Meg Whitman’s Defense: Sonny Bono Didn’t Vote, Either

The state Republican convention took place in Indian Wells over the weekend, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, now running for governor, spent a great deal of time apologizing for having a spotty record of voting and registering to vote. She called it “inexcusable,” but left unanswered was the question of why she didn’t bother to get to the polls.

Today, however, the campaign came up with a new approach: Sonny Bono didn’t vote, either.

Joe Garofoli of the SF Examiner reports, “In their daily missive to reporters Monday, Team Whitman notes that the late Sonny’s wife, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, told The Desert Sun that Meg and Sonny shared a proclivity for not voting:

“(He) hadn’t even registered to vote before he ran for mayor (of Palm Springs),” Bono Mack recalled Sunday at the California Republican Party Convention in Indian Wells. “He went on to be a successful mayor and a successful member of Congress.” “

This may backfire, and just as easily extend the lifespan of a story that may ultimately have little impact with voters. One of Whitman’s chief rivals, Steve Poizner, has asked her to bow out of the race.

The latest Rasmussen Poll shows that Whitman, Poizner and Tom Campbell, the three Republicans vying for the nomination, all trail expected Democratic candidate Jerry Brown by roughly equal margins. But they all have leads over Brown’s chief rival, Gavin Newsom, who has declared and is looking for a good bounce. An endorsement from Bill Clinton could help, at the very least from fund-raising. Clinton will be at the Biltmore Hotel on Oct. 5 at a $500-per-person event for Newsom, with co-chair levels going for $5,000 per person. They will also hold an event at Los Angeles City College.

Where Whitman is doing much better than her GOP rivals is in entertainment and media industry support. Her list of recent contributors includes Michael Lynton, Bruce Ramer, Harry Sloan, Gordon Crawford, Charles Ergen and Terry Semel, as well as actress Jami Gertz. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has contributed, as has his predecessor, Jack Welch.


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