At the unofficial kickoff Saturday of the 2010 Republican primary campaign for governor, former eBay CEO and political neophyte Meg Whitman struggled to explain her abysmal voting record.
A year ago, The Chronicle reported that Whitman, 53, had not registered as a Republican in California until 2007 and had a spotty voting history for several years in the state before that. Last week, a Sacramento Bee investigation found no evidence of Whitman's voting before 2002 in several other states where she lived previously.
On Saturday at the state Republican Convention, Whitman - who has never held nor sought political office - did not dispute the report and offered her past response to questions about her voting: "There is no excuse for my voting record. I didn't vote as often as I should."
She repeated variations of that response as reporters continued to ask why she hadn't voted for so many years - especially in light of passages in her speech to the convention.
Now, let’s talk about spending. And honestly, when I talk about spending, I just get mad…
It’s really very simple. California cannot spend more money than it takes in. Why is it so hard for politicians to come to terms with this concept? Families get it. Businesses get it. We all get it.
Our problem is not revenue. We collect enough taxes to run this state and then some. Our problem – our addiction – is spending. And it’s an addiction that’s killing us. It’s killing our state and it’s killing our country.
Simply put, Californians can no longer afford the government they have. The Democrats and special interests can try to convince us that our taxes are reasonable, and that we should all just be grateful to live here. But people know better.
Californians are tapped out. They have no more money to give to Sacramento or Washington for that matter. And Californians are mad. They don’t have the luxury of getting a pay raise whenever they need one. So why does California’s government get to raise our taxes whenever they want more money?
We need a governor with a spine of steel who will look at the books, decide on priorities, deal with the legislature, and take the heat for what we cut and what we fund. If being popular and getting re-elected is your goal, then being governor is a really bad job-person fit.
As I committed to in February, if elected I will identify and implement at least $15 billion in permanent spending cuts from the state budget. I’ll eliminate redundant and underperforming government agencies and commissions.
And I will reduce the state workforce by at least 40,000 employees. That reduction that will reset the workforce to 2004-2005 levels and save the state a projected $3.3 billion annually.
But cutting simply isn’t enough. We have to get our heads around the concept that mismanagement and waste in government is sapping precious dollars away from the things we want to do.
Did you know that almost every state worker receives a merit pay increase every year until they reach the top of their pay scale? How can that be? Are your pay raises guaranteed?