Meg Whitman, the richest female CEO in American history, will officially announce that she's running for Governor of California at 11:30 today. Because who doesn't love people who've made a lot of money in the market. As a rule, she only takes questions that are written in advance, so here goes.
Q) You've chosen Fullerton, California as the backdrop for this historic announcement. Fullerton is one of the few places in California with a Republican assemblyman, but I don't see him or her with you today. Why is that?
A) Trick question. Mike Duvall, Fullerton's (married) assemblyman, resigned earlier this month after boasting into an open microphone about how much he enjoyed having sex with a (married) lobbyist from Sempra Energy.
"She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And so we had made love Wednesday -- a lot! And so she's, she's all, 'I am going up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me' So messy!" - Mike Duvall (R-Private Life)
Q) We're in a hotel lobby in the district of a recently disgraced adulterer with a potty mouth. California has so many lovely assembly districts. Couldn't your people have chosen you someplace better than this? Are they stupid?
A) Pretty stupid, but mostly just new to the whole thing. Remember, Meg Whitman is from Long Island. And until a year and half ago, her political affiliation was "decline to state." This is her first run for office. Any office. So she's still getting her feet wet. From walking down stairs behind Mike Duvall and his date.
Q) After an entire lifetime barely even voting for Republicans, last week you gave $250,000 to the California Republican Party, "to rebuild California with a Republican vision." This was six days after Mike Duvall went down for the dripping underpants thing. What got you so excited?
A) "So, I am getting into spanking her. Yeah, I like it. I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah! Because you're such a bad girl!'" - Mike Duvall (R-Naughty Town)
Q) Speaking of Sempra Energy, lobbyists, and the vice chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, you have some pretty bold ideas about regulatory relief for the extraction industries. One of them involves AB 32, California's landmark legislation on greenhouse gas emissions. You -- let me check my notes here -- will cancel it on your first day as governor. Why? What did life on earth ever do to you?
A) I'm not being fair. Meg Whitman won't cancel AB 32. She can't. She'll just put a moratorium on it for 12 months, every 12 months.
"The governor has the ability to issue an executive order putting a moratorium on most AB 32-related rules. I urge him to do so. And if he does not, I will issue that order on my first day as governor."
- Meg Whitman (Decline to State-Long Island)
California is the 12th largest emitter of carbon in the world. The goal of AB 32 is to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This probably won't plunge the state into darkness. That's Sempra Energy's job.
Q) According to a Field Poll, 79% of Californians approve of AB 32. Why are you promising to gut it as your first act in any elected office? I know you're new to politics, but couldn't you get more votes by supporting something 79% of voters support?
A) Yes, but if I could find my ass with my hands I wouldn't be in Fullerton.
Here's the coolest single statistic about AB 32, and it'll tell you everything you need to know about California state politics:
According to the same Field Poll, 68% of Republican voters supported AB 32 in 2007. But when the measure was put to a vote by their elected officials, 60 out of 62 Republican state legislators voted against it.
Welcome to Rome.
Because the California Republican Party answers to a higher authority than its own voters. It answers to the Crazy Girls of Sempra Energy.
Meg Whitman has only been a Republican for a couple of days, but she's learning.