The Voice

November 2010 Gubernatorial Elections

Sonia Patel, Opinions Editor

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November 2, 2010 is election day for gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. While California’s political history for both gubernatorial and presidential elections typically leans towards Democratic candidates, we have had a Republican governor for the past four years.

Both candidates have interesting backgrounds that could heavily influence their potential as governor. Meg Whitman was born in New York, where she was part of the first few Princeton undergraduate classes that accepted women. Whitman entered college with the intent to become a doctor, but soon found out that business appealed more to her.

She then matriculated into Harvard business school. She found a job at Proctor & Gamble and later at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. Whitman then moved from a president and CEO position at Florist Transworld Delivery to Hasbro. Next, she got a job at eBay right here in San Jose and through improved executive leadership, profits and stock prices grew rapidly. In September of 2008, Whitman had an annual salary of $120,427,360, but thanks to her ownership of eBay stock she is thought to be the first female billionaire created in the Internet age.This is Whitman’s first foray into politics.

Jerry Brown was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then attended Santa Clara University, a Jesuit seminary, UC Berkley, and Yale law school. Brown worked as a law clerk to California Supreme Court Justice Mathew Tobriner. He then found a position at an LA law firm called Tuttle & Taylor.

He was elected to the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees and, in 1970, as Secretary of State. Four years later, he became governor of California. Some of his most notorious political accomplishments and contributions include enacting collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees, starting the California Conservation Corps, and initiating the country’s first building and appliance energy efficiency standards making California a leader in solar and alternative energy. Brown appointed more women, Asians, Latinos and African-Americans to high government positions than any other chief executive. Brown ran for president twice and he also became Mayor of Oakland from 1999-2007.

According to a recent Public Polling Policy poll from September 21, 47% of possible voters will vote for Jerry Brown and 42% for Meg Whitman. A similar poll from

Pulse Opinion Research on September 18 found similarly close results.

A major hot topic for this election is of course the economy. The two candidates have contrasting economic plans with the current monstrous, $20 billion, state deficit:

Brown’s economic proposal:

  • Jobs that promote energy efficiency
  • Tax credits for manufactures
  • Less market regulation
  • Jobs made in areas of transportation, water infrastructure and clean energy
  • Coordinate worker-training programs and tax incentives to companies

Brown has really been focused on creating green jobs.
Whitman’s economic plan:

  • cut government spending (as much as $15 billion)
  • Eliminate the $800 fee that new businesses are required to pay in California.
  • Eliminate tax on factory equipment
  • Provide a $10,000 credit for home  purchases

Whitman has been focused on bringing business back to California.

Candidate’s Position on the common highly-debated topics
Health care Reform
Brown supports a universal health care system, also known as single-payer health care. He supports a customer-insurance funded health care system instead of a government-run health care system. He supports President Obama’s health care plan.
Meg Whitman proposes that California should move towards opposing the new national health care plan because it would deepen the state’s budget deficit.
Same-Sex Marriage
Jerry Brown opposes Proposition 8. He refused to support the proposition as Attorney General (from 2007-present.)
Meg Whitman supports Proposition 8. However, she supports civil unions and recognition of gay marriages before Prop 8 was instated.
Whitman favors Proposition 4, which requires minors to notify a parent prior to undergoing an abortion. Whitman does not support late-term abortion.
Jerry Brown has strongly supported women’s abortion rights. He has even drafted a budget reform plan to allow low-income women to get an abortion.

Candidate Platforms

Meg Whitman continues to highlight on her campaign website, “that she will create 2 million new private-sector jobs by 2015, offer job-creating tax cuts to put Californians back to work and encourage entrepreneurs to once again make our state the global center of innovation. She’s the only candidate who has created thousands of jobs in California.”

On his candidate website Jerry Brown emphasizes, “Our coastline, farmland, mountains, deserts and urban environments all make up the great and unique landscape of California.  They form the basis for tourism, agriculture, energy development, recreation and California’s ability to attract and retain businesses.  Protecting the environment is essential to our long-term prosperity.  I have long recognized that environmental protection and economic development go hand in hand and will continue to promote both as Governor.” The California gubernatorial race will come to an end on November 2, 2010.

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