Ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman‘s (R) reputation as CEO “is the central pitch in her bid” but the ongoing trial between eBay and Craigslist “is threatening to undermine a pillar of her candidacy.”
After testimony painted Whitman in an unflattering light, GOP and Dems opponents “moved to take advantage of the controversy in the absence of a Whitman response.” Video clips of testimony “are now circulating on the Internet, and Whitman’s foes have attempted to advance the theme that perhaps she is not the talented and effective business leader” the state needs.
Want More On This Race? Check out the Hotline Dashboard for a comprehensive rundown of this race, including stories, polls, ads, FEC numbers, and more!
Whitman’s camp said “because the trial is ongoing and Whitman is a central player,” she is “unable to answer any of the charges against her leadership abilities.”
A spokesperson for Insurance Commis. Steve Poizner (R) “adopted” language from a witness “to drive home the Poizner campaign’s consistent theme that Whitman’s private-sector experience is not all it’s cracked up to be.”
Poizner spokesperson Jarrod Agen: “There are two Meg Whitmans. Meg publicly campaigns as a Republican, but her actions prove otherwise. This trial further demonstrates why Republicans should be skeptical to trust Meg Whitman’s rhetoric on the campaign trail.”
Ex-NRCC comm. dir. Karen Hanretty “said it’s easy to understand why Whitman’s foes have seized on the trial.”
Hanretty: “They are laying the groundwork for that narrative so that this is on the minds of reporters. This isn’t about voters right now; this is about building a narrative for the media so that if she is caught in a moment where she snaps at a voter or a reporter, they can turn that around and say, ‘See, this is who we’ve been telling you she is all along.’”
Several CA GOPers told Politico “there is a widespread belief in GOP circles” that the offending testimony “has at least some political motivation” as Craigslist founder Craig Newmark “is a prominent” Dem donor.
Ex-CA GOP Chair Shawn Steel: “It’s absolutely a factor. He’s not just a big Democratic donor; he’s the George Soros of the Internet.” But Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster, who spoke on the stand of “two Meg Whitmans,” unlike Newmark, “does not appear in the” FEC donor database for either party (Barr, Politico, 12/22).
The Great Eight?
Harvard Business Review ranked Whitman eighth in its listing of “200 best-performing CEOs, applauding her tenure” at eBay. Harvard analyzed nearly 2K CEOs of large public companies who started between ‘95 and ‘07 (“The Buzz,” Sacramento Bee, 12/22).
What We're Following See More »
"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."
Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.