Meg Whitman puts nearly $40 million into campaign

By Laurie Bennett

February 3, 2010 at 9:48am

In what is likely to be California’s most expensive gubernatorial campaign to date, billionaire Meg Whitman is outspending everybody.

Whitman reported paying out $19.5 million in 2009. She collected $10.2 million from donors last year, and poured in another $19 million of her own money. Two weeks ago, she put in another $20 million.

For comparison:

  • Airline mogul Al Checchi, the previous record holder for personal spending on a California campaign, spent $38.9 million of his own money in his unsuccessful run for governor in 1998.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger personally spent about $8.5 million in his first campaign, in 2003.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton loaned $11.4 million to her 2008 presidential campaign.
Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman

Whitman, former CEO of eBay, is worth an estimated $1.2 billion, says Forbes, which last year ranked her 326th on its list of 400 richest Americans.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, opposing Whitman in the Republican primary, collected about $2 million last year. He also has put in a significant amount of personal cash - about $19 million.

Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate who is unlikely to have a serious competitor for the party nomination, spent a comparatively measly $370,525.

Whitman’s memoirs, confidently titled The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life, came out last week.

One of those values is thrift. “I really hate waste,” she writes.

Those campaign bills must be killing her. Her campaign consultants alone cost more than $5 million last year.

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