Meg-o-Mercial Doubles Down on AB 32

Meg Whitman’s big infomercial wasn’t quite the prime time affair that President Obama’s was, but she did find time to lay out just how extreme she’s getting on issues of climate change.

On the substance, the Whitman infomercial repeats many of her now tried-and-true campaign slogans (focus “on just three things” as governor, “100% against amnesty”). But there were a few nuggets that either sounded a bit different, or highlighted issues in a way that merit at least a mention.

Whitman repeats her support of a one-year delay in implementing the state’s landmark global warming bill, AB 32. But rather than a more measured response, in the infomercial she flat out calls the law “a job killer.”(Capitol Notes)

This might not seem all that big, but she is now attaching her banner solidly behind the repeal AB 32 side. The language is straight out of Valero’s talking points.

And on her “cut 40,000 employees” talking point, John Myers does a little bit of fact-checking:

On the now familiar Whitman criticism of too many workers employed by the state, the candidate takes a more firm stance about why these positions (40,000, she’s promised) can be eliminated. She tells the audience that this is the amount by which the state workforce has grown since 2004.

“It’s not front line employees,” says the candidate. “It’s not the CHP, it’s not CalFire, it is the bureaucracy.”

A bit more thorough reporting than can be done on a Sunday is required, but even a general review of state data online shows that Whitman’s “bureaucrats” must include employees of the state prison system – where the workforce has grown and costs have noticeably increased. There are now some 69,000 corrections employees (more than half are guards), and as the department’s own report states, 70% of the prisons budget comes from staff salaries and benefits.

It’s really great when you can sort of spin a yarn and nobody calls you on it. Whitman wants to slash the “bureaucracy” by 40,000. Ok, so, how’s about we get a little more specific. Let’s see Whitman come up with 40,000 jobs that she would like to cut.

Of course, she won’t actually do it, but her nonsensical and out of context call for the heads of state workers is both unproductive for the state and a simple act of scapegoating. But, we’ve come to expect both from Whitman, and this was her TV ad, after all.

One thought on “Meg-o-Mercial Doubles Down on AB 32”

  1. talking point about waste and inefficiency should be met with a jeering chant of “Magic Asterisk”.

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