do with special interest Capitol palace intrigue completely disconnected from the real lives of real people. Amid an endless stream of booorrrring MSM process stories and a package of press releases from Speaker Karen Bass big enough to choke a horse, Dan Walters cut to the chase, exposing the whole fuss as nothing but a clown show staged by Assembly Democrats dancing to the tune called by the CTA.

Talk about your hat tricks: The Calbuzz Ross Douthat Fan Club went crazy this week when our favorite MSM conservative columnist pulled off an extraordinary feat, by getting the Treaty of Lisbon, polygamy in Sweden and the word “dhimmitude” all into one piece. It’s Milla’ Time!

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: If you keep using that internets, you’ll go blind and get warts on your hands.