Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee for governor of California, has now now crossed a historic threshold: As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, she has just put in another $15 million of her own money into the campaign — bringing her total to $119 million and making her the biggest self-financing candidate ever.
Whitman’s $119 million puts her past the previous record-holder, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I), who spent $110 million to be narrowly re-elected to a third term in 2009.
As we’ve previously noted, Whitman has been vastly out-spending the Democratic nominee, state Attorney General and ex-governor Jerry Brown. For his part, Brown has recently gone on the air with an ad touting his accomplishments from when he was previously governor, from 1975-1983 — an interesting move to pitch himself as a reliable and steady hand, in an environment that is widely seen as anti-incumbent and anti-establishment.
Whitman, meanwhile, has run a plethora of ads that alternately tout her business credentials and attack Brown as a political insider. One recent ad, using old video of Bill Clinton attacking Brown in 1992, when they ran against each other for the Democratic presidential nomination, led to the amazing sight of Brown responding to the ad by re-attacking Bill Clinton over the charges made in the video — when Bill said that Brown had raised taxes. After Brown joked about Bill’s honesty, he subsequently apologized.
The TPM Poll Average currently gives Whitman a lead of 46.5%-44.1%.
So does $119 million meet California’s reserve price — or will Whitman have to bid even higher?