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GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman has been getting lots of campaign cash from some of San Diego’s most famous Republicans. One of the most prominent is Doug Manchester, the hotel magnate whose financial backing for Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage measure on last November’s state ballot, caused opponents to boycott his downtown Manchester Grand Hyatt; he later offered to contribute $125,000 to gay and lesbian causes in an unsuccessful attempt to quiet the controversy. On June 22, his Manchester Financial Group gave $25,900 to Whitman, who also backed Prop 8. Former congressman Tom Campbell, one of her Republican primary opponents, favors gay marriage. The third major candidate, state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, is generally regarded as being to the right of Whitman on social issues and is, like Whitman, a Prop 8 supporter.

Other locals anteing up $25,900 for Whitman included millionaire diet maven Jenny Craig; Marilyn Fletcher, wife of former savings-and-loan kingpin Kim Fletcher, who gave earlier; Laurie Burt; and Rancho Santa Fe’s Steve Cassidy, director of business for youreeeka. Marshall Merrifield, the wealthy security company owner who lost out in a bid for San Diego City Council last year and also failed in his recent quest to become a San Diego port commissioner, kicked in $15,900. Daniel Barry of Barry Estates, Inc., gave $10,000, as did James Catledge of Impact Resort Marketing. Lehn and Richard Goetz, owners of Café Coyote and Trophy Properties, Inc., gave a total of $10,000 in catering services. Louis Schooler, president of Western Financial Planning, was a $5000 donor. Kirk Haney, president of SG Biofuels in Encinitas, contributed $5000.

Poizner’s only local big contributor for the period was Escondido’s Joe Jubela, who made his fortune selling tires. He gave $10,000.

Meanwhile, ex–Democratic congresswoman Lynn Schenk gave $6500 to the gubernatorial campaign of Jerry Brown, for whom she worked when he was governor back in the 1970s and early ’80s. Richard Bloch, a founder of the Phoenix Suns basketball team and a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, gave Brown $6500.

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Comments

bugmenot July 8, 2009 @ 2:32 p.m.

Aren't there limits on how much money these people can raise?

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Nicholas July 8, 2009 @ 3:58 p.m.

As a lifelong Californian, I'm always surprised that businesspeople in our state support Meg Whitman. She has never started a company, or served the state as an employee or elected official. For that matter, she has only voted about 50% of the time.

And ebay's success is really due to its founder, Pierre Omidyar. Ms. Whitman came on board and when she took over, she alienated many users and employees with her bloated acquisitions and micromanaging. Most importantly, during her tenure ebay sellers sold billions of dollars of fake goods- mostly software, video games, movies and other intellectual property. These industries are the lifeblood of the California economy and businesses were robbed of billions of dollars of revenue. This lost revenue and subsequent reduction of tax revenues have hurt many businesses, large and small, as well as all Californians.

We cannot afford a political neophyte at this critical time. Ms. Whitman should start by learning about the issues, voting on a consistent basis, maybe volunteering or teaching- get involved in the community and the state. Then come back in ten years and let's see what she has learned.

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JakeSD July 10, 2009 @ 5:03 p.m.

Whitman joined Ebay in 1998 when it had 30 employees and $4.7 million in revenues. During her time it grew to 15,000+ employees and $7.7 Billion in revenues. I wont say she deserves all credit but this is a succesful business that created many jobs while she was in charge.

As for the selling of fake goods, Ebay has worked with governemnt agencies to regulate that as best as possible and (unlike Craigslist) has been cracking down on illegal items (no guns, tobacco, alcohol,etc.) and does not allow animals to be sold on the site.

They also built a LEED-certified HQ in San Jose that has a huge solar array and is a great example of environmental responsibility.

Lastly, you say we cant afford a political "neophyte."

Where have all the "experienced" polticians in California got us?

This legislature, along with past and present governors have run this state into insolvency, which has resulted in outdated infrastructure, poor schools and future debt payments that will strangle the state for decades.

Now, I am not saying I love Meg Whitman for governor, but at this point I'd rather have someone who has succesfully run a complex business with a bottom line vs. a career politician who has been asleep at the wheel while the state has sunk.

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Ponzi July 10, 2009 @ 6:10 p.m.

Let's face it, Ms. Whitman biggest accomplishment in life was the marketing of Mr. Potato Head. EBay was selling mostly Beanie Babies and stuff and she was a good fit at the time.

eBay’s business model was already golden before Meg joined. The company hardly required any capital and was instantly profitable because it did not have to stock products, ship them or worry about profit margins. It was a success because it was a “first mover” like Amazon, eBay’s success is due to the genius idea of Pierre Omidyar and for executing it (and patent protecting it) before anyone else.

The rest is history, but eBay sellers and buyers built eBay, it was not a specific persons talent as it was a phenomenon. Meg was in the right place at the right time

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